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10 Reasons Even Committed Church Attenders Are Attending Church Less Often

10.9K Shares Facebook Twitter LinkedIn It comes up in a surprising number of conversations a lot. And no one’s quite sure how to respond to it.
The issue? Even committed church attenders are attending church less often.
Sure, the trend has been happening for years , but the issue has reached a tipping point in the church over the last decade.
I first wrote about this in a post called  7 Ways to Respond as People Attend Church Less Often . But the conversation persists and, to many leaders, feels much more urgent.
This isn’t a post about why people have left the church This is the first in a series of posts about church attenders who love God, appreciate the local church and are even involved in the local church, but who simply attend less often.
This topic comes up a lot, and some other resources that can help you do a deeper dive include:
John Mark Comer on Secular Salvation and Post Christian America
5 Ways to Embrace Infrequent Church Attenders
10 Predictions About the Future Church And Shifting Attendance Patterns
7 Ways to Grow Church Attendance By Increasing Engagement
This trend isn’t going away…in fact  it’s accelerating,
It impacts almost every church regardless of size, denomination or even location.
It probably marks a seismic shift in how the church will do ministry in the future.
Of course, church  attendance is   never the goal. But attendance a sign of something deeper that every church leader is going to have to wrestle with over the next few years.
The first key to addressing what’s happening is to understand what’s happening.
So…why are even committed attenders attending less often? There are at least 10 reasons.
If your church is at all engaging the middle class, the upper-middle class, or a suburban demographic, an interesting trend is developing. The middle class is shrinking, but as this New York Times report shows ,  it’s shrinking because more of the middle class is becoming upper class. Both US and Canadian personal disposable incomes are at all-time highs.
There are simply more affluent people than there were decades ago, which may in part explain why so many “average’ people indulge their obsessions with granite countertops, designer homes, and decent cars, even without being mega-wealthy.
Naturally, this leaves a huge theological void about ministry to and with the poor, but it helps explain what’s actually happening in the suburbs and increasingly with the re-urbanization of many cities as the affluent move back downtown. Please…I’m not arguing things  should  be this way. I’m simply showing that this seems to be what’s happening.
And again…people with money have options. Technology options. Travel options. Options for their kids. And, arguably, that affluence may be one of the factors moving them further away from a committed engagement to the mission of the local church. It’s perhaps fuelling some of the reasons outlined below.
A growing number of kids are playing sports. And a are playing on teams that require travel.
Many of those sports happen on weekends. And affluent parents are choosing sports over church.
Despite environmental concerns,  travel is on the rise , and most people are taking far more than the old standard of one vacation a year.
More and more families of various ages travel for leisure, even if it’s just out of town to go camping or to a friend’s place for the weekend or a weekend at the lake.
When people are out of town, they tend to not be in church.
Fortunately, more and more blended families and single parent families are finding a home in church.
So how does this translate into attendance patterns?
Church leaders need to remember that when custody is shared in a family situation, ‘perfect’ attendance for a kid or teen might be 26 Sundays a year.
Similarly, while the affluent might not be in church because of access to reliable transportation, single parents might not be in church because they lack access to reliable transportation.
So here’s the strange twist. People who have a car are often not in church because they have a car. People who want to be in church are often not in church because they don’t have a car or because it’s not their ‘weekend’ for church.
Sadly, people who want to get to church simply can’t.
By the way, I  lead a church  that virtually requires a vehicle to get there. I love how we often see people with reliable transportation helping out those who don’t have a vehicle. That’s at least a partial remedy to this problem.
With the rise of online church, social media, and so ubiquitous tech, there have never been more opportunities for people to access church without being there.
There are pros and cons to online church and there’s no doubt that churches with a strong online presence have seen it impact physical attendance.
But whether or not your church has online options doesn’t make the issue go away. Anyone who attends your church has free access to any online ministry of any church.
Online church is here to stay, whether you participate or not.
When I grew up, I felt guilty about not being in church on a Sunday.
The number of people who feel guilty about not being in church on Sunday shrinks daily.
I regularly meet people all the time who haven’t been in months but LOVE our church.
If you’re relying on guilt as a motivator, you need a new strategy.
People are looking less to churches and leaders to help them grow spiritually, and more to other options.
We live in an era in which no parent makes a visit to a doctor’s office without having first googled the symptoms of a child’s illness and a recommended course of treatment. Just ask any family physician. It drives them nuts.
Similarly, when was the last time you bought a car without completely researching it online?
In an age where we have access to everything, more and more people are self-directing their spirituality…for better or for worse.
Similarly, another characteristic of the post-modern mind is a declining trust of and reliance on institutions.
The church in many people’s minds is seen as an institution.
I don’t actually believe that’s what a church is. I think it’s a movement…not an institution. But many churches behave like an institution, and the post-modern mind instinctively moves away from it as a result.
People always make time for the things they value most.  If they’re not making time for church, that tells you something.
Even among people who say their love the church and who say they love your  church, if declining attendance is an issue, chances are it’s because they don’t see a direct benefit. They don’t see the value in being there week after week.
That could be because there isn’t much value . Or it could be because there is value that they simply don’t see.
Either way, failure to see a direct benefit always results in declining engagement.
So what are you doing or not doing that leaves people feeling like there’s not that much value?
When someone merely  attends  church, the likelihood of showing up regularly or even engaging their faith decreases over time.
At our church, I find our most engaged people—people who serve, give, invite and who are in a community group—are our most frequent attenders.
More and more as a leader, I value engagement over attendance.
Ironically, if you value attendance over engagement, you will see declining attendance.
All of these trends witness to something deeper. Our culture is shifting. Seismically.
Church leaders who fail to recognize this will not be able to change rapidly enough to respond to the shifts that are happening.
If you want more on how the culture is shifting, I outlined 15 Characteristics of Unchurched People Today  here and outlined 12 Cultural Trends Church Leaders Can’t Ignore in this post .
Change is unkind to the unprepared, so prepare.
If you want more on the future, here are 3 resources that can help you go deeper.
6 Disruptive Church Trends That Will Rule 2020
Louie Giglio on Why People Still Attend Live Events
5 Reasons Charismatic Churches are Growing and Attractional Churches Are Past Peak
These are 10 reasons I see for even the committed church attender attending less often.
Really looking forward to the dialogue on this subject over the next two weeks.
Before you leave a comment, remember, we’re talking about why people who love the church aren’t attending as much.
This isn’t the best place to go on a rant about everything that’s wrong with the church. I’ll have other posts about that, and remember, I love the church and am committed to us fulfilling our mission better than ever, even if that means radical change…which it likely does.
So what are you seeing in your church? Leave a comment!
Perhaps people who are engaged in the church slip in their attendance is because they lack patience. • They want to find their purpose, but struggle to wait on God’s plan for them • They want to share their testimony but are not invited to share or don’t know how • They would like to serve in an area where they believe they can add value, but the leadership won’t delegate responsibility • They we’re fired up but no one helped them stay focused, or encouraged them • They felt they didn’t fit in with the leadership of the church; felt left out I don’t know if this is the case for all churches. But I have seen others voice or share their discouragement with others. Hope this provides some helpful insight, from an engaged church goer to pastors seeking answers and solutions.
This is really sad. I hope we can turn this trend around and invite more people to the church just like how our active Pastor, Keion Henderson son.com/church-podcast does out here in Houston. He centers on preaching about the family that should have God in the center. His church podcast and videos are really worth the watch!
I recently heard an amazing talk about church attendance by D. Oaks. A link to this is provided below.
“Some say that attending church meetings is not helping them. Some say, “I didn’t learn anything today” or “No one was friendly to me” or “I was offended.” Personal disappointments should never keep us from the doctrine of Christ, who taught us to serve, not to be served.
President Spencer W. Kimball taught that “we do not go to Sabbath meetings to be entertained or even solely to be instructed. We go to worship the Lord. It is an individual responsibility. … If the service is a failure to you, you have failed. No one can worship for you; you must do your own waiting upon the Lord.”
We, of course, affirm that the scriptures, ancient and modern, clearly teach the origin and need for a church directed by and with the authority of our Lord, Jesus Christ. We also testify that the restored Church of Jesus Christ has been established to teach the fulness of His doctrine and to officiate with His priesthood authority to perform the ordinances necessary to enter the kingdom of God. Members who forgo Church attendance and rely only on individual spirituality separate themselves from these gospel essentials: the power and blessings of the priesthood, the fulness of restored doctrine, and the motivations and opportunities to apply that doctrine. They forfeit their opportunity to qualify to perpetuate their family for eternity.”
Listen or watch this whole sermon here: suschrist.org/study/general-conference/oaks?lang=eng
Christians, specifically evangelicals, are the absolute worst people. they use the bible to fit their own bias and focus more on who they hate than who they love. I stopped going to church because it has turned into a living fox news space. Christians are politically motivated, full of hate and spite for what they do not like or understand, and hold others to values they do not adhere to themselves. Modern Christians have very little in common with the teachings of Jesus. And the ignorance we see during COVID is a perfect example. They are starting to get more of the hate they continually dish out, and can’t handle it. Who wants to spend their time and energy around a group of hateful, two-faced, bigots? Deny it all you want. I grew up in the church and they are filled to the rafters with hate and divisiveness. They stopped being models for society long ago. Christians have morphed into a disgusting parody of themselves, and they are so egotistical they are not capable of taking a step back to see where they are going wrong. They worship Trump, who time after time espoused words against the teachings of Jesus. And they only did that because he was a republican. They wouldn’t extend the same “courtesy” to a “liberal”. And that is just the tip of their biased BS. It will not be in my lifetime, but the numbers are clear, people are getting increasingly fed up with the perpetual hate, lies, and manipulation. Not to mention the total lack of awareness.
Jordan, that’s a bullseye. I couldn’t have expressed it any better myself. Thanks for sharing; it’s important that others who are starting to see clearly what’s happening in their church realize it’s not their imagination and that they’re not alone.
“Christians, specifically evangelicals, are the absolute worst people. they use the bible to fit their own bias…”
The majority of the reasons why folks are moving away from church and staying home unfortunately is the ongoing causal effect of – Little Doctrinal Systematic Teaching”. Motivational and Inspirational Sermons has replaced teaching. Pastors and Leaders are enjoying having usually only one gathering a week to prepare for and leaving their congregations underfed and undernourished. Add to that the rise of false teachers and would be prophets what can we expect. Many of churches that have large congregations are listening to error regularly and the lack of true teaching prevents the distinguishing between truth and error.
All whites do this All blacks do that And all Christians do this…that would be the definition of a bigot….
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I love my church. I do not physically go because I do not feel well. Many times weather has been a factor. I don’t see it as a problem. Honestly, I am extremely short; hate to sit in front rows due to sensory overload. My home screen is so much better. Most churches are very family oriented, as is mine I am old and single and have nothing in common that would make me want to physically be there to actually see someone. They know each other and group together. Sometimes this is because of small groups, which I also have not been able to attend. Hoping to ramp up to Zoom. We have an online group starting in the fall. In any case, I would get up, get dressed, drive there, listen alone, and come home. Not working for me. The bible says not to forsake the assembling of yourselves together. However, they had no internet back then. I feel connected to those on line because of the internet. We are all one spirit of the church. We have a running chat box. There is immediate feedback as to what the pastor says. I feel more worshipful at home. I have candles near my desk, a cross, etc. Our church has actually grown due to online attendance. In fact, we are building up our online campus. I see nothing negative here. At some point, we may not be able to attend in person; perhaps this is training for the future. Just a thought. PTL for online. Another note: I can go to multiple services on Sunday by skipping the travel.
The great DL Moody said it best. The difference between listening to a radio sermon or going to to church: is almost like the difference between calling your girl on the phone or spending an evening with her.
did you even bother to read more than a sentence or two of Ms. Smith’s comment before replying to her? it’s not so much the quote itself, it’s the context in which you chose to use it. she pours her heart out with all the reasons she chooses to do church from home—yes reasons, not excuses—and your idea of good christian counsel is to toss out a brief quote that couldn’t be more arrogant, sanctimonious, and cold-hearted than if you had actually put some thought into it and were trying to make her feel small. i mean, are you really a pastor?
this post is asking for reasons why people are electing to not attend church. the attitude behind your thoughtless words might be a good place for you to begin thinking about an answer.
Christian or no Christian, who are we to judge or criticize? Peace thanks for sharing
I found her post very personal and endearing. I found yours judgmental and harsh. More and more people will transition to online and Zoom. It’s convenient. Going to a church building is nothing more than watching the backs of people’s head while listening to one man’s interpretation of the Bible. Where’s the intimacy in that?
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I didn’t see the reason I walked away from the Christian religion after 40 years and I believe it is just as important as any item on the various lists presented here. The reason I left is because the Christian religion no longer made any sense to me. I was in Evangelical Christian, raised in the Church of the Nazarene. Nothing happened, no disputes or disagreements or trouble with other parishioners whatsoever. I was just never that comfortable with the exclusivity of the religion; the whole ‘saved’ versus ‘unsaved’, ‘us’ and ‘them’ mindset…the longer I was part of it the less it seemed like anything even approaching love. I won’t go into all the details here or else my post will be quite lengthy. Long story short, I began to read books that had always been taboo inside the faith, for lack of a better terminology. I began for the first time in my life to understand there were other ways of being Christian, about 30,000 different ways if you measure by the number of denominations. It was a gradual exit over the course of time for me. Today I consider myself an atheist, at least in terms of the three Abrahamic gods. I am more than happy to talk about it if anybody wants to know more, but I will leave it there for now. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope all of you have a good and pleasant day.
Sorry to hear about your fallout. I also had my fallouts for some of the reasons you described. Yes the Christian faith and salvation is strictly exclusive but as I wandered into agnosticism I could not deny the supernaturality of our very being, the various recounts across the globe in the past and present of miracles or on the flip side encounters with demons, or the very personal spiritual moments I had. Yes, I felt bad for the greater portion of humanity because according to Christ they were damned for eternity should they die without accepting him and repenting. But I came to the point where I though, who am I to rewrite the rules? If by very personal encounters with Christ and the very miracle of my improbable high risk birth I knew him to be true, would my sympathy save a single soul? Was empathy towards the greater damned worth my own damnation? If Christ was the only key wouldn’t saving others be found only through sharing that key rather than throwing it away? I came back to Christ and the moment I came back to church I felt peace in my soul, love from my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, like a welcome home party of sorts. I know it’s hard to boil down your personal journey in a few sentences, and still there is much more in your path to be written. I’ll be praying for you, and remember that the prodigal son is always welcome back home. May you see the love of Christ you seek to find in increasingly visible ways.
Hey Beau, I am actually pretty interested in the “long” version of this post. Last week, in a small journal, I wrote the same point you made about the “saved” and “unsaved”. It’s 3:30am, so please excuse the vague and short reply but I really do wish to converse with someone, who isn’t part of my church, about this and other points.
Jonathan, feel free to contact me via email if you’re still interested. I’m at
Reading about your walk with Christ for 40 years is a blessing to me. But I’m very concerned about your reasons to leave the church and your faith.
Your personal discouragement with the Christian church, claiming the religion is nonsensical and the discomfort with the exclusivity of the religion is your criticism of God’s servants. I feel you looked in the wrong direction, Beau, instead of presenting your argument directly to God.
None of us are qualified to tell God what’s wrong with His church. Do you really think you’re grumbling what God doesn’t already know?
By boldy announcing your atheism you’re now misleading a couple of others who may agree with you in this forum. Beau, you can give consolation for slowly walking away from Christ but the truth is you’ve set a new foundation for your apostasy.
Sure, the church has many problems, you have yours and I have mine. My church family come directly to me if they have LOVE, obedience, doctrine, family, relational and grievances issues with me. I tell you the truth, I have also failed in reconciling with members and their concerns.
Did you go directly to your Pastor and have this discussion? If so, I don’t know if you dug deep enough with God.
God gets angry when His sheep grumble against the church and pastoral leadership. God gets especially angry with the shepherd when he grumbles against God’s sheep.
Beau, I’m strongly encouraging you. Nothing in your post is bigger than God that would justify walking away from Him with an attitude of atheism.
God’s Hand led you for 40 years. You made a profound impact with your family, and I have all the faith He can embrace you and turn you back in your walk with Christ and reconnect the foundation in your home and community.
I’ve made a decision to pray for you daily, Beau, and vision how God will lead you back to Him.
Your brother in Christ Jesus, Bob Eusebio II, Lead Pastor
Hi Bob, I typed out a reply to you but did so ignoring my own golden rule when composing a post or comment, which is to always compose it in a Note then copy and paste when done. As fate would have it there was a snafu in the works and when I selected Submit…zap zowie zoom and my words were shot into the cloud or the netherworld..,who knows. At any rate I will try again shortly. Thanks for your patience. ~ Beau
Christianity is not about being a good person. Its about realizing that you are NOT a good person, that you sin, or do wrong. ALL of us do wrong and sin in some way. When the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, we repent of that sin, or turn from it and stop doing it. All of us are created to know that God exists and that there will be a day of accountability, known as Judgement Day.What makes Christianity the most unique religion in the world is knowing that by acknowledging that we sin, repenting of our sin and believing that Jesus died on the cross taking the penalty for our sin, we are saved from eternal damnation and promised eternal life. Only the Holy Spirit can reveal this to you, but if you “knock” and “seek” the truth about Jesus Christ, it will be revealed to you. NEVER JUDGE CHRISTIANITY BASED ON THE BEHAVIOR OF OTHER CHRISTIANS.
