A new documentary film that spotlights the decline of the American church focuses on the spiritual climate in the United States.
The film, titled When God Left the Building, will be screened August 4 at the Acme Theater in Hollywood, California. The film's director, Thom Schultz, will be on hand to lead a live talk-back session following the screening.
"The American church as we know it is dying," Schultz said. "What was once the heart and soul of the community is going away."
"The majority of churches across the country are either stuck or in a state of decline," Schultz said. "Weekly church attendance has dropped to 20 percent of the population, and this trend has resulted in the closing of 4,000 churches per year."
Filmmakers spent three years documenting a church that saw its attendance plunge by 90 percent.
"It was a heart-wrenching mash-up of societal upheaval, spiritual confusion and human conflict," Schultz said.
The film also looks at America's megachurch phenomenon, including a visit to Saddleback Church, which is based in Irvine, California, but has multiple campuses in the Los Angeles area.
"We will either have a breakthrough or a breakdown," said Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren. "We'll either have a third spiritual awakening, or America will continue in the slow decline of spirituality."
The film also features Red Eye, an unconventional Hollywood-based outreach. Red Eye is known for its humanitarian work in Los Angeles' low-income neighborhoods.
A preview of the film is available at WhenGodLeftTheBuilding.com. Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. film screening on Monday are available on the movie's website and at the Acme Theater the day of the film.
The film was produced by Group Productions, a Colorado-based media company.
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