“NEVER JUDGE CHRISTIANITY BASED ON THE BEHAVIOR OF OTHER CHRISTIANS.”
Totally in disagreement with you Irene. If the person claims to be a Christian, they wouldn’t act that way. Or follow people that goes against the faith. Christian’s and their behavior models Christ and the Bible. If you can’t tell the difference between Christians from the non-believers, what’s the point of being like Christ? Which is the main point of being a Christian. Be Like Christ. Philippians 2:1-11.
I would say that the number one reason people stop going to church is that far too many churches are more interested in growing their church than teaching the truth as clearly stated in the Bible. Why would someone waste their time in a church which includes a watered down message. “Just the facts Ma’am”.
We don’t want a 50 minute pep-talk. Just teach the Bible and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.
Excellent Mr. Volz I couldn’t agree more. The church has become irrelevant because it is. It stands for everything that bolsters it’s financial and/or social success and teaches the false gospel of man’s opinions of God and moral relativism. Therefore, the modern church stands for nothing but humanism.
As a society we are humanistically filled to overflowing through secular culture everywhere we look; we are inundated with it and needn’t seek out more by bothering to attend church.
All I see lately from the new Christian movement are people wanting to have everything in this life plus avoid hell and too many pastors attempting to be cool like false teacher Steven Furtick.
Sound doctrinal essentials of The Gospel of Jesus The Christ is being replaced by the new and improved Warner Bro’s nice fun tolerant and happy Jesus agreeing with us NOT we with HIM.
Where is The pursuit of The Holy Spirit in our churches? If The Holy Spirit isn’t in the life’s blood of a churches congregants, then when those congregants gather at a “church building” it will NOT be a church.
Pews filled with predominantly unsaved people makes counterfeit churches. Church without Christ is dead, unsaved church attendees are spiritually dead and bring spiritual death to every pew they sit in. Church without Christ is NOT Christian Church at all it is a DECEPTION.
The ONLY way to save the church today is for us all to repent for our sin of worshiping the world instead of GOD The Father, GOD The Son Jesus The Christ and GOD The Holy Spirit and begin again with The Sound EXPOSITORY Study & Teaching of The BIBLE.
I could be completely wrong but it seems as though your attitude or heart displayed.. since out of the mouth our heart speaks; is that of one that reminds me so much of Saul of Tarsus. Not to mention Peter in His attempt to up hold the character or will of God when he drew his sword to the soldiers ear. There were many zealots in those days too.
Its unreal how so many folks back then assumed they knew God and what it was that defined a follower of the God of the old testament. Who is the same yesterday today and forever, meaning therefore new testament an all. It was Gods word by the way; not yours not mine but that of One who clearly stated my ways are not your ways..
Or the very mind and heart of the person that stated He came to His own and they received Him not. That there are ways that seem right to a man but the end therein is destruction.. friend do you really believe that you and I or Steven furick or anyone for that matter are above the law? I implore you, harden not your heart. If I who am working out my salvation in fear and trembling taking every thought captive against the word of My LORD which I am not justified in boasting in save the very same grace and mercy that Christ alone provided at the cross and secured for His chosen elect from before you or I.. or the foundation of man.
So please just be careful. I’m the LORD but I couldn’t help to notice how you have plenty to say and contribute in way of intelligence of Gods Holy word and knowing who’s in Christ and who is not. I’m glad my salvation is not based on you and your works.. please just be careful to heed your own advice. Which by the way will fail to do more often than not. We will be constantly under this conviction if our hearts have been circumcised by Gods gift of Himself. We will know 1st hand that it is our flesh wars against the spirit.
You can be sure that Gods word will, will do well to cause you to decrease in order that He may increase. A born again child of God will have many so called thorns in the flesh.. but make no mistake! If our most profound thorn is not the indwelling promise of the spirit if Our Lords salvation, one will not grow more Christlike.. I believe instead they will grow to be more of contradiction to the heart and person of Christ.
I believe this is the the beautiful fruit that the Lord was generous enough to display in and through scripture. This is what one will come to know as once being a slave to sin but now is a slave to righteousness. But because there is and adversary and because our natural nature is not one to seek 1st the kingdom of God and His righteousness.. It is the grace if God and the power of the finished work of the cross that will keep us stayed in Him that we may grow more single minded and less double minded.
The reason that I am dissatisfied with my church is I feel that it has lost it’s values. How can someone claim to be Christian and follow Gods word and tell people from the pulpit to vote for a man that is on his forth wife, has affairs’ and sexually abuses women? How can he still stand behind that same man after Jan. 6? I have researched and found that most “evangelistic churches” still support Trump. It’s a scary world when people who should be trusting in God have traded God for a man that has no moral values.
Christianity has nothing to do with Donald Trump’s behavior. But could you believe that he does not behave in that way anymore? Would you want someone to judge you based on your own past behaviors THAT YOU DO NOT DO ANYMORE? No pastor should be pushing a particular candidate but Christians should choose people who most reflect their beliefs and values. For many Christians, the litmus test is abortion.
I don’t see how to post a comment, just a reply. The reason I stopped going to church years ago was because my marriage fell appart and I had to take a 2 jobs that involved shift work so I was always working. I couldn’t seem to find anyone who was willing to reach out to me. I kept trying to find friendly support but everyone seemed to ignore me. Maybe they didn’t know what to say or do. Eventually the exaustion and discouragement took over and I gave up. I learned new depths of what it means to be alone. My ex was having mental issues and somewhat hostile towards me whenever he could. It was a negative testimony to my children and they grew up not trusting church or God. They have moved off to college and are not believers now. I am re married and still trying to break into that church community even though covid prevents attendance, not that I would be able to get time off work to go anyway. No one checks in on me. It’s been years so I’m sure no one remembers me. A zoom bible study is available but no one is my friend. I thought about it and think maybe there is a stigma arround divorcees. I didn’t want the divorce. I had to leave and take the kids to keep them safe.
The first thing that came to mind as I read your post was, Why do you so desperately want to be part of a community/religion that has, through its inaction and apathy, shown it is not the least bit interested in you? How I answered that question in my own life made all the difference. In short, I couldn’t come up with one compelling reason. So I walked away from all religion and never looked back…and I have never been more happy and more enthusiastic in the way I choose to see and live my life. Honestly, you did your children a huge favor by not getting them involved in a system in which the only thing that matters is conformity to a ridiculous list of doctrinal statements that have nothing to do with reality. I would encourage you to find an online community of religion dropouts and get to know them, listen to their stories, ask questions. It works and you will be so glad you found out the truth before getting sucked back into the monster of religious conformity. Feel free to ask questions of me as well. I’m never happier than when I can help another loose the bonds of religious indoctrination and/or brainwashing, encourage them to think for themselves and see them begin to spread their wings and fly. ☺️
Hi Beau, I’m John from central Jersey I’m a believer . I left the baptist church Many years ago . I feel free to worship God with out a strict religion controlling my life. It’s all about mind control and power. I cant go into all the details at t his time. I’m writing a book about legalism and power and how dangerous it is. I’d like to keep in contact with you about this issue. you can contact me . John
pa I would like your opinion on some of my issues ty
P.S. – read some of the posts here like the April 5th one by Lynda Cosette. Is that how you want to be? I feel nothing but sadness, pity, for folks like that. ????
I read this post and thought there is another reason why a person leaves the church. I want to first say I do love the Lord, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. But the thing is how I’ve always been told is because of who I love I am condemned. I am a bisexual man, and I did what I was supposed to I married a woman. We have three beautiful children. I am a provider, I work long hours nursing, I spent all my free time devoted to being the best husband and father. What I received in return was physical abuse, emotional abuse. I went to church prayed for them and others not for me I would thank the lord for the blessings I had. This woman also kept cheating on me. I turned to the church, and told them I even took the the blame I was told as the man I was to be head. So I tried I went home and told her Sunday we were going to church. Got a knife held to my throat for telling her what to do. I ended my marriage after 302ing her after she slept with a man in our bed. But from there turned to men and you know what I’m not being abused but the church doesn’t accept same sex couples. So that’s it, that’s some of the reasons I walked away.
Mike, I don’t know how you were able to last as long as you did in such a horrible situation. I admire the courage it took for you to end not one, but two abusive relationships: the one between you and your wife, and the one between yourself and the church. While my circumstances were much different, I also walked away after a lifetime of trying to pound the square pegs of religion into the round holes of reality. Congratulations and I wish well on the next phase of your journey. Since putting the Christian religion in my rear view mirror life has been good…I have found the peace the church was never able to make good on. It wasn’t easy but I knew I could no longer go on fooling myself that Evangelical Christianity was in any way plausible when measured against reason and experience. If you want to talk just let me know and I’ll give you my email address. Best wishes, Beau
God gives everyone free choice. If you have chosen to ignore, disobey, disbelieve the Word of God that is your right, but you will “reap what you have sown”. Sexual perversion is an abomination to The Lord.
Beau, in response to your comment yes I would like your email. Thanks
hey there mike. i apologize for neglecting to respond to you sooner than this. my email:
Mike, I am trying to get my email address to you but it appears the web admin is no longer allowing me to post. I understand why they wouldn’t because I, too, once lived in the same fear-based system of religion that he/she lives in today. If one’s god cannot stand up to the questions and critique of an ordinary and unassuming man such as myself, what a pitiful deity they worship. Whoever reads this , please do not pray for me. Of the two of us, I am not the one whose eyes need opening.
My heart goes out to you! Heard a good saying : Don’t judge The Lord by His people. He knows your heart and loves you and will bless you no matter where you are or aren’t. Try to read your Bible each day and ask The Lord to send you some loving “brothers and sisters”. Don’t be discouraged.
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That’s not a doctor. What you are describing is a warlock, one most likely found in Middle Earth. Best of luck to you.
Even at church most women are so very stuck up to meet after the mass is over, when many of us single guys will try to start a conversation with them by just saying good morning or hello. WOW, there are a lot more very crazy and dangerous women nowadays unfortunately. Very obvious, why so many of us guys are still single today because of this. And even friends that i know had very bad experiences with these women as well. What in the world is wrong with women today? Oh i know, Feminism.
Dear friend, what I have been able to grasp is that mankind is and has been suffering from deception since the fall.. but take courage; look at how they treated Jesus and we can carefully admit that He was the last Adam or the last person earth who would mean us any harm. Yet look at how was treated?
The only thing I’ve learned from the power of Gods glorious gift of His gospel is.. He meant every word He said starting with its finished. He who the Son sets free is free indeed.. Free to continue to remain in Christ. We as Americans like I said have been conditioned to compromising this word freedom and opportunity, especially when it comes to our place in religion. This is that strain of deception I was talking about.
Take it from me, it doesn’t matter how you cut it.. pitch dark is pitch dark. So know matter what heaven allows to be thrown my way, I’ve always found that His promise of Himself has always kept me from caving in or coming off as a contradiction. The truth is I dont have to like it.. because it’s not about me. What I do like though is that no matter what kind of strain I’m under I am certain that were it not for Christ and Him crucified being genuine from day to day would be impossible.
Let’s admit it! Were terrible at taking care of anything, especially if our motives are self intrest or good intentions.. Friend there is much to be said about being careful to seek 1st the kingdom of God and His righteousness.. in order that the that He is referring to will be added.. may come to pass as He promised. So you see these faith and confidence and endurance type fruits will not manifest in your heart and mind unless you see this revelation 1st. It’s when we trust and simply decrease whether in good times or poor times. That God is! Working all things together for good! But His good 1st, ours is a shared experience that of His grace doing for us what we could never do for ourself.
Friend just walk by His faith and not by your sight or by your intellect and He will instruct you straight through this world. His yoke is easy and light. And why wouldn’t it be? He knows the end from the beginning. We do not.
Hello Guest: I would heartily suggest that you and a buddy organize a simple lunch event after Mass…right there and advertise it well. Starting a conversation with a stranger , I believe, is more easily done over ‘food’. Don’t use round tables…bad, bad for fellowship….and most unfortunately, it does sound like you have judged all young women by the responses…non-responses…of those ‘crazy and dangerous’ women. There are ‘ways’ to say hello…and there are ways to ‘never say hello’…. As long as these young women are stuck at the elbows with the others and …worst of all, standing in a circle…there won’t be much progress. Like I said, you need to alter the ‘scenario’. Organize espresso coffee and doughnuts for right after Mass…something must be able to be done here.
You describe a church filled with snobby wack females and you blame the feminist movement?
Think about what you said. It’ll come to you…just give it time.
I appreciate how you mentioned to include the existence of online church and sermons into consideration when trying to expand the church’s reach. I come from a broken family, as do most of my friends sometimes when we are visiting another parent from the terms of shared custody, I find it difficult to consistently attend church as much as I would like to. Online sermons help me as a person gain access to church wherever I am to keep me balanced and grounded. I’ve seen that there are some churches that offer youth conferences as a way to connect with the younger generation by helping them with age-specific concerns. I hope I am able to attend one of these conferences soon.
1st off excellent work on tracking or charting that came about through the generations. Those are super insightful realities. Going to keep it brief and right to the core, at your precise request. I believe there are many realities that are reasons as to why church going has decreased. But to carefully clear I think it would be genuine to start at Gods word that we may have a clear landing strip. And the LORD states that not all Israel is Israel. And as the tail end of your introductory petition stated, no one can add to the church save Christ alone… I believe that leaves direct accountability and conviction by all the proposed insights and points to self examination. And we as leaders have failed to live out our lives to where the bible is that of a mirror to that we might see if these things be so in us 1st from thought to thought and from day to day in order that God may have His good work come to pass, and this testimony is that which He alone as we agreed is what we will come to embrace or reject as His conforming us into the image of His Son. So basically I guess what we all have an opportunity to realize is.. when it comes to walking by faith and not by sight? We would do well to rest in the truth, that while we see through the glass dimly, God sees His church. Key word His church. And the fact is our ways are not His ways. But we can take great Holy comfort that even with all this being what it is, brokenness to the max.. Christ will build His church! And the gates of Hell shall not come against it. Which leaves us with just one question? Will we continue to chase statistics and paper trails.. while playing church? Or will we operate in the glorious Hope which has been set before us since before the foundation of man, and leave blood trail. Leaving a Christ like impression.. that where ever I am there He is also.
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Yeah. Again, like Willie Trunk, what you are describing is a Tolkien character, not a doctor.
One Lord one church Sure glad I have Christ as life in my mingled spirit You sound like those in religion. Witness Lee could guide you where you could receive Gods Life.Are you open or willing to be open to receive that which is of truth and life? Growing in Life,…..
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Another reason I didn’t see listed. As a result of having COVID and coding in the hospital, ICU for 6 days, and the complications that keep on giving, my wife is nervous about going back indoors for services. As a result, neither of us go, but instead go for the online option. I would prefer to go, but there is some trauma to be dealt with before that can happen.
Great article, Restoration church does three things and believes in Restore, Rebuilt, and Release. Restoring the right relationship of humans with god, rebuilding life through Making people understand that we are all unique and each of us has the destiny to fulfill and that we are made in the image and likeliness of God to change our world. Visit the website: storationchurchwichita.com
Great article, Pentecostal Life Church is the right place for you, where everyone will feel loved by God. They first met in a small meeting room on Highway 78 that soon the room filled up. After that, God opened the door to a bigger facility and made it possible for the work to begin. Visi the website: stallifechurch.com/
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There is no denominations in the New testiment. Constantine was the founder of this typ of religion. You can’t go to Church. The Church is those who have been born of water and the Holy Spirit through repentance. You share with those of like mind the joy of the Lord. You pray praise woedhip and study the word of God. This prepares you for going out and giving the good news to the poor. You return to your community and share your journeys wether it’s local or far.
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It starts with $ and ends with $. Every church SHOULD have the EXACT SAME MISSION: to “go make disciples…”. That’s it. But, for every thousand churches there are a thousand different missions. So, when a church strays from that mission which can be a accomplished in a thousand different ways inside the Jesus-style strategy we see from Matthew to Revelation, then they are left with keeping its church financially solvent. When middle class churchgoers become more affluent all a church needs to do is secure their regular contribution. Who cares if they continue attending regularly? Checking the offering box is all that is required. Sounds cynical. But, when the Church business is not run with The Great Commission as its ONLY mission, then keeping the church employees afloat is the chaff that remains.
I think you may have left out one other important reason for the decline in church attendance/religious affiliation – the Evangelical Christian right, their undue influence on politics, their disdain for science, their biblical literal-ism, their unreasonable anti-abortion stances, and their support of Trump and his administration. I have found these kinds of far right views in play even among some members of more liberal congregations. These kinds of beliefs seem to have become, more or less, the face of Christianity – at least in popular media and I, for one, simply do not wish to be associated with any of this. There is nothing more arrogant and foolish to me than someone who is convinced they know the mind of God simply because they have read the bible.
“There is nothing more arrogant and foolish to me than someone who is convinced they know the mind of God simply because they have read the bible.” That has got to be one of the most irrational statements I have ever read. It is true that one needs to read the Bible with a discerning heart; however, let’s be truthful, Jesse, you have never opened or seriously contemplated the Word of God. No wonder America is in a spiritual malaise! God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. You have no problem, Jesse, with the killing of 5000 infants, globally, per hour. May God have mercy on your ignorant, selfish soul.
Carroll in Jesse’s rant above, “The other important reason for the decline, in church attendance/religious affiliation – the Evangelical Christian right, their undue influence on politics” Not to mention, that every person on the planet has the responsibility to the next generation to impact political views to the moral improvement of our society. It is our Constitutional right. It is our moral responsibility no matter what religion. The reason people don’t attend are many. One reason is no one, but no one immediately calls them to see how they are, pray with them, relieve their burdens or barriers, lack of fellowship after church y way of meals at fellow parishioners homes, lack of play time between families, clicks in get togethers, the music department, not allowing certain “sins” that have been confessed and forsaken to be forgiven, by continuing to hold their oast over their head, by continuing to repeat their past to make sure they will never be able to enjoy their Constitutional right of life, liberty a d the pursuit of happiness. Gossip is sadly hugely effecting the hearts of our churches. We are sadly carnal. We are making daily choices to push God to the side while we do what we enjoy, forgetting to read our Bibles, daily confess our own sins, give to the poor, assist the elderly a d handicapped, provide transportation to the impoverished, educate the illiterate, care for children, reach out to our neighbors, be thankful, witness to all, etc. In doing all these, we should use every opportunity to share the Salvation message. If we’re merely meeting needs, that is all we are doing. Paul said he was guiltless of the blood of all men. All men. When we stand before God, we will have the literal blood of all we failed to share Christ with on our hands. It’s Biblical. Carey, you made many valid points. The point you made about leaving certain folks out of ministry is valid. If you treat someone badly long enough they will go away. We are described as the Bride of Christ for a reason. Every member is responsible for the joy and happiness of the other. If every church member would take the happiness, spiritual growth and welfare of every other member seriously as their biological family, churches couldn’t help but grow by leaps and bounds. Best regards!
Jesse, I say a hearty “Amen!” The white American evangelical church has been for a long time the enabler of America’s original sin – namely that this is a country which made itself great by trashing every other people on earth. The white American evangelical church has therefore refused to proclaim what the Bible teaches about social justice, and has failed to condemn the racist terrorism which has taken place in the United States over the last several years. The white American evangelical church is also the chief enabler of Donald Trump. They turn a blind eye to the ongoing murder of people of color and the violence against immigrants, including Trump’s separation of immigrant children from their parents at the southern border.
The author of this article claims that one reason for the decline of church attendance in the U.S. is that the society overall has lost its sense of guilt. But I say that it is the white American evangelical church which has shown no sense of guilt. These people are disgusting. After Michael Brown was murdered in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, I had Lutheran pastors coming up to me and telling me that they did not think that African-Americans should be protesting the murder. That was when I decided that I would never again attend a church run by white American evangelicals!
Shame, so you have nothing to bring to the table of reconciliation in other words.
This is such a beautiful work that Jesus Himself let’s us participate in. The beauty is in the power of His word. It’s not a battle of the intellect for the flesh profits us nothing. It’s like when Paul once reconciled to almighty God claimed to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified. He was schooled in a lot, but not in how to do this.. its intresting how instead Paul stated boldly how he considered everything dung in comparison to knowing the love of God. Paul knew the truth and the truth was sufficient to cover a multitude of sins. That it was because of Christ that Paul had knowledge of this greater love that more man knows then this.. the laying down of ones life for a friend. Listen He didn’t just preach reconciliation He was a slave to it. Being that poured out vessel in such a fashion that it was no longer him who was exalted but Christ! This was the work of reconciliation in Paul’s members. No one knew more then Paul what it was to be in the lime light, or to be confident and entitled.. that’s why he was able to crucify the flesh daily, taking every thought captive against the word of God. It was the full dose of being baptized in the spirit! Enabling him to choose righteously, to decrease, to follow, to trust, to serve, to love! To forgive to Hope! To share in the faith of a reconciling living loving Father.
My first question would be: Did those pastors tell you ‘why’ they thought that the African-Americans should not be protesting? Could it have been great concern for their safety? Also: Lutherans are not part of the ‘White Evangelicals’ that have given Christianity such a ‘bad name’. That ‘group’ does NOT NOT NOT represent the rest of us. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America does not use the term ‘evangelical’ in the same way. The Hypocrisy we have sadly seen in just the last four ‘Trump’ years from the White Evangelicals is horrific and very, very damaging. The son of Billy Graham, Franklin, is one of the worst. Those who are racist, msygonic, cheaters, adulterers, liars, in Spades…. are drawn to those with the same ‘attributes’…just don’t point that out to them. Trump did not create all these evils…but he gave validity and permission and support on a National Scale. There must be a place of Faith somewhere near you where you can experience some ‘love’ and ‘caring’ and far less judgment. I hope so.
Good post. While I’m not in the far right or far left Evangelicals should be able to express their views like anyone else, both faith and science together need to use caution not to go beyond their scope. Abortion is a personal decision and each person needs to express their view by writing their elected officials & voting. The Church can go too far on this by looking more like a voting block and less like a community o faith. If you are a Trump voter, Peloisi, Biden or Putin voter I don’t care as a person of faith, but I don’t want to hear a sermon on it. We can have coffee and talk. Popular media in the U.S. is mostly positional advocacy. I think the best anecdote to all of this is to learn and apply critical thinking, embrace your faith and love God, and be a super friendly ambassador to those that disagree with you. To me there are a few fundamentals that are essential; death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Everything else is up to you. Good post on your part. Never stop participating.
I have attended church for 66 years. It has been a loving, supportive and inspiring place for me and has helped me to be a better person, and a better citizen. In the last 20 years however I have become more and more reluctant to tell people who don’t know me that I’m a Christian, for fear they will assume that I am intolerant, racist rightwinged bible thumper. The bible isn’t the word of God. It’s man’s understanding of God. If I had been brought up in a loving supportive Jewish, Muslim, Buddist , I likely would have followed the faith of my family. Christ didn’t want to start a new religion. He wanted to share his experience and faith with peoples from all walks of life. He didn’t think people were getting the ‘point’ of religion. He lived in a cosmopolitan town on the silk road and was exposed to all kinds of faiths and philosophies. I have met many retired ministers who have bluntly told me they didn’t preach what they had learned in theology school or from their own personal growth. They frankly didn’t want to lose the grey haired in the front row. I think that’s how we lost the young. As a grey haired old lady myself now I stayed in the church because my parent’s stayed current and progressive in their faith. Faith that lasts is not repressive. God is love, radical love, difficult love. If it’s not that, it’s something else. It calls us to action in our personal and political life to be loving, caring and open to discussion.
I appreciated your words, Alison. Denominations?….man made, of course. The ethnicity of Norwegians, for example, was quickly woven into their ‘practice’ of their Faith….use Germans, British, whatever….doesn’t matter. And then we soon had, the Norwegian Lutherans and the German Lutherans and the Swedish Lutherans, etc….with their individual traditions woven in..which would be an expected occurance with ‘mankind. But some of those traditions get woven into the practices and you start to see division…because that is what WE do… and then we have all the different takes on ‘baptism’, Holy Communion, authority in the Church, etc. and soon those differences and standing up for one’s own preferences gets in the way of teaching what Christ told us to. I use Lutherans because I am one… My present church is ‘medium-sized’. We have always been strong in ‘help for the Community’…clothes, food, money, counseling, etc. And way back, we felt spiritually fed by Bible-based Sermons and in-depth Bible Studies. In the last decade, things have changed. I would fault weak leadership from Clergy and Lay Leadership..but there could be more. A few people formed an ‘Earth Team’…an admirable effort, of course. But continuous Sermons about ‘saving the Earth’ became annoying rather than uplifting for one’s Spirit for the week of life ahead. So many activities around … measuring the carbon in the soil in your backyard…banning the use of colored napkins at Dinners and Receptions…on and on. Information right and left for Seminars, Books, Discussions, Training, etc. about composting and planting only native species in our new landscaping, and more. Again: Admirable…but not necessarily for Spiritual Feeding. We called a Lesbian Associate Pastor…she got in only by 3 votes in spite of a vibrant personality. We lost families on this one. But then proceeded years until now of sermons on ‘Sexuality’ and ‘Fairness’ and ‘Welcoming the Gay Community’ and seminars, and books and meetings, etc. on that topic. Again we needed to learn all that….but we were drowning in it. Some Sunday’s I was a brat…and counted the number of times I heard the mention of the name of Jesus….We were not pleased with the results. The same person has us at protests on Immigration, ICE, BLM, etc….all very admirable….but we don’t feel that that is really DOING anything. We and others have found our spots for discipleship in other places, other churches and so it is. But if we are stepping away from teaching what Christ wants us to do…and what He wants us to NOT do…..I fear for the uprise of not feeling ‘guilty’…for anything. We have been inundated with that attitude in the actions of hundreds in our Politics, our Policing, our Government Officials. My lengthy outburst has ended and my lack of articulation may have given a skewed impression of my thoughts here, and my fears.
Reading the Bible is life changing – Its the unerring Word of God! Can’t recommend it enough.
It certainly changed my life…the road to atheism is littered with bibles that have been read cover to cover. I can vouch for that. ????
Your Blog is very good and I also have origination for people’s help. Your blog lines are readable. We help people because we know that people are not living a poor type. But restoration church is best to help peoples.
Carey, Is there an organization or help out there for a church that wants to use our sporting families to reach others for Jesus? Instead of blasting them and giving them a guilt trip about missing church, why not use them to reach others that ARE NOT IN CHURCH. And why does this seem like a unique approach? If there are all of these families out there that are not attending church on Sunday morning because they are in sports, then why don’t we stop trying to pop them out of their sports culture into our church culture? Why doesn’t the church go to the sporting games with these families. It seems like we already have many missionaries on the sporting field already, why are we not equipping them?
Yet, as Ive’ search the internet for help, I find nothing. Is no one doing this?
Brian, I don’t think that Carey is trying to “blast” families who are involved in sports, but I think he’s just directing us to realize that the reason why so many people don’t attend church is due to the commitment to sports. Our family has made the choice not to choose sports that invade on Sundays, but that’s a personal choice. I think the bigger issue is what you’ve brought up – which is – “How are churches working to engage those families that do have kids in weekend sports teams?”
Here’s a resource to consider that might help you: s.net/outdoor
There are a number of outdoor/sports/recreation ministries that serve churches or can be used by churches to support families in sports activities…. The church just needs to make it a priority.
I played sports as a kid all the time. We never had games or practice on Wednesday or Sunday. When I raised my children we never did this either. My oldest is 37 now. Why do coaches and sports team need this much time for sports. I believe Sunday is God’s day that we should spend at least part of it with him. If parents would boycott sports this would change. What is more important, your child’s eternity or their .01% chance of making a living at sports. God Bless.
Hi Brian, I mean no disrespect here, just giving a little helpful feedback as one who dealt with Sunday afternoon school/sporting activities when I was a young man. Had people from my church began inserting themselves into my planned activities it would have quickly gotten awkward. See, I had a choice between church and non-church activities much the same as families today. When faced with that particular quandary and the person/family chooses the non-church activities over sitting in a pew staring at the backs of people’s heads, it would appear they have let you know what their priorities are. Why not just let them be, let them enjoy their day without forcing yourselves on them. Not everything in a person’s life has to be about church. My two cents anyway. Have a nice evening. ???? ~ Beau
In our church we have seen increasing engagement over the last several years, and yet flat or declining attendance at Sunday worship services. Every week night our church building is bustling with activity – support groups, book studies, music groups – but Sunday worship attendance has not matched pace. Is this a general trend? What does it say about the nature of people’s relationship with the church… is it more transactional whereas worship attendance may seem less so?
I looking for some information when I came across your post. I find it alarming that you are completely out of touch as to why people leave. I have the blessing/curse of being the person who gets the last scream before people walk out the church door for good. The top two reasons are poor, unresponsive leadership and culture.
Poor Leadership: People have complex problems yet the leadership has no idea what to do. They look like a deer in headlights. One style is instead of inquiring, researching, and reach out to other members, who may know more than themselves, for help, they make decisions on high and expect others to follow blindly. The another is burying their heads in the sand, hoping this too shall pass. Culture: I have named them shadow people. These people thrive and benefit from the structure of the church. In turn, they use a variety of ways to exclude the undesirables, from social exclusion to outright ignoring their presence. The undesirables are suppose to take up space only, and somehow take responsibility for not “loving God” enough to be like them. They delude themselves as thinking they are growing in Christ while sniping others for not following their example.
After spending years being part of groups trying to be positive force for undesirables, taking their complaints and concerns to the poor leadership, I was treated terribly by not one, but two churches. So now I’m done. The church I grew up with is longer focused on saving the lost, healing the broken, feeding the hungry. It is about power; since the shadow people have managed to learn this in the church, they have taken this into the world. The next generation is gone; only by returning to service above self will the church survive.
It sounds like there’s a lot of hurt and disappointment in your story. I’m so so sorry.
That’s not actually what this post is about. This post is about cultural trends, but yes, you’re right…bad leadership and harmful leadership in churches is a factor. I’m so sorry.
I’m also sorry to hear you’re done. I hope you can find a place to heal and a group that embraces you. Here are some thoughts that might help: sponse-to-christians-who-are-done-with-church/
The true church believes in a god and prays for people. The true original church is doing helping people they have no food and clothes. The church organizes a charity for people who are poor. Restoration church equipping and releasing people to live a life that God has for them and also rebuilding lives through discipleship.
We don’t have members at Restoration Church, we have owners. Members expect privileges; owners share responsibility. If Restoration Church is a place you’d like to plug-in and share ownership in the work then we’d love for you to come along and be an owner here.
Underground where family or some friends meet are getting popular because people know mainline churches are buisinesses and apostate. Many are condoning LGBT, and basically churches today are social outlets with little substance. Some go online for study and Bible research.
That is so true. I have traveled too so many churches in my area and it’s always the same story. Weak on prayer, weak on Bible study, weak on Ministries. They are great places if you want to socialize with a little religion on the side. I haven’t found one church with a program for the persecuted Christians in the world, even if it’s just simple prayer. There are no advanced bible studies. Members don’t even know what a spiritual gift is let alone what gifts they may have. Many are mixing the spiritual beliefs of pagan religions so they can be more accepted by the society.. Church is more like the world than trying to get the world to be more like Gods church. Not a fan of the fallen church.
Catt Houser, thank you for your input. I am very homesick for a REAL church that follows Christ. My church is BORING, like you said nothing said about the persecuted Christians, but the pastor defends Muslims every step of the way. No Bible study. Very few young people. I am longing for a real church. I want to be close to Christ. Sadly I am closer to Him in my own home than in the church. No wonder church attending people are less and less.
It is the great falling away of the church. I have checked my whole county. I have tried to stir interests in the thing of God but it falls on deaf ears of a worldly Church. Like you … I’m staying home. There are faithful Christians on social media but they are getting shut down. Satan is brilliant. He is twisting the faith into a worldly one. The Church is still here but they can’t get spiritually nourished in these worldly churches. I see a church here and there that speak the truth …but…they never seem to have any ministries in the community. They are above ground but operate in an underground fashion. FEAR. No date setter for the Tribulation but it must be getting very close. With these weak churches not many people will be hearing the truth. Times are going to get bad quickly. Stay strong my friend. Christ is still on His throne.
I agree with what you said, Laura. One of the most offensive behaviors I have found in the building churches is that those who can afford to rush off to eat lunch after services in their little cliques, leaving the less fortunate to just return home. Why not a scripturally instructed agape meal. Greetings to newcomers are scripted and not even welcoming. The ministry is only concerned about income and they spend the monies on unbiblical programs and entertainment and not taking care of those in need.
May I RESPECTFULLY ask if “STEWARDS” would be a better fitting term?
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Back in the day as many would say, there were far less ‘things’ of interest. Today, there are so many ‘things’ that wants our attention, time and involvement. Therefore, time management is becoming increasingly more important. Back then when life was all about spending time with and visiting with family due to a lack of options or ‘things’ of interest. So many ‘things’ demand or attention and involvement . When Jesus walked the earth, they would congregate less often than every Sabbath day, could be due to the time it took to get to Jerusalem. The fact remains, Jesus were engaged more in ministering to the masses and person/s. I would say that we should consider doing the same. Spend less time in a building and more time among people, hoping ti influence their lifestyle for the better at least morally if not spiritually. I’m in the process of starting a church that would only attend church on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month and eventually only the 1st Sunday of the month, but would place more emphasis on life outside the church. Not attending church every Sunday does not decrease your spirituality or maturity, rather it will enrich your relations with your family and friends, by spending more time with them. Time is the key word here. People has not been created for the the church, rather the church has been created for people. Unless we cater for or make allowance for the needs of people, we will be left with no people in our churches.
Do you even read statistics? The middle class is not shrinking because they’re stepping up, they’re shrinking because they’re losing jobs to automation and joining the lower class, my god this is this is a poorly studied article…
This is the brutal indisputable truth!!! Here in the Seattle area if you aren’t enployed by Amazon, Google, Sysco, Microsoft or an upper level position at Boeing or a major defense contractors, you’re headed for a tent under a bridge. And the sick thing is, those people who ARE employed like these ways are going to die of heart attacks, stroke, drug addiction or alcoholism by the time they’re 40 from working 100 hours a week. This is all unsustainable.
This article is both poignant and thought-provoking. As a sports mother/grandmother, I concur with the fact that sporting events take place on weekends. My grandsons play football and basketball while my granddaughters are cheerleaders. The youngest granddaughter also plays basketball. Needless to say, our schedule is always challenging. One thing that I’ve noticed, however, is that how and what our children are taught about the value of the church is different than when I was growing up.
My father was a Baptist deacon and I saw him reading his Bible. He took me to church, taught my Sunday School class, and still made time for me to participate in community activities. Church engagement was all I knew. And it was fun! If you think about it, many of my generation changed the parenting paradigm. Many of us didn’t want to discipline our kids the way our parents did; attend church as our parents did, and the list goes on.
This culture shift is one steeped in rebellion. Think about it. Our nation was founded on the premise of religious and economic freedom. Now that we have it we have lost our proverbial minds. Our things are more important than our relationships, especially our relationship with God. I often hear, “God knows my heart.” Uh huh. “I know I should be in church but …”
My question isn’t why they’re not coming. My question is, “What are we, the church, doing about it?” Do we truly leave the 99 to find the 1? Are we really willing to go out and compel them to come? And lastly, “How are we presenting this awesome gospel?” Jesus spoke to people and met them where they were. He was relevant to the day. He met those in the synagogues, some on the mountain, and others by the lake. He was accessible. Many of our church leaders aren’t. You almost have to have a VIP pass to get to the pastor.
Please forgive the wordiness of this reply. But this is a very relevant issue that I’m grateful to see addressed, discussed, and prayerfully acted upon. I encourage any and everyone who reads this article and subsequent replies to pray and as the Holy Spirit to lead them in being the “living epistles.” I believe that we are called to be change agents, or what I call conduits for change.
I have an important question as a response:
If Christians are told to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth as by Jesus in Acts, why should we compel the world to go to church all the time when perhaps, Christians in church should be GOING TO THEM? If the only engagement of church to people is on Sundays via attendance, Western church has sorely missed the point.
I agree. Western preachers are just gold diggers. Jesus TAUGHT HIS MESSAGE FOR FREE! JESUS TOLD HIS DISCIPLES NOT TO CHARGE. IF PREACHERS BELIEVE IN JESUS AND LOVE JUSUS, THEN WHY WON’T THEY FEED HIS SHEEP FREE OF CHARGE? HOW CAN PREACHERS CHARGE TO SPEAD A MESSAGE JESUS TAUGHT FREE?
I understand where you are coming from, but please don’t lump every Western preacher in with the “gold-diggers.” My husband has pastored the same little church in the NC mountains for 13 years. When he started, he was paid $800/ month, hardly a fortune. Over time, as this article says, attendance has dropped to the point where there aren’t enough to comfortably pay him. We haven’t accepted a check in several years now, but he still preaches the same, is still there 3 times a week and still loves everyone the same. Not every preacher is in it for money.
You don’t have to go to church to meet fellow christians. You can read the bible with your family and pray daily. You can meet christians at work or at a fast food place for coffee or at the library…
Where there is a church, , it needs our funds for electricity, heat, etc. As your know Jesus had no specific building as he travelled by foot and graciously accepted food and lodging from his followers. But I agree Churches are run like a business. My little country church in Michigan, has a budget of approx. $ 240,000. Our leaders are very frugal with the Lord’s money.
I agree my husband pastored a church for whom he took 3 years of decreasing salary and then 2 years unpaid. He still preached every week and worked 65 hours a week. Not all pastors are “gold diggers”. Now the church is able to pay him a salary but I work as an unpaid administrative assistant 30 hours a week. Our 4 children, 2 who are adults give many hours and their talents to the church.
If Jesus didn’t take up a collection, where did Judas get the income that he was responsible for? It seems that money was involved. While the gospel message is free, a workman deserves his wages.
@john Please go back and read your Bible. Jesus did not collect tithes. The wives of some officials supported him financially. Also Jesus was able to tell a fish with money in its mouth to goi and be caught by Peter so the tac could be paid
Going to church is not meeting the Great Commission as you said above. We do go to the ends of the earth to bring the Gospel. However, Jesus made it clear for the believers to not stop meeting together for iron sharpens iron. God’s word preached to believers is our daily bread and living water, we get our fill and leave with it into the world feeding others. Church is where I go to be fed, sharpened, encouraged and to meet with my family in Christ. Then, I go into the world, teaching what I know and helping to add to the Kingdom not the pew. Hope this helps.
You miss the difference between Christianity and Churchianity . Jesus can be seen as promoting the first and opposing the second. We were Minions impressed to promote the second, and see the results as a lack of the first.)
Because, it is the character of our spirit that will count; not whether you’re blue or red, not whether you are male or female, not whether you are Buddist, Christian, Catholic, Jewish, Japanese, Chinese, Islamic, American, Russian, German, French,…it won’t matter.
Thank you, Church-plant Patti. I totally agree with you. I appreciate your comments and your passion for souls is reflected in your post. We do need to go back to taking soul-winning more seriously. We should be more concerned about others coming to Christ and less concerned about ourselves. Another reason why I think church attendance is decreasing is because there is a dry spell in the area of intimacy with God. Many of the people of God talk to God for a few minutes but don’t, necessarily, reach the throne with their prayers. Additionally, We’ve forgotten that prayer is communication with God. Therefore, we are doing all of the talking and wont sit still long enough to hear what He has to say to us. Everything in life now is rushed, rushed, and hurried. That also includes our prayer times. We can find all of our answers to our personal problems, and church problems in the presence of the Lord. The less we pray, the less we lift Him up, even in church services. “If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me.” Sadly to say that our love for Christ is not the same either. Remember the scripture that says, “With love and kindness have I drawn thee.” If we love God AND the unchurched right the unchurched will be drawn to the church having a thirst and hunger for Jesus Christ. Thank you again for sharing your take on why the church is unable to keep or increase church attendance.
“Soul-winning”? What a weird and creepy thing.
YES! So true, and so every spot on…thank you.
@Tired of the Games I can identify with your reply. I am tired of tithing. “Giving to us is Giving to God”, the church leaders claim.
How come the picture at the top of the article is some baseball-playing kid grabbing his butt?
Please look more closely. He is ‘resting’ his left hand in a position to help propel him when he is ready to run.
“Your Mother” The child in the photo is preparing to advance to the next base. He is in position….
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Found at a corner on Mohammed Ali Road, this location has two doors. When you get inside of and go up, there seem to be rooms following rooms just after rooms. It is all  perplexing, but just let the waiters guideline you. As soon as settled, consider some time to take a look at the menu. There are exceptional “Tawa-taka-tak” goods and “Raan” dishes. You can get a crack at paya soup, seekh kebabs, chicken tandoori and chicken afghani. Seekh kebabs are superior. The tandoori rotis are exceptional. They also have destinations where they serve other things like snacks, faloodas, kulfis etc.
It makes my heart happy that people are starting to evolve out of religion. Part of the reason I don’t get to see my daughters is because of the immoral doctrine of god. Religious people sit on the shoulders of jesus and think they can get away with anything. THAT’S WHY US AFFLUENT…or what we call intelligent PEOPLE AREN’T GOING! The most “evil” things that have been done to me and my children are by christians. And hopefully someday we can get you losers out of the family courts so we can start repairing some of the damage you’re doing.
The reason I personally find church attendance and involvement difficult now is because I’ve had enough of a ‘gospel’ which is, when analysed, much more about man than about God. To me, it’s a morass of ‘self-theory’, existentialism, experientialism, activism, pressure, competitiveness, ‘celebrity’ leadership, domineering and intrusive ‘leadership’ and powerful ‘teaching’ which I find, to be honest , mostly shallow, ignorant and childish. Different versions of ‘end-time’, future and ‘millennial’ teachings have become central points of division, and the simple belief in the return of Christ has ceased to be the common hope which would give us true fellowship. The “Spirit of Truth” which Jesus sent seems to me to be mostly absent at present. What we have is actually, I think, a real leadership crisis! I do find the 1662 Book of Common Prayer useful along with the writings of teachers such as Henri Blocher!
Churches should switch to a different model that is biblically aligned. see My Dream Church sites.google.com/site/mydreamchurch/
The current model for pastor directed churches says that the senior pastor is the priest – this is Old Testament. The New Testament model that churches should follow, says Every Believer is a Priest.
1. Structure: the structure of My Dream Church is based on the New Testament ‘Body Of Christ’ model and not on the Old Testament hierarchical model. 2. Anointing: Every believer is a priest in the new covenant. 3. Biblical: submission to the Word in My Dream Church will be at a higher level than submission to leaders 4. Leaders should have secular jobs: 5. Finances: Giving not Tithing. Transparency in finances 6. Praise and Worship is congregational: 7. Looking sideways : 8. Women are not silenced:
This model is not original and is old – but it is appropriate for the megachurch and also for the persecuted church.
This is a very good post which I really enjoy reading. It is not everyday that I have the possibility to see something like this.
What about chronic illness and mental health issues? As these issues rise on our society, we see people struggling to attend as regularly as they would like.
The size of the church communities that are above the amount a Pastor can reasonably manage is the problem. The lack of family and spiritual intimacy automatically motivates every Christ follower to search for the loving Christ filled community they need to grow their faith and encourage worship. The attendance is not an issue. It’s the value of smaller communities that needs to be addressed. Having more members than the leadership can handle , encourages Christ followers to rely more readily, eagerly and fully on their personal relationship with God which is why they leave the church.
I have given up on church. I was single for a very long time and tried and tried to find a church home that I felt comfortable in. No one knows what to do with singles in a church. And there are a lot of single people out there. Why go if you don’t feel welcome or that you belong there? That experience led me to question my faith alogether. I’m no longer a believer and I feel free.
I am leaving my post, as a reply because it wouldn’t work otherwise! Anyway, I disagree with on line church “becoming mainstream”. You failed to mention one of the best things about going to church- the FELLOWSHIP! In the early church, people met, shared, and broke bread everyday together. The friendship, support, and love one gets from going to church regularly is unmet on line. Nothing will ever come close to it. I believe what we are seeing, and where the future of church attendance lies, is in small churches. Which is more like the early church! I live in the Bible Belt, and have seen hundreds of small churches pop up in the last decade. Just like Christ word will stand forever, so will the church, and it’s fellowship. Which can’t be met in any other way, than regular attendance. Thankyou. God bless.
I’m in agreement that small churches are more about the people instead of the mega speaker who needs an enterage? And no speaking with such a leader ,it seems as though the list of people to go through just to make an appointment. I had been a member over 13years the leader had heard of me being seen by a psychologist and rather than someone reaching out,I was told that if my faith was stronger and I didn’t have sin in my life none of this would have occurred.I was told I wasn’t spiritual or holy enough and I should find a church whose pastor would have Sunday dinner with my family.I was told I no longer was welcomed.What I couldn’t understand, no one reached out to me,but I heard in the Sun service,should we meet any ladies still dressed from the previous night,we were to welcome them,be kind and not disrespect them. I stopped going to church because I was told I wasn’t good enough to be there.
The reccepy to kill fellowship, involvment, attendance is to allow church politics. E.g. you hear it preached from the front that God has given you talents. You come to realise you have some. You have used them in various ways and been happy to share and weren’t averse to working in a team. But then, for the bits you are asked to do you get no support and are hung out to dry. Then you are told to give it up because a very liked by the pastor person, who is a confirmed oneman band wants it. You feel discouraged, not least because you realise that you weren’t worthy of support emails, nor even has the decency to inform you a change that affects you has been made.) You start to struggle going to church. That affects fellowship, that affects outreach, that affects appetite for spiritual things. It is worth to remember: God limited His means to people. They are his hands, feet, witnesses. Does what you say and do as His ambassador give a message that God does not love somebody? The other thing worth thinking of is: Loving with due care and attention. Let not your negligence be the cause of spiritual life changing injuries to a fellow believer
This accurately describes the church I used to attend regularly in ND. Plus this church allows this creep to stalk me in church. My feelings do not matter.
These words fit this church to a T, “But then, for the bits you are asked to do you get no support and are hung out to dry. Then you are told to give it up because a very liked by the pastor person, who is a confirmed oneman band wants it. You feel discouraged, not least because you realise that you weren’t worthy of support emails, nor even has the decency to inform you a change that affects you has been made.)”
I hurt so much from the way I have been treated by these people. Sometimes I want to die.
I agree, because I enjoyed the fellowship, too.
I agree. Western preachers are just gold diggers. Jesus TAUGHT HIS MESSAGE FOR FREE! JESUS TOLD HIS DISCIPLES NOT TO CHARGE. IF PREACHERS BELIEVE IN JESUS AND LOVE JUSUS, THEN WHY WON’T THEY FEED HIS SHEEP FREE OF CHARGE? HOW CAN PREACHERS CHARGE TO SPEAD A MESSAGE JESUS TAUGHT FREE?
What if you aren’t feeling the “fellowship” part?
Well my husband an I attend online church and it has been nothing but a blessing. When you’re unable to find a church that is bible believing, bible teaching, not afraid to talk about sin, tell people to REPENT, than its time to simply look elsewhere. We happened to find it online and very happy we did. We rather go online than to sit in a lukewarm Godless church .
I AGREE. IN MY CITY IS JUST FASHIONABLE TO GO TO CHURCH! THEY HAVE NO INTENTIONS TO REPENT OR SERVE JESUS CHRIST. THEY GO TO HEAR THE CHOIR, THEY SAY… GO FIGURE. A BUNCH OF DEVILS. BIBLE SAYS SATAN WILL INFILTRATE THE CHURCH. JESUS SAIDVIF YOU GET INSIDE A STRONGMANS HOUSE IS THE ONLYBWAY YOU CAN DESTROY IT. LIKE WISE SATAN GOT INSIDE THE CHURCH AND USES ITSVPREACHERS AND WORDLY FOLKS TO DESTROY GOD’S HOUSE.
I agree. Western preachers are just gold diggers. Jesus TAUGHT HIS MESSAGE FOR FREE! JESUS TOLD HIS DISCIPLES NOT TO CHARGE. IF PREACHERS BELIEVE IN JESUS AND LOVE JESUS, THEN WHY WON’T THEY FEED HIS SHEEP FREE OF CHARGE? HOW CAN PREACHERS CHARGE TO SPEAD A MESSAGE JESUS TAUGHT FREE?
That’s a lame excuse not to go to church. You’re right, the Gospel is free and no one charges you in church! The basket is passed around for those who know the Word well enough to give so others may have. Muslims give 45% to their own mosque and never help in disaster events unless it’s their own religion. I have a best friend that is Muslim and she laughed when I told her we Christian’s give 10% to our church. She said her mosque would only help people if the mosque knew they could be converted. The Word of God is free and obviously your reply shows you don’t read it. You’re ignorant to the word of God. That’s not your fault but your responsibility as a believer, if you are even that. If you need a Bible they are available, even for free.
@Rose it is you si are ignorant. They don’t just pass around a basket. They demand that you give 10% of your gross income.
Lisa boyce, since you attend an online church would you be willing to help me? My husband pastors a church that is bible believing, bible teaching, not afraid to talk about sin, tell people to repent, which some get upset and then attend online church. However, then they come back when they are in the hospital and want a visit and our last 3 funerals they expected a full service pastor include the church ladies to provide lunch. We are a small church and resources can be very limited. We still visited the sick, fed the family, and loved them in their time of need even though they attend an online church. What is the online church attenders responsible to their brothers and sisters in Christ who love them this way? Or are we just here in an emergency?For me it is getting difficult to serve since I’m starting to feel used by them for the convenience of sleeping in . My concern is if people always take but never give time, talents and resources we won’t be here for when they need a free building, free food and service. My experience has been online attenders want all the benefits of a fellowship of believers but none of the sacrifice to be in community with real people.
As corporate worship attendance is dropping, I winder if there is any studies that say rather this has also decreased people personal worship….Their personal devotion and prayer time with God? Like to know since I am in charge developing discipleship at my church. I think this tend is increasing a lot due to the fact that the church has concerned itself with so much of the harvest that it hasn’t done a great job of apprenticing disciples or other people to lead. Jesus says the harvest is plenty and laborers are few. If we as a church would get better at apprenticing people at where they are at to do church or be the church means of more value than the institution. Meaning my barber was done with church due to the stares and glares from what he has in his shop. Since I have been going there, he has welcomed me to come and have studies at his shop. As a Marine, we use to say we aren’t doing our job till we’re deployed and I think that’s what Jesus is wanting us to do. As a pastor I know it’s hard but sometimes people don’t want to come to church but they are willing to have coffee and met with me personally.
I love your comment. You make a very valid point.
And, which one feels less rehearsed, and more like a conversation?
I have found that there is a clear distinct difference between “Christianity” and “churchianity”. It may surprise some of you to know that the Lord never commanded us to build a building. Instead, He said that “We” are the temple. He commanded us to go out and preach the gospel. Am I against a building to gather? No! But if you are not going out then “Yes!” I live in a country, Japan, that has less than 1% Christians. I can not and should not expect people to walk into a church building. Instead, we have to do ministry like Jesus. Meeting people in their house, at the market place, train stations, schools and even in their temples is what me and my family do. We need to focus on Christianity…not churchianity. Christianity is doing church like Jesus did. Churchianity is doing church with human ideals. Church is not a place we go to. IT’S WHO WE ARE!
I am in agreement regarding the present impact and status of “the church” in the arenas of life that pertain to “all things churchy”. The Ascension of Christ to HIs Father was only the beginning of all that Luke described in Acts. It wasn’t a formula that just “gets us to Heaven.” It is the living, vibrant, Spirit of that same Christ that He infused in us to be living vessels overflowingly full of Himself in Acts-driven Christlikeness that is the ONLY way to live Him out before the world in each of our lives by activating those gifts that heal, speak in Holy Spirit-led languages, prophesy, deliver Spirit-filled ‘Words of Knowledge’, ‘Words of Wisdom’, activate the Holy Spirit in the miraculous’ the presence of the Holy Spirit within each one of us that the Acts-revival will begin again. I have seen the spiritual gifts in operation in my own life according to those listed in 1st Corinthians 12!
Our Lord gave churches a report card, so to speak, in Revelation ch. 2-3, and he had a lot to say to the churches of antiquity, and it applies to our times as well. His feedback centered on whether the churches were doing the kinds of things that revealed the desire to further HIS kingdom. I think if we’re really honest we should look at ourselves and our churches in this light and if we were doing the things we should do, then the fellowship of believers would be more in line with how Christ would want to see it, and that’s all that should count. If we really were acting as his hands, eyes, ears, heart, etc., then it would no longer be about ‘us’ and about HIS kingdom. But, imperfect humans that we all are, we tend to make it about us. Spiritual warfare 101.
I recently read a book about “deceased churches” and it also completely left out the passages in Revelation where God says I will remove your lampstand. There is a mention of lack of personal prayer. Which is good because Jesus said “My house will be called a house of prayer, but you..” Wht we all cancelled Wed night prayer meeting? I find it frustrating because I keep telling the pastors we need a dedicated prayer meeting. The last time we talked about this they said that there are people who see intimidated to pray putt loud and that is why we don’t! Strategic error imo. Finally I think it was a huge mistake to let Bible doctrine become..whata the word? Irrelevant? Optional? The bible passage is posted on the overhead and none of our children see us even carrying out bible anymore. We avoid the topic of creation. But if you actually study Creation and evolution there’s really no contest. I hired a friend’s daughter recently. She grew up in our church and now considers herself atheist. But she was very polite. Finally she mentioned my beliefs avid I asked her about evolution. She said she believed in evolution. So I challenged her. If you go to Google and type ‘prehistoric demography’ an article from wikipedia will pop up. If you click on that it will bring up a paragraph called ‘hominid population estimates’. This paragraph is incredible. People believe in millions of years because they think that somany more individuals lived over that time. But not if you look at the numbers! This paragraph says that from 4 million years ago until 200,000 years ago the total number of hominids over that entire time was…10 billion. That’s all! We have 7.8 billion alive right now. Back then populations were so low – about 50,000 on average – that it took about 40 years for 100,000 hominids to be born. We have 100,000 being born every day. And. when we do have any type of mutation it’s always BAD. Rare Disease websites will drive this home A friend of our family has Angelman Syndrome, where on some gene the child had 2 copies of dad’s gene rather than 1 from mom and 1 from dad. There ere multiple problems including muscle problems and inability to speak and walk. Another friend was born with a rare generic defect. It affects her eyes, teeth, muscle tone, learning, her feet and her back. We need to address life issues and current issues biblically.
What I am hearing again and again in this comment section is a Western cultural mindset that we cannot recognize has so deeply grasped the Christian community. Spiritual Community/Church is something God ordained for you. It is not perfect and has it’s problems but you approach on God’s terms not your own. We are consumers and we like options, that is why attendance is down. If we were not so free in this country and spiritual community was a rare commodity, maybe our desire to be with the people of God would be so very important to us. Since we have different church options, online options, podcasts, books and streaming sermons from all of our celebrity pastors, why in the world should be plod off to our little community church? It’s not about getting your needs met, it’s about the one-anothering. You can’t do one-anothering listening to a podcast. How very American of us. Sigh.
cover-ups and lack of accountable oversight, are a crushing blow to the church governance. With church attendance in rapid decline and skepticism in religious institutions increasing, recent revelations about the behavior of
Even though this post is 3 years old, I definitely want to weigh in. I love the church, the body of Christ, but I am struggling with Western church, the institution right now. I have 2 graduate degrees from seminary and am starting a 3rd in Christian apologetics. I know all the reasons I need to remain connected to the local body and long for that healthy connection, yet we have been without a home church for almost a year now. We moved to our area 8 years ago, and it took us 6 months to find a church home. We were in that church for 3 years, and felt led to join a small church plant that was engaged in heavy outreach ministry in our city. That experience led to some startling and deep wounds through spiritual and leadership abuse; a story that does not bear repeating here. We returned to our original church, worked through forgiveness, and there we stayed until last year. First, I had always struggled because our church was an AG church and there are certain AG tenets that I find to be extrabiblical or not scripturally accurate, and that continued to present a stumbling block for me. Second, there was increasing compromise in areas of leadership and a lack of sound financial stewardship, and these factors together resulted in our search for a new church home. I am the hindrance in this search more so than my husband, because while I do full understand and realize that the church is full of broken and fallible people, and that no church is perfect, it seems difficult in our geographic area to find a doctrinally sound church that is committed to teaching the explicit Word of God and engaging in genuine discipleship. These churches do exist, because we have been part of them before in other states. We have even found several through visiting with friends that are about an hour away that fit the description- but that distance does not allow for the purpose of the church- to be engaged in daily community and discipleship, bearing one another’s burdens and celebrating one another’s victories. So, while I am definitely not “church shopping” as a consumer minded attendee, I am struggling to find a local church with solid foundations and doctrine, and I do not think the importance of that can be dismissed. I am still looking, as we have not visited every single church in the area. The weight of the burden of NOT being in church is keenly felt in our home.
It sounds like church shopping because it is. Don’t find anything wrong at all with that description. Everyone does it to some extent, whether you are shopping until you feel lead to become a part, or you call it shopping until you think you fit in or have something to offer. With respect, I think we over spiritualize in the church too much and this is one thing that turns many off. We need to be bringing our hurts, hang ups and problems to the loving arms of people in the church who will love us and who in return we can love. I think the church has been way too busy being spiritual or “Christian”, to the extent that non Christians dont even understand the language we use. Christ talked to people about their problems, even His own as he faced the end in the garden and asked His disciples to pray for Him. Attend a few ALANON meetings or AA meetings – incredible human intimacy, love and forgiveness.
Yes I TOTALLY AGREE!!! I cannot seem to connect with anyone at my current church and the teen youth are always talking terribly behind my daughter’s back. Back to church hopping and I hate It! I so want to belong to Godly Loving church that feels like family instead of a dreadful place to go each week.
Debbie, I was a part of a Christian church for decades and loved them like family. I was coming from a Catholic background but when I got saved I felt God told me to leave the Catholic church I’d attended all my life. That’s when I started attending the Christian church I mentioned above. Anyway, it was going great the first few years. There was good fellowship and worship and the Word was always preached. But over time the church got dry and cold and leadership methods changed, though the head pastor remained throughout the entire time, and I noticed the word was getting watered down and it was starting to look no different than the Catholic church I’d attended when I was growing up. I kept feeling the Holy Spirit wanted to do more, but the human leadership was so afraid of that they suppressed anything the Holy Spirit wanted to do, almost like they were trying to keep us, and even the Holy Spirit, “in line”…..if it didn’t fit in their “box” it wasn’t allowed and even discouraged. I’m not talking about anything weird or flaky, it was more like what happened to the believers in the book of Acts. I tried talking respectfully to my pastor on two occasions but he didn’t agree so I let it go. I respect the pastors authority. I stayed a few more weeks. Then, God said to wipe the dust off my feet and leave. Now about 5 years later, the once thriving church I knew when I first started has closed it’s doors and is no longer, and the pastor and his wife have retired at relatively young ages. This was once a church that was touching the community in positive ways. And now, it’s gone. I so much miss the fellowship there. I’ve tried other churches but my area has a strong religious atmosphere, I try, full of hope the next church will be a good church, but I can’t overlook the fact that it’s not. At one church the pastor, supposed to be a Christian pastor, mixed Christianity with New Age phrases and teachings, and did it more than once, so I had no choice but to leave, in spite of the fact that I was determined to make sure I was correct before I just left. The scary part is a lot of the same people there back then, are STILL there, and these people claim to be Christians. So week after week they’re hearing the bible, with a little bit of New Age mixed in, and they don’t even know it enough to leave.
My beloved sister, I hear you loud and clear. This isn’t just an AG issue. It’s a heart issue. Sometimes we can become so dogmatic about “what saith the LORD” that we forget about the spirit of the word. In other words, we concentrate so much on the letter that the Spirit of God cannot and does not have free reign in the hearts, minds, and ministries of many of today’s church .
What is your situation now? Have you found a church home? If not, what is the Holy Spirit speaking to you about where you are to fellowship?
During my journey, I went from church to church. I wasn’t looking, I was sent. And if I may be honest, I didn’t want to go. I was comfortable in my Baptist church. But that’s another story. There are times that God will cause such a hunger and thirst after HIM that we become uncomfortable. It’s like gaining or losing weight and nothing fits anymore. In our search for healthy, synergistic and godly relationships, we have a tendency to move based on our feelings or our thoughts man instead of the Spirit.
I’ve been at my current ministry home for 11 years now. Who would have thought?! I prayed and asked God to plant me where HE wanted me to be. Believe me, I tried planting myself and it didn’t work very well. Be encouraged, my sister. You will find that place where God has made room for your gifts and your heart. His word says that your gifts will make room for you and bring you before great people. That may not look the way you think. It just might be outside of the traditional box, but it will be just for you.
What do you consider spirtual abuse?? I believe my current church has this and feel that we will leave eventually but want to make sure we are leaving when God says to leave and not out or emotions.
Thanks to

Best of Des Moines

Every year, Cityview holds its Best Of Des Moines contest to honor those people and businesses that are doing things right in the community. The awards have grown even bigger this year, with new categories and thousands of voters sharing their opinions on everything from the Best Onion Rings in Des Moines to the Best Outdoor Live Music Venue.
The Best Of Des Moines awards recognize the hard work of those who strive to make the Des Moines metro the great community it is today. With innovative ideas, strong leadership and unique skills, these people have made a difference — and our readers show their appreciation for that year after year with these awards.
Using local ingredients for each dish and local reclaimed wood for the building and foundation of the restaurant, Eatery A is dedicated to Iowa and its patrons. They boast delicious Mediterranean food and a fantastic happy hour with half-off pizzas, beer and wine every day before 6 p.m. It’s no wonder our readers can’t stay away. 2932 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines. ; www.eateryadsm.com.
Runners-up: Malo; RoCA Best Family Restaurant
At first thought, it might seem odd that our readers chose an undead theme as the Best Family Restaurant in Des Moines. But when it comes to food that satisfies guests of all ages, Zombie Burger really has the edge. From its gourmet toppings on burgers to the cereal-infused smoothies, kids and adults both love it. 300 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines. ; www.zombieburgerdm.com.
Runners-up: Jethro’s BBQ; Tursi’s Latin King
Best Kept Secret on the Restaurant Scene
Sometimes it’s hard to find good spaghetti outside your own kitchen. Even the best Italian restaurants won’t make it the way you usually like it, and it never really seems worth the price. That’s not the case at Marino’s Italian Restaurant, as the voters point out by naming it the Best Kept Secret on the Restaurant Scene. They promise you’ll never be disappointed with the food here — even the regular spaghetti. 5801 Hickman Road, Des Moines. ; www.marinosrestaurant.com.
Runners-up: Cooper’s on 5th; Flying Mango
Some words of advice: stop settling. It’s time to up your food game, and stop having the “I don’t know, where do you want to go?” argument night after night. That ends now, because Centro is here, and the people of Des Moines think it’s damn good. From wine and cocktails to pasta and dessert, everything wins at Centro. 1003 Locust St., Des Moines. ; www.centrodesmoines.com.
Runners-up: Zombie Burger Drink Lab; Jethro’s BBQ
Whether celebrating a birthday, promotion or just a Saturday night, Cityview readers says Centro is the place to go for an elegant meal in an outstanding setting.
Tile floor: check. White tablecloths: check. Fine wines and expertly set plates: check and check. Centro goes above and beyond to bring fine dining to the heart of Des Moines, and the readers would like to recognize it. 1003 Locust St., Des Moines. ; www.centrodesmoines.com.
Runners-up: Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar; Django
If you’ve been around Des Moines for a while, you probably know George Formaro’s name. If you haven’t, this ought to help: He’s the creative mastermind behind Centro, Django, South Union Bread Café, Gateway Market & Café, Zombie Burger and Malo. It’s safe to say this man knows a thing or two about good — make that great — food.
Runners-up: Tom McKern–Zombie Burger Drink Lab; Sam Auen–Tacopocalypse
No one likes sitting for long periods of time with empty water glasses and a dry wine glass. No one likes messy hands with no napkins, and we all hate waiting 45 minutes for a bill. Luckily, you won’t have that issue at Centro. The wait staff knows how to make its customers happy, and the servers always have smiles on their faces. They aren’t afraid to have a conversation with you and always check back to ask how your food is tasting. Don’t like it? They’ll fix it. Happy servers make for happy customers. 1003 Locust St., Des Moines. ; www.centrodesmoines.com.
Runners-up: Zombie Burger Drink Lab; John & Nick’s Steak & Prime Rib
Margaritas, root beer floats, Chicago deep dish, lasagna — that might sound like a strange combination, but the Tavern makes it work exceptionally well. They’re known for their signature thin crust and pizza sauce. And as our readers know, good pizza really is all one needs in life. 205 Fifth St., Valley Junction. ; www.tavernpizza.com.
Runners-up: Cooper’s on 5th; G Mig’s 5th Street Pub
When it comes to seafood, Bonefish Grill doesn’t slack off. Its gourmet menu infuses a medley of flavors and ingredients to bring delicious plates and unique foods to its guests, and our readers can’t get enough. Before you hit the West Glen bars this weekend, make a stop at Bonefish — you won’t be disappointed. 650 S. Prairie View Drive, West Des Moines. ; www.bonefishgrill.com.
Runners-up: Wellman’s Pub and Rooftop; Wok in Motion
How many restaurants offer a funnel cake bun, Skittles barbecue sauce and a mozzarella balloon side dish? We can think of one, and it’s conveniently located in the East Village. A truly unique staple on the streets of downtown Des Moines, our readers say everyone should try it at least once — although once you go, you’ll only be planning your next meal there. 300 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines. ; www.zombieburgerdm.com.
Runners-up: Alba Restaurant; Lucca Restaurant
The best thing about small-town diners is stopping in at 4 p.m. every Wednesday and getting to know the server who always takes your order and knows exactly how you want it. There’s something about the regularity and comfort of a classic diner that keeps us coming back. The Drake Diner has this idea down to a tee, and proudly advertises that they welcome all of their customers like family. 1111 25th St., Des Moines. ; www.drakediner.com.
Runners-up: Jethro’s BBQ; Woody’s Smoke Shack
Christopher’s is basically the greatest combination of Italian dining and comfortable family-style dining that has ever existed — at least, that’s what our readers say. If the food doesn’t keep you coming back for more , the fun environment will definitely draw you back. Owned by the Giudicessi family, they try to keep everyone as close as possible by welcoming guests at the door and making you feel like one of them. 2816 Beaver Ave., Des Moines. ; www.christophersdsm.com.
Runners-up: Chef’s Kitchen; Flying Mango
Eatery A is a mixture of classy and trendy, with plenty of fabulous food. Not only will guests see Mediterranean inspiration in the menu, but they’ll also see hints of Spain, Morocco, Egypt and Italy sifted throughout. It’s an eclectic mix of tastes that customers simply love. 2932 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines. ; www.eateryadsm.com.
Runners-up: Star Bar; Sakari Sushi Lounge
Not only is Americana known for the best bombshell brunch you can find in the city, the restaurant also has some fantastic classic American food. It features a “winner winner chicken dinner” that comes with endless home-fried chicken for $13. Also, step out on Sunday Funday and grab some wine because Sunday night at Americana is BYOW night with no corkage fee. 1312 Locust St., Des Moines. ; sm.com.
Runners-up: Zombie Burger Drink Lab; Jethro’s BBQ
Not only does New World Café feature delicious new vegan meals every week it’s also a business that strives to better the community and environment. New World supports local farms and businesses, donates to activists and composts their food scraps instead of throwing them in the garbage. Good food and good values — New World is the best of both worlds. 223 E. Walnut St., Des Moines. ; sm.com.
Runners-up: Fresh Café & Market; Ritual Café
It may come as a surprise, but gluten-free pizza really can be delicious. Our readers think the best gluten-free pizza belongs to Gusto, and they come in the form of some of the most interesting combinations around. stopizzaco.com.
Runners-up: New World Café; Fresh Café & Market
With several awards to its name , Latin King proves itself to be the people’s favorite Italian food in the metro. For more than 60 years, Latin King has been serving up the perfect pasta and decadent desserts like tiramisu. 2200 Hubbell Ave., Des Moines. ; sislatinking.com.
Runners-up: Tumea & Sons Restaurant; Centro
If you’ve never been to Tasty Tacos, don’t let the name fool you — this place has everything from nachos to burritos to deep-fried mushrooms. You’ll pay less than most chain restaurants and for the same quality, which is part of the reason readers keep going back.
Runners-up: El Rodeo; Monterrey Mexican Restaurant
Aside from the traditional Thai dishes served here, Cool Basil offers sushi, sashimi and nigiri in a casual, fun environment. Readers love the authentic flavors and ingredients. It’s the perfect spot for a quick lunch or an evening meal. 1250 86th St., Clive. ; siliowa.com.
Runners-up: Thai Flavors; Blu Thai Food & Sushi
We know eating at a grocery store sounds strange, but if you are a true Des Moines resident, that means you’ve almost definitely eaten at Hy-Vee before and didn’t regret it. With an equal-to or even bigger menu than many Chinese restaurants, Hy-Vee offers all of the traditional Chinese food favorites for dining in and takeout. Next time you’re at the grocery store and don’t feel like going home to cook everything you just bought, stop at Chinese Express. Our readers say it’ll be the best decision you make all day. Multiple locations. www.hy-vee.com.
For the last 13 years, Taki has been inspiring Des Moines with its variety of sushi, teppanaki and hibachi. Taki strives to create the most authentic Japanese cuisine experience possible by using teppan cooking, which means making everything on an iron griddle. Its hibachi chefs put on an outstanding show while making each dish. If you’re looking for a new experience and dying to try something new, head over to Taki and get a taste of Japan. 2677 NW 86th St., Urbandale. ; www.takisteakhouse.com.
Falafel, kabobs and gyros are some of the main dishes at Fresh Mediterranean Express. The menu is not all that extensive, but the items it does have are all house favorites, as evidenced by the amount of voters who choose it again and again. 15 N.E. Carefree Lane, Waukee. ; shmediterraneanexpress.com.
If you’ve never had Vietnamese food, trust the people who have — they can all testify to the greatness of A Dong. With more than 140 entrees that include vegan and vegetarian options, A Dong also offers healthy appetizers, drinks and desserts. 1511 High St., Des Moines. ; www.adongrestaurant.com.
The chefs at Waterfront have perfected the techniques of cooking seafood, and the residents of Des Moines have taken notice. The staff is trained to know everything about the food it serves, from cooking techniques to seasonings used, so if customers have questions, they’ll be prepared with an immediate answer. seafoodmarket.com.
Runners-up: Bonefish Grill; Splash Seafood Bar & Grill
The menu is comprised of authentic Asian cuisine, because it was created by the owner, whose hometown is in China, and the executive chef, who is from Japan. Rest assured that if you love sushi or you’re trying it for the first time, Wasabi Chi is the place to go. 5418 Douglas Ave., Des Moines. ; www.wasabichicuisine.com.
Runners-up: Sakari Sushi Lounge; The Mongolian Buffet, Ames
For those who don’t know what hibachi is, it’s when you sit at a table with a grill top in the middle, and a personal chef comes out to cook your food on it in front of you. At Ohana, chefs are friendly and entertaining and will make your food exactly the way you like it. They’ll enjoy a good conversation with guests and try to make them laugh with impressive food tricks, which makes the experience fun and exciting for everyone at the table. 2900 University Ave., West Des Moines. ; www.ohanasteakhouse.com.
With two family boys behind the business of John & Nick’s, it’s easy to feel like you’re coming home as soon as you walk in the door. The restaurant is black and red and classy all over, with prime USDA steaks on the menu that make it a favorite destination for meat lovers everywhere. 15970 Hickman Road, Clive. ; www.johnandnicks.com.
Runners-up: 801 Chophouse; Chicago Speakeasy
Serving up giant omelets and hashbrowns to die for, the Waveland is a city-wide favorite for homemade breakfast food. The staff knows many customers by name, and the cooks make the food almost faster than customers can order it. 4708 University Ave., Des Moines.
Runners-up: Jethro’s BBQ; Perk Up Café
Palmer’s is a Des Moines favorite for lunch, dinner and everything in between. It offers a long list of homemade sandwiches, a variety of freshly tossed salads and more types of pasta salads and cold salads than a person could possibly desire. 2843 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines. ; www.palmersdeliandmarket.com.
Runners-up: Hagar’s Manhattan Deli; B&B Market
Iowa’s favorite burger restaurant takes the win yet again. It’s like the ’60s all over again, only with better food and no roller skates. Stop by for a range of burgers, but don’t forget the classic chili cheese fries and a chocolate shake. Neon lights and all, B-Bop’s can do no wrong when it comes to burgers, as our readers like to point out every year. s.com.
Runners-up: Big City Burgers & Greens; Zombie Burger Drink Lab
For the second year in a row, Gusto Pizza will celebrate the title of Best Pizza in Des Moines, which says a lot considering all of the fantastic pizza places in the metro. Our readers like Gusto for its specialty pizzas and the option to create their own pie. 1905 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines. ; stopizzaco.com.
Runners-up: Fong’s Pizza; Pagliai’s Pizza; NYC Pizza Café
Knocking out the first place winner four years running into second place is the Hiland Bakery. It’s a Des Moines-area favorite for its fresh goodies each day, but especially for the artfully decorated sugar cookies, which make any occasion a special occasion. 3615 Sixth Ave. 2019 Cheap Air Jordan 13 Atmosphere Grey Basketball Shoes For Men , Des Moines. ; www.facebook.com/HilandBakery.
Runners-up: La Mie Bakery; South Union Bakery
We might have thought the cupcake craze was just a fad biding its time until the next baked good came around — but we would have been wrong. Scratch Cupcakery proves everyone still loves the unique flavors and pretty decorations on every single mini cake it offers, and there are a lot of flavors. 7450 Bridgewood Blvd. Suite 215, West Des Moines. ; www.scratchcupcakery.com.
Runners-up: Crème Cupcake & Dessert; Della Dolce Bakery
The custom stylings of Bandit Burrito have bumped it from last year’s runner-up to this year’s favorite. With more than 35 items for customers to choose from, Chef Robert Moore promises to build “the best burrito of your life.” Merle Hay Road, Johnston. ; www.banditburrito.com.
Runners-up: Abelardo’s Mexican Fresh; Tacopocalypse
With cocktails just as decadent as the desserts themselves, it’s no surprise the voters have named Crème Cupcake and Dessert their favorite spot to satiate their sweet tooth. From cheesecake and lava cake to cupcakes and cake balls, when you’re looking for the perfect cap to the evening, our readers say you’ll find it here. 543 28th St., Des Moines. ; www.cremecupcake.com.
Runners-up: Scratch Cupcakery; La Mie Bakery
Now with eight locations around the metro, Jethro’s BBQ is always near the top of restaurants when Des Moines residents think of BBQ. Jethro’s menu of slow-cooked and smoked meats waters the mouth of anyone just thinking about it, leaving no question as to why it’s earned this award for four straight years. sdesmoines.com.
Runners-up: Smokey D’s BBQ; Woody’s Smoke Shack
Maxie’s is now a seven-time winner of this award, proving two things: You don’t have to be the biggest to be the best, and people really like onion rings. Hand-cut, hand-breaded and fried to a crispy golden brown, they’re the perfect complement to any entrée. 1311 Grand Ave., West Des Moines. ; www.maxiesrestaurant.com.
Runners-up: Chuck Celsi’s Tavern Restaurant; Nick’s Bar & Grill
Zombie Burger has been known to take its food to a new level, and they’ve even done it with the basic french fry, which isn’t so basic at this local favorite. Loaded with bacon, cheddar and chili, they make a meal all their own. Or get the regular order to go with a burger — readers say you won’t regret either option. 300 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines. ; www.zombieburgerdm.com.
Jethro’s is all about meat, and that means chicken wings are definitely a highlight on the menu. The voters can’t get enough of the slow-smoked wings, as they’ve proven by naming it the best place for them four years in a row. sdesmoines.com.
Runners-up: Chicken Coop; Buffalo Wild Wings
Ahh, nachos. One of the best appetizers on any menu. They’re easy enough to whip up at home, but it’s just so much more satisfying to have them brought to the table while you await the rest of the meal. For the best nachos in the metro, our readers have chosen University Library Café every year for its variety. 3506 University Ave., Des Moines. ;
Runners-up: Jethro’s BBQ; Zombie Burger Drink Lab
This is a new category on the list, but it’s been a long time coming. There are too many places in the area to count that serve brag-worthy tacos, but the readers have spoken, and they say Tasty Tacos has the best. With quick service, cheap prices and deliciously fresh ingredients, you don’t have to guess why this is a local favorite. www.tastytacos.com.
If the winner of this new category is a surprise to you, you probably haven’t tried Smokey D’s yet. It’s won hundreds — literally hundreds — of awards for BBQ, so you can bet they make a mean rack of ribs. www.smokeydsbbq.com.
Runners-up: Jethro’s BBQ; Woody’s Smoke Shack
When it comes to tenderloins, the voters say Smitty’s Tenderloin Shop is the only place to go. Since 1967, three generations of the Smith family have been serving large breaded tenderloins that beat all others. 1401 Army Post Road, Des Moines. ; www.smittystenderloins.com.
Runners-up: Nick’s Tenderloin; Jethro’s BBQ
The ever-changing soup menu at Palmer’s Deli makes it a favorite in this category year after year. Palmer’s Chili, Wisconsin Cheese, Chicken Enchilada and Tomato Basil Ravioli are just a few of the many options that change daily at Palmer’s. www.palmersdeliandmarket.com.
Runners-up: South Union Bread Cafe; Gateway Market
Offering more than 100 of the finest artisan and farmhouse cheeses, The Cheese Shop also has a café with gourmet sandwiches and “toasties,” which is their version of a grilled cheese.
With more than 100 artisan and farmhouse cheeses available, readers voted The Cheese Shop the Best Cheese Store in this new category. Customers can enjoy a cheese tasting bar with craft beer, wine and cured meats, and the events and workshops make it a real experience. 833 42nd St., Des Moines. ; seshopdsm.com.
Knocking the High Life Lounge out of first place, the voters have made Star Bar this year’s winner — no doubt for its variety of classic bar food and ethnic options. From hot wings and burgers to sesame crusted ahi tuna and crab rangoons, visitors can find something to fit any mood. 2811 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines. ; www.facebook.com/pages/Star-Bar/136274343103802.
Runners-up: The High Life Lounge; Francies
The French-inspired menu at Bistro Montage wins this award year after year for nine straight titles. Our readers love the seasonal, local ingredients and the reasonable prices of these one-of-a-kind food items. 2724 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines. ; stromontage-hub.com.
Runners-up: Django; La Mie Bakery; Table 128 Bistro & Bar
For the second year, Jethro’s takes home the award for Best Appetizers. The only problem with the large menu of meal-starters at these restaurants is deciding which ones to pick and which to skip, as they are all just that good. sdesmoines.com.
Runners-up: Trostel’s Dish Restaurant; Americana; Eatery A
When it comes to meeting a friend for a latte, sipping a cup of tea over a good book or fueling a study session with espresso, our readers say Smokey Row is their favorite place to go. 1910 Cottage Grove Ave., Des Moines. ; smokeyrow.com.
Runners-up: Zanzibar’s Coffee Adventure; Java Joe’s
In the second year of this category, we’ve seen as many winners. This year, Chicago Speakeasy’s salad bar wins the hearts of the voters. With dozens of different toppings and dressings, it tops most other salad bars. But it’s the dozens of other noodle and dessert salads that really seal the deal. Whether dining in or taking it to go, you’ll find every option here. 1520 Euclid Ave., Des Moines. ; www.chicagospeakeasyrestaurant.com.
Runners-up: John & Nick’s Steak & Prime Rib; Hy-Vee
From sparkling dessert wines to rich reds, John and Nick’s sells just about any bottle you can imagine. Wines from regions around the world appear on the two-page list, most of which can only be purchased by the bottle, but our readers say it’s worth every penny. 15970 Hickman Road, Clive. ; www.johnandnicks.com.
When looking to load up on carbs of the most delicious variety, our readers don’t look any further than downtown’s Centro. It’s Italian menu features fresh ingredients and unique combinations that leave every stomach happily full at the end of the meal. 1003 Locust St., Des Moines. ; www.centrodesmoines.com.
Runners-up: Palmer’s Deli & Market; Chicago Speakeasy
It’s easy to find a cheap lunch at Tasty Tacos, where every item is less than the $5 mark, but still delicious. For a fast meal that won’t put much of a dent in the wallet, the voters consistently choose this local favorite. www.tastytacos.com.
When it comes to getting quality food for a low-budget price, Zombie Burger comes in with the win. Their unique combinations for unlikely foods piled on burgers make for a surprisingly delicious meal. Even more surprising is how affordable those decadent flavors are. 300 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines. ; www.zombieburgerdm.com.
When it comes to late-night dining, Fong’s knows exactly what customers want. Serving some of the best pizza in the metro into the early hours of the day is what makes it the Best Place to Chow After 2 a.m.
Whoever thought to put a late-night pizza joint next to the biggest bar district in town had a pure stroke of genius. When the drinks aren’t being served anymore, our readers know Fong’s is the place to go, with pizza by the slice and classic toppings to end a night on the town the right way. 223 Fourth St., Des Moines. ; spizza.com.
Runners-up: Abelardo’s Mexican Restaurant; Big Tomato Pizza
When it comes to treating a hangover, most people opt for greasy, fried comfort food to heal the wounds of the night before. Zombie Burger offers a variety of fried appetizers to start the healing, and every kind of burger you’ve never thought of to finish the job. The first winner in this new category, the readers like its many options — and many cheeses. 300 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines. ; www.zombieburgerdm.com.
Runners-up: Waveland Café; Mullet’s Restaurant
When the people of Des Moines are looking to impress on the first date, they take them to Centro for a classic Italian dinner and an upscale environment. Yet again, Centro wins this one for its mood lighting and intimate seating options. 1003 Locust St., Des Moines. ; www.centrodesmoines.com.
After opening less than a year ago, Eatery A has stolen the hearts of our readers — and the title of Best Patio Restaurant. When the weather turns warm, it’s hard to find an open table at any of the many patios in the metro, but the voters say this is the one worth waiting for. 2932 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines. ; www.eateryadsm.com.
Runners-up: Dos Rios; Zombie Burger Drink Lab
Despite its recent store closures around the metro, the people of Des Moines stand by this grocery store and its tasty treats. Whether customers are picking up just one doughnut for themselves or a dozen for the office, they trust Dahl’s to make them taste as sweet as they look. www.dahlsfoods.com.
Runners-up: Donut King; Dunkin’ Donuts
This award sees a new winner each year, and Taste! To Go is 2015’s. Readers enjoy the full-service catering for all of their events, whether they require a box lunch, appetizers, brunch, served plates or wedding and special event buffets. Taste! To Go has been delivering creative dishes with fresh ingredients for years. 4700 University Ave., Des Moines. ; www.tastetogo.net
If you’re surprised to hear this is the first time we’ve introduced this category, we’re right there with you. The ability to get ready-to-eat food delivered to your door is one of the many benefits that come along with living in a city. And though there are many to choose from, the readers say Thai Flavors is the best place to get fresh food delivered to your home. siowa.com.
For the second year this category has been included, Hockenberg’s has earned the title of Best Restaurant Supply Company. After 100 years of supplying restaurants in the metro, customers rely on its reputation for excellence and attention to detail. 6000 Aurora Ave., Des Moines. ; www.hockenbergs.com.
While the number of food trucks has been increasing on busy city streets, the nominees in this category were varied. But the people have spoken, and it seems they’ve let their sweet tooth do the talking, making Nana’s Sweet Treats their favorite food truck in the metro. sweettreats.wix.com/tnpsweettreats
Runners-up: The Spot; Magnolia Kitchen & Grocery; Melts Without Borders
After just a few short years on the market, Confluence Brewing has made its mark on the beer drinkers of Des Moines. Its famous Des Moines IPA was voted the Best Craft Beer for back-to-back wins for brewmasters John Martin and Ken Broadhead. 1235 Thomas Beck Road, Des Moines. ;
Runners-up: Blonde Fatale – Peace Tree Brewing Co.; Ruthi – Exile Brewing Co.
This classic is a product of a Belgian brewery established hundreds — yep, we said hundreds — of years ago. The quality taste and standard has carried over for centuries and is still considered the best import by Des Moines drinkers. www.stellaartois.com.
Maybe it’s the tear-inducing Super Bowl commercials Budweiser unveils each year or the smooth taste of the refreshing cold brew — either way, the people of Des Moines say it’s the Best Domestic Beer. www.budweiser.com.
An upset has taken this category by storm this year, making it clear that Des Moines voters are drinking more Pepsi than Coke. www.pepsico.com.
Just because Coke wasn’t voted the favorite soft drink this year doesn’t mean Captain Morgan has gone anywhere. Whether they’re mixing it with pop or juice, this brand has been the readers’ favorite for years. www.captainmorgan.com.
Made by Iowa State Professor Hans van Leeuwen, IngeniOz is said to lessen the effects of a hangover due to its purity. It was named the Best Vodka of 2015 by Cityview readers.
A new local drink has taken over this category for the Best Vodka. Created by Iowa State University professor Hans van Leeuwen, IngeniOz is said to be the purest vodka on the market, which means drinkers can expect less of a hangover when they pour this in their glass. Produced right here in Cumming, Iowa, this probably won’t be the last award for IngeniOz. stilling.com.
Runners-up: Tito’s Homemade; Grey Goose
So there might have been a little controversy with Templeton, but that doesn’t change the fact that people love its whiskey. Drink it straight or in a cocktail, it’ll put the hair on your chest and the fun in your night. www.templetonrye.com.
For the finest margaritas and the smoothest shots, our readers turn to Patron Tequila. Coming from Jalisco, Mexico, it’s earned a place in the hearts of people the world over, including right here in Des Moines. www.patrontequila.com.
Winner of 2014’s Best Locally Owned Business, Best Mom & Pop, Best Paint and Sip Studio and Best Gift Shop, it’s probably not a surprise that Glazed Expressions stole the win for Best Store in Cityview’s 2015 awards. Choose anything from pottery, painting, candles and more to entertain both kids and adults. The classes and parties are a fan favorite for crafty people across the metro. 8826 Swanson Blvd., Clive. ; www.glazedexpressions.com
Serving the metro for more than 50 years, Badowers has acquired quite the following. Its eclectic styles have even garnered attention from Esquire as one of America’s top men’s stores. So it’s no surprise that Badowers has climbed from runner-up on Cityview’s annual awards to the top of this year’s list for best men’s clothing stores in Des Moines. 2817 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines. ; s.com
Runners-up: Mr. B Clothing; G & L Clothing
From the East Village all the way to West Des Moines, Blond Genius edged out last year’s winner, Aimée, for the ladies’ favorite clothing store of 2015. Maybe it has something to do with the wall of denim or all the stylish jewelry the store offers. We’re guessing it’s a bit of both that brings shoppers to this bright, stylish store over and over again. 165 S. Jordan Creek Parkway, Suite 165, West Des Moines. ; www.blondgenius.com
Once again, Encore Thrift Store takes the cake for best thrift shop. Its two locations offer racks upon racks of clothing, shoes, home items and more at low prices. What’s better than scoring a one-of-a-kind find for pennies on the dollar? Knowing the money is going toward a good cause, and that’s the point of Encore. It really is a win-win. www.hopeiowa.org/pages/learn/encore-thrift-store
Runners-up: Goodwill Industries International Inc.; The Worn Store
Back for its second 2015 prize, Blond Genius proves it doesn’t only serve women, but men have plenty of opportunity to get in on the hottest styles, too. Bumping last year’s winner to second place, this West Des Moines store is growing its audience year by year. 165 S. Jordan Creek Parkway, Suite 165, West Des Moines. ; www.blondgenius.com
The amount of votes this new category received proves Des Moines has its fair share of kept secrets in shopping. It’s hard for a store to stay a secret when it lives in a mall, especially a prominent one like Valley West, but Little Padded Seats has managed to do just that. With inventory ranging from diapers and training pants to pregnancy and potty training items, it might not be the hottest gossip around town, but when new parents need supplies, they’ll find out there’s only one place to go. Valley West Mall, 1551 Valley West Drive, Suite 153, West Des Moines. ; www.littlepaddedseats.com
Runners-up: REDO; Funky Finds Vintage & Retro; The Worn Store
As last year’s runner-up for this award, Schaffer’s isn’t new to the list of great bridal shops in the metro. This year, the store that’s been serving brides for more than 70 years now has a new title. Schaffer’s team of experts promises to help brides build memories from the day they first see the perfect dress to the day they say “I do.” 5525 Mills Civic Parkway, Suite 100, West Des Moines. ; www.schaffers.com
Runners-up: Weddings By Design; Bridal Boutique
And what’s a wedding without the perfect set of tuxes? Skeffington’s edged out last year’s first- and second-place Best Of winners as the public’s favorite tuxedo shop, and it’s not hard to see why. It offers tuxes for every occasion in a man’s life — from prom kings to grooms — and carries every style and color imaginable, in tuxedos and suits. If you want your man to look spiffy in those formal photos, Skeffington’s Formal Wear will help him look his finest. www.skeffingtons.com
Runners-up: Milroy’s Tuxedos; The Tux Shop
For the second year in a row, Mayhem Comics is the fan favorite for comic books, trading cards, games and so much more. Mayhem isn’t just a place to buy comics, though. This store is about the experience and the community shared at several events throughout the year. Mayhem is more than a store: It’s a comic book haven, as proven by its second win in a category just as old. 7500 University Ave., Clive. ; www.mayhemcomics.com
Runners-up: Capes Kafe; Jay’s CD & Hobby
Another business that’s been in the Best Of runners-up category for the last couple years, Fit to be Tied was originally the first Crocs Store in the country but has since widened its inventory to all sorts of footwear. The friendly and knowledgeable staff is known for fitting customers with the perfect shoe not only for their needs but also one that fits their personalities. Valley West Mall, 1551 Valley West Drive, West Des Moines. ; www.fit2btiedshoes.com
Runners-up: Peep Toe; Fleet Feet Sports; Fitness Sports Running Store
The title of Best New Store is a coveted one, and it’s interesting to see which business can gain the biggest fan base when Cityview’s award season rolls around. This year, Waxing the City steals the show from REDO and Fleet Feet Sports. 1300 N.W. 100th St., Clive. ; www.waxingthecity.com/clive/
Two years in a row, ZZZ Records is proving that brick-and-mortar record stores are still alive and flourishing. Music fans know listening to an iPod just isn’t the same as having the physical record in your hands. And as the oldest independent record store in Des Moines, ZZZ isn’t just holding strong in the metro’s music scene — it’s a growing demand. 2200 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines. ; www.zzzrecords.com
Runners-up: Rieman Music Inc.; Wayback Records
When you’ve got it, you’ve got it — and Beaverdale Books is keeping it. The top place for metro bookstores, that is. There’s something about the smell of fresh paper bound between two hard covers, nestled in rows and rows of literature just waiting to be pulled from the shelf and taken into a new home. Beaverdale Books knows how to please reading enthusiasts, as they’ve voted it the winner of this award consistently for years. 2629 Beaver Ave. Suite 1, Des Moines. ; www.beaverdalebooks.com
Runners-up: Half Price Books; Plain Talk Books & Coffee
Best of Des Moines
Sometimes used books are better than the brand new copies. Their worn pages and slightly wrinkled covers show that they’ve been read and loved before. They’re almost a story within a story. Half Price Books holds strong as the leading used book store in central Iowa. The turnover of old favorites and new keeps readers coming back again and again, like a never-ending treasure hunt. Westridge Shopping Center, 10201 University Ave., Clive. ; www.hpb.com/031/
Runners-up: Plain Talk Books & Coffee; Beaverdale Books
An auto shop is one of those places that when you find one that does good quality work repeatedly, you tell everyone about it. That’s the case with Westside Auto Pros, reigning champion of Best Auto Shop. Known around town for their good work and friendly service, Westside Auto knows building relationships is key to good business. 1901 N.W. 92nd Court, Des Moines. ; www.westsideautopros.com
Runners-up: Drake Garage; Finish Line Auto Works
Known as the “No. 1 Ford Lincoln Dealer” in Iowa, Stivers holds strong in this Best Of category, beating out two Chevrolet dealers. Now, it could be argued that the brands have something to do with the voting process here, but we’re willing to bet good service and knowledgeable salespeople are the winning factors. 1450 E. Hickman Road, Waukee. ; stiversfordia.com
Runners-up: Bob Brown Chevrolet; Karl Chevrolet
The people have spoken, and once again they’ve named Willis above all others as the best dealership of foreign-made vehicles in Des Moines. With an inventory as large and diverse as that of Willis Auto Campus, it’s not hard to see why. 2121 N.W. 100th St., Des Moines. ; www.willisautocampus.com
Runners-up: Toyota of Des Moines; Hummel’s Nissan
An upset has turned the Best Motorcycle Shop category on its head, as Struthers Bros edges out last year’s winner — Fenders Cycle — for the top spot. Struthers has been bringing new and pre-owned vehicles to riders in Des Moines since 1968, and it’s not showing any signs of backing down from the competition. Whether you’re in the market for a Suzuki or a Kawasaki, Struthers Bros has the bike for you. 5191 N.W. Second St., Des Moines. ; www.struthersbros.com
Runners-up: Big Barn Harley Davidson; Fenders Cycle
And speaking of bikes, you won’t see any changes in the winner of Best Bicycle Shop this year. Bike World holds strong to the title, selling bikes, parts, accessories and everything else imaginable for the avid cyclist. With locations in Ames, Urbandale and West Des Moines, Bike World serves customers throughout all of central Iowa.
Runners-up: Rasmussen Bike Shop; Ichi Bike
It might come as a surprise — or maybe not, depending on where you do your shopping — that Hy-Vee has taken first place in the Best Liquor Store award. Last year’s winner, Ingersoll Wine & Spirits, is still on the list as first runner-up, but the handy locations of Hy-Vee’s liquor stores spread out city to city make for a convenience factor unbeatable by most. Multiple locations.
Runners-up: Ingersoll Wine & Spirits; Central City Liquor
No surprise here. Many people purchase wine with their groceries, so it only makes sense to do it all in one stop. Not to mention Hy-Vee has a wide selection of every shade and brand imaginable. From $5 to $50, every budget is covered. Multiple locations.
Runners-up: Ingersoll Wine & Spirits; Gateway Market
Once again, Hy-Vee takes the win for Best Pharmacy. It might be the convenience again, but the helpful pharmacists and friendly faces probably have something to do with this victory. Multiple locations.
Runners-up: Medicap Pharmacy; Bauder Pharmacy
Campbell’s Nutrition remains the favorite place to go for people looking to eat locally grown, organic foods. For 75 years, Campbell’s has been supplying the metro with tasty, healthy groceries. Oh, and did we mention it has been winning this award for years? Campbell’s does health food right, and people haven’t forgotten that. www.campbellsnutrition.com
No surprise here. This local chain is ever expanding to meet the demands of its many customers. Next on its list of new locations: the Court Avenue District downtown. Multiple locations.
Year after year, people still choose Homemakers as their favorite spot to purchase furniture, and it makes sense. With each trip there’s something new to be seen — a bigger pool table, a fluffier couch. Or maybe everyone is just going there for the fresh cookies and lemonade… We can’t be sure. 10215 Douglas Ave., Urbandale. ; www.homemakers.com
With wedding season approaching, many voters probably already had jewelry stores on the mind — and for almost 150 years, Josephs has been here to make popping the question even more special. Because what’s an engagement story without a gorgeous ring to show off? www.josephsjewelers.com
Runners-up: Christopher’s Fine Jewelry; Leona Ruby
It may not have its own TV show, but The Brass Armadillo does know how to keep customers coming back. Its unbeatable selection has turned Brass Armadillo into the antique destination for residents and visitors alike. Collectables, memorabilia and vintage finds draw in antique hunters from all regions.
701 N.E. 50th Ave., Des Moines. ; www.brassarmadillo.com/desmoines
Runners-up: West End Architectural Salvage; Funky Finds Vintage & Retro
This is only the second year voters have had the chance to elect the Best Greenhouse of Des Moines, and this year they’ve chosen a different one. Goode Greenhouse offers annuals, perennials, herbs and other garden flowers. In the business of growing for 110 years now, Goode meets all your greenery needs. 1050 N.E. 50th Ave., Des Moines. ; www.goodegreenhouses.com
Runners-up: Piney Ridge Greenhouse Inc.; Rene’s Greenhouse
For readers who have spent at least a few years in the metro, Moberg is likely a familiar name. It has an ongoing list of events and exhibits throughout the year, and voters recognize the work it puts in to delivering interesting, culturally diverse art by some of the most talented artists around. 2921 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines. ; www.moberggallery.com
Runners-up: Des Moines Art Center; Des Moines Social Club-Viaduct Gallery
This year’s Best Hair Salon has taken the figurative crown from three-time winner Salon TEC. Bombshell Bettys promises — you guessed it — bombshell-worthy hair treatment to its customers. The lineup of experienced and friendly stylists makes an ordinary haircut seem like a first-class salon experience. ; shellbettyssalon.com
This is a first-time category for the Best Of Des Moines. The voters have spoken, and they’ve named Franklin Plaza Barber Shop the No. 1 place for men’s hair needs. Need a haircut? You got it. A close shave? Sure. Beard oil? We don’t know what that is, but apparently they’ve got that, too. 4942 Franklin Ave., Des Moines. ; www.facebook.com/franklinplazabarber
Runners-up: Roosevelt Barber Shop; Pope’s on 35th
If a person is going to shell out the money to visit a spa, they have to make sure they’re making a good investment. Year after year, Cityview readers vote East Village Spa as the spa worth investing in. It offers every service imaginable, and the events and specials are unmatched. For a relaxing and rejuvenating day, you know where to go. 601 E. Locust St. #202, Des Moines. ; www.evdayspa.com
Runners-up: The Spa at West Glen; Sahars Salon & Day Spa
It’s surprising that this is the first year this category has been presented for the Best Of Des Moines awards. The skin care industry is among one of the biggest, and our readers recognize that. SkinGym offers spa facials, advanced treatments and even memberships. Like any gym, it takes time and repetition to cultivate results. 120 Fifth St., West Des Moines. ; www.skingymbyashley.com
Runners-up: East Village Spa; Heartland Skin Wellness Center
After being voted Best New Store, it’s no surprise Waxing the City would steal the victory for Best Waxing Salon. It promises to make hair removal painless for its clients. Well, maybe they can’t promise you won’t scream, but they do promise you’ll be happy with the results. And so far, the readers agree. 1300 N.W. 100th St., Clive. ; www.waxingthecity.com/clive/
Runners-up: The Pink Beaver Waxing Studio; East Village Spa
In a category that changes from year to year, Sun Tan City has managed to collect the most votes twice in row. And since tanning salons can be found on seemingly every block and gym these days, it was no easy feat. But Cityview readers tend to like options, and Sun Tan City has plenty of them, including the cutting-edge technology of the stand-up spray tan booths at various locations. suntancity.com
Runners-up: Soleil Tan Spa; Sun Seekers Tan Spa
A youthful appearance is highly valued in the modern world, and when it comes to getting a little extra help in that department, Cityview readers have chosen a new leader. Des Moines Plastic Surgery was voted Best Place for Aesthetic Surgery over three-time winner Heartland Plastic Surgery. 5901 Westown Parkway, Suite 250, West Des Moines. ; www.dsmplasticsurgery.com
Runners-up: Heartland Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery; Koch Facial Plastic Surgery & Spa
This category has seen several different winners through the years, so it’s not a surprise to see a new one on top for 2015. It might not be the biggest hardware store around, but it makes up for it with expert service and good people. 1300 Martin Luther King Junior Parkway, Des Moines.
Runners-up: True Value; O’Donnell Ace Hardware
If anyone is surprised by this repeat-winner, they obviously haven’t visited this downtown district. An eclectic array of vintage and modern stores, women’s boutiques and athletic stores make for one-of-a-kind shopping experiences not to be matched by any mall. Half the fun of shopping in the East Village is the unique finds — the other half is the experience. stvillagedesmoines.com
Runners-up: Jordan Creek; Valley Junction
When looking to express your feelings in a fresh, beautiful way, flowers are the way to go. Whether it’s an anniversary, birthday or just because, our readers know the best place for all their flower needs — year after year — is Boesens. 3422 Beaver Ave., Des Moines. ; www.boesen.com
Runners-up: Hy-Vee; Plaza Florist & Gifts
For those looking to send a slightly different message than flowers can offer, voters look to Romantix. It offers everything one needs to spice up the night and bring a little bit of naughty to even the nicest of couples. 2020 E. Euclid Ave., Des Moines. .
1401 E. Army Post Road, Des Moines. . www.romantixonline.com
What better way to get the full experience of downtown Des Moines than by immersing oneself in it from day to night? The Holiday Inn overlooks the heart of Iowa’s capital city and promises its guests won’t miss out on all it has to offer with a stay at one of the finest hotels — not to mention one of its finest bar/restaurants right in the building. 1050 Sixth Ave., Des Moines. ; www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/des-moines/dsmdw/hoteldetail
Runners-up: Des Lux Hotel; Embassy Suites
After making a killing at last year’s Best Of Des Moines awards, Glazed Expressions is a name readers will be seeing quite a bit again this year. Already deemed this year’s Best Store , it repeats its title of Best Mom and Pop, too. 8826 Swanson Blvd., Clive. ; www.glazedexpressions.com
Runners-up: Suite Dreams; Little Padded Seats
This category is known to turn up answers on all ends of the spectrum. This year, the voters stuck to something they know best: their stomachs. The Iowa Pork Producers Association has been serving Iowa stomachs since the early 1900s, and the people can’t get enough. 1636 N.W. 114th St., Clive. ; www.iowapork.org
Runners-up: Maytag Blue Cheese; IngeniOz Vodka
They say it’s the thought that counts, and what’s more thoughtful than a personalized piece of art? Choose from pottery, glass pieces and canvas paintings to create the perfect, one-of-a-kind gift for all the special people in your life. 8826 Swanson Blvd., Clive. ; www.glazedexpressions.com
It’s a great world we live in, where so many stores are dedicated to selling chocolate. This is a new category this year, but it’s no surprise the voters have chosen a store that’s been selling the finest chocolate products for more than 100 years in three locations in Iowa. www.stamchocolate.com
Runners-up: Chocolate Storybook; Beaverdale Confections Co.
When it comes to piercings, customers want to hear recommendations and good experiences. Year after year, Prysm seals its spot as the safest place for body piercings — and that’s a recommendation that speaks for itself. Valley West Mall, 1551 Valley West Drive, Suite 104B, West Des Moines. ; smpiercing.tumblr.com
A two-for-one stop is made even better when both halves are known as the best. So it goes with Color Works, where customers can get their body art in the forms of ink and metal courtesy of Prysm Body Piericing. Valley West Mall, 1551 Valley West Drive, Suite 104B, West Des Moines. ; www.facebook.com/pages/color-works-tattoo-and-body-piercing
Another year, another win for Verizon. At least when it comes to satisfying the Best Of Des Moines voters, anyway. Cell phones are an important part of our daily lives now, and our readers notice the companies that go the extra mile when it comes to making them work. www.verizonwireless.com
A new winner takes home the award for Best Internet Provider this year, edging out Century Link as the Internet service of choice. Mediacom is the voters’ choice for faster Internet, which says a lot for a generation that expects Google to answer every question in less than one second.
Runners-up: Century Link; Verizon Wireless
Best Herbal/Nutritional Supplement Store
Nutrition is more about healthy food, as Campbell’s Nutrition knows very well. As a complement to its organic foods, Campbell’s provides healthy, high-quality supplements to its customers, who appreciate the store’s high standards.www.campbellsnutrition.com
Runners-up: Complete Nutrition; New City Market
The talented makeup artists at Vanity & Glamour Cosmetics create flawless faces for all kinds of events. From elegant wedding looks to extravagant colors, readers had no trouble voting them Best Makeup Artist.
Even a short glance at the portfolio of the V&G artists will prove why readers have chosen them as the winner of this new category. The staff at Vanity & Glamour Cosmetics proves makeup is an artistry, and the people of Des Moines have taken notice. 412 E. Fifth St., Des Moines. ; www.vgcosmetics.com
Runners-up: Dalen Rocha; Beauty of All Faces crew
This year’s award for Best Ethnic Grocery Store is a tie, because although Des Moines isn’t among the biggest cities in the world, it has a great offering of ethnic markets and stores. C Fresh Market and La Tapatia Grocery were voted the best for their wide variety of ethnic cuisine, friendly staff and quality products. www.facebook.com/CfreshMarket
www.facebook.com/pages/La-Tapatia-Grocery/148436295175348
Runners-up: Graziano Brothers Italian Grocery; Namaste India Groceries & Kitchen
Moving up from last year’s second runner-up to this year’s best, Veridian Credit Union proves bigger isn’t always better. The smaller size and locations spread across the metro allow readers to enjoy the helpful, familiar faces and convenience of this bank. www.veridiancu.org
Runners-up: Banker’s Trust; Wells Fargo
When an accident happens, you want to know there’s someone nearby to help. For drivers in the metro, that’s Perry’s Service & Towing. With a fleet of 11 tow trucks, flatbeds and a four-car transport, the voters trust Perry’s as the Best Towing Service in Des Moines. 2001 University Ave., Des Moines. ; www.perrysservice.com
Runners-up: Roy’s Towing & Recovery; Hanifen Towing
When you want something done right, you call the people who know what they’re doing. And Des Moines votes for Superior Contractors LLC when it comes creating the home of your dreams. 940 S.E. Bluegrass Circle, Waukee. ; s/Superior-Contractors-LLC/189376451107066
Runners-up: Bryant Iowa Heating and Cooling; Westside Appliance
Best Place to Purchase a Musical Instrument
Regardless of the type of instrument or musical accessory you’re searching for, Rieman Music has it all — from brass and strings to learning tools and lessons. Our readers appreciate quality products and helpful service, and they’ve found it at Rieman. www.riemanmusic.com
Runners-up: Uptempo Music; Professional Music Center
When it comes to viruses of the digital kind, it’s better to leave it to the professionals. The voters chose Dymin Systems once again as the computer repair shop of choice. Dymin offers in-home computer repair and IT security solutions among other services. In other words — your computer is safe with Dymin. 3970 N.W. Urbandale Drive, Urbandale. ; www.dyminsystems.com
Runners-up: 600 Monkeys; Little Dog Tech
For many people, their cell phone is their life. So when something goes wrong, our readers take their lives — err, phones — to the people who can make it right. We Fix It Repair can service every brand and almost any damage, including water, screens, charging ports and cameras. 111 Fifth St., West Des Moines. ;
Not only is it the place to go for motorcycles, Struthers also meets the needs of all your other off-roading adventures. Four-wheelers? Check. Utility vehicles? Definitely. Jet skis? You bet. Our readers like recreational activities, and they really like Struthers for supplying them with the best machines. 5191 N.W. Second St., Des Moines. ; www.struthersbros.com
Runners-up: Fenders Cycle; Van Wall Equipment
When it comes to finding last-minute costumes, thrift stores have made a big comeback. But when searching for the perfect costume — with every genre and accessory imaginable — the readers say there’s only one place to go. The Des Moines Theatrical Shop takes the award for its third year in a row, proudly selling the best wigs and dance costumes around. 145 Fifth St., West Des Moines. ; www.theatricalshop.com
When it comes to buying, selling and trading, our readers think there’s only one place to go, naming The Pawn Store for the third consecutive year. 3005 Douglas Ave., Des Moines. ; www.pawnstoredm.com
Runners-up: Solar Loan & Sales Co.; A to Z Pawn
While you visit this year’s Best Spa and wait to get your Best Massage, go ahead and step over to the manicure station to get your nails looking fancy. The people of Des Moines have spoken, and it looks like East Village Spa also offers the best manicures and pedicures. 601 E. Locust St. #202, Des Moines. ; www.evdayspa.com
Runners-up: Me & Mrs. Jones Salon Studio; Top Nails
Good ole Casey’s General Store. While drivers are filling up their cars, they can also fill up their stomachs with Casey’s pizza, donuts, subs and just about everything else you can think of. Hey — that’s why they call it a convenience store, right? www.caseys.com
The process of moving isn’t an easy one, so why not hire someone else to do it for you? One of the few businesses to win a category every year its been around, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK takes the cake for Best Moving Company three years running. 3934 N.W. Urbandale Drive, Urbandale. ; smoines.com
Runners-up: Smoldt Moving & Storage; Siddall Moving & Storage
The shelves at David’s Fine Tobaccos are lined with more types of cigars than a person would bother to count, so it’s no surprise it’s been voted Best Place to Buy Cigars two years in a row. 9759 University Ave., Clive. ; sfinetobaccos.com
Runners-up: Cigar Source; Hy-Vee; Tobacco Outlet Plus
This category is almost as new as the product itself, but our readers didn’t waste time getting to know their favorite e-cigarette shops in town. The best, though, was narrowed down to Central Iowa Electronic Cigarettes, with four locations in Des Moines and Ankeny. www.iowaecigs.com
Runners-up: Great Alternatives; Route 69 Vapor
If you’re going to pay someone to clean your house, they’d better be good at it. And while the metro area is home to several great cleaning services, the readers chose Molly Maids as the Best of Des Moines for its satisfaction guarantee, quality cleaning plans and trusted professionals. 5765 Merle Hay Road, Johnston. ; www.mollymaid.com
Runners-up: Z’s Fresh Start Cleaning Service; Ecomaids of Des Moines
For more than 30 years, Bob and Sandy Keller have been providing professional pet grooming services to the metro area. They take all breeds of dogs and cats and promise customers will always be pleased with the treatments their pets receive. 4810 Maple Drive, Pleasant Hill. ; www.prancingpawspetgrooming.com
Runners-up: Dogwoods Lodge; Canine Country Club
When you go on vacation, send your best friend on vacation, too, at Downtown Doggy Daycare. Voters love the special care and attention their employees give to each dog, as evidenced by being named Best Of Des Moines two years in a row. 724 Scott Ave., Des Moines. ; www.dmdoggy.com
Runners-up: Dogwoods Lodge; Canine Country Club
With four separate shopping malls to choose from in the metro, it’s surprising this is the first year for this category. Perhaps not a surprise, though, is this year’s winner. Valley West Mall will celebrate its 40th anniversary this August, proving it only gets better with age. 1551 Valley West Drive Suite 400, West Des Moines. ; stmall.com
When you’re right, you’re right — and the masseurs at East Village Spa have gotten it right, according to the voters. When work, family and life in general has your muscles in knots, the staff at East Village will help you forget every bad thing and remind you what total relaxation really means. 601 E. Locust St. Suite 202, Des Moines. ; www.evdayspa.com
Runners-up: Blades Massage & Wellness; Massage Heights
This new category is aimed toward the crafty readers out there who picked Artistic Bead for its one-of-a-kind designs and pieces, beading classes and other events. Because when your hobby is this beautiful, it truly is an art. 219 Fifth St., West Des Moines. ; www.artisticbead.com
Runners-up: Fishlips3 Beads & Blues; Eyebeads & Gemstones
Valley Junction is full of boutiques and shops, which makes it hard to pick just one to call the Best. But the voters have given this first-year award to Hinge, which sells clothes, antiques and home décor — a mix for all interests. 218 Fifth St., West Des Moines. ; www.hingeon5th.com
Runners-up: Theatrical Shop; Sisters in the Junction
Known for its unique styles and friendly help, Mint L.A. was voted the best in an area of diverse shops and sellers. Its inventory of colorful pieces at affordable prices probably didn’t hurt either. 5525 Mills Civic Parkway Suite 105, West Des Moines. ; www.shopmintla.com
Runners-up: Winestyles of West Glen; Josephs Jewelers
For cheeky, local references to pop culture printed on T-shirts, coffee mugs, notebooks and tons of other items, Raygun has become to go-to store. Its popularity has made it the voters’ choice for Best Store in the shopping district that was also voted the Best. 400 E. Locust St., Des Moines. ; site.com
Runners-up: Allspice Culinarium; Vanity & Glamour Cosmetics
With high ratings from its customers and a steady following here in the metro, it’s no surprise Day Dreams made it to the Best Of listings. Selling clothing, posters, incense and more, it caters to crowds of all ages. 2326 University Ave., Des Moines. ; www.facebook.com/pages/Daydreams/113981042013565?sk=timeline
Air Jordan 13 ‘Class of 2002’
Runners-up: Creative Coldsnow Artists Materials & Framing; Crazyhorse Guitars
Selling everything from men’s and women’s clothing to axes and knives, Back Country offers rustic style and gifts for adventurous people in your life. 2702 Beaver Ave., Des Moines. ;
Runners-up: Beaverdale Books; Beaverdale Confections
Some of the best stores are the ones with just a little bit of everything. From greetings cards and home décor to jewelry and paintings, some of the best artists in Iowa have work featured at Tandem Bricks. You’re sure to find the perfect gift for anyone here — even yourself. 2722 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines. ; www.tandembrick.com
With more than 40 different vintage arcade games, it’s hard to believe Up-Down could be considered a secret. Its customers rave about the low cost to play , calendar of events and the weekly drink specials. It’s one-of-a-kind entertainment for the 21-and-older crowd. 500 E. Locust St., Des Moines. ; sm.com
No surprise that the Iowa State Fair takes home the win for Best Annual Event for the fifth consecutive year. It’s one of the most well known state fairs in the country, and its concert series alone draws in thousands of people. Oh, and don’t forget the everything-on-a-stick menu. 3000 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines. ; www.iowastatefair.org
Runners-up: Des Moines Art Festival; 80/35 Music Festival
The World Food and Music Festival brings cuisines from around the world to Iowa, making it our readers first choice for Best Cultural Event.
The voters had a difficult task this year of choosing the top cultural event in Des Moines, as the city has so many great options for this category. The World Food and Music Festival is an event featuring dozens of food vendors with cuisines from around the world. Its live entertainment and cooking demonstrations make it a fun event for all ages. sicfestival.org
Runners-up: Des Moines Arts Festival; CelebrAsian
Beaverdale might be a small community, but it sure has a lot to offer. The voters showed their appreciation for the two-day fall festival and its annual parade, live entertainment, food vendors and fireworks. stival.org
Runners-up: Ankeny Summerfest; Johnston Green Days
The John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park is an artistic landmark of downtown Des Moines, and a favorite place for residents as well as tourists. Readers voted it the Best Place to Take Visitors because it’s not to be missed.
When people ask what they should do when visiting Des Moines, one of the first options is to visit the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park downtown. The beautiful, 4.4-acre outdoor art display opened in 2009 and features artwork from 22 artists from around the world. 13th and Grand Avenue, Des Moines. smoinesartcenter.org/visit/pappajohn-sculpture-park.aspx
Runners-up: Des Moines Farmers Market; Iowa State Fair
Spanning from May to October every year, the Des Moines Farmers Market is known throughout the country as one of the best. Hundreds of local vendors fill several blocks of Court Avenue with fresh produce, baked goods and meats. With thousands of visitors every week, it’s a sight to be seen. 300 Court Ave., Des Moines. ; smoinesfarmersmarket.com
Runners-up: Des Moines Art Center; John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park
The voters can’t get enough of Glazed Expressions’ personalized artwork and pottery. They’ve also named it the Best Place to Take Your Kids — especially the ones who grew up finger painting on all the furniture. 8826 Swanson Blvd., Clive. ; www.glazedexpressions.com
Runners-up: Science Center of Iowa; Blank Park Zoo
The voters appreciate the versatility of Glazed Expressions, which is the perfect place to host a birthday party for all ages. Bring in cake and milk for the little ones and wine for the adults, and you’ve got two very different parties. 8826 Swanson Blvd., Clive. ; www.glazedexpressions.com
Runners-up: Science Center of Iowa; Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park
There’s never a shortage of people to watch at the Iowa State Fair. From best dressed to worst and everything in between, one can expect to find more than the average carnie at this 10-day party. 3000 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines. ; www.iowastatefair.org
Runners-up: Des Moines Farmers Market; Court District
No surprises in this category. Des Moines Art Center holds strong as the Best Museum of Des Moines with its impressive art exhibits, educational programs and hands-on activities that offer something for everyone. 4700 Grand Ave., Des Moines. ; www.desmoinesartcenter.org
Runners-up: Iowa Historical Museum; Science Center of Iowa
Even though Fleur Cinema can’t claim to be the only movie theater in the metro to serve alcohol, it can once again claim its title as the Best Place to Catch a Flick. The quaint theater might be smaller than the rest, but its steady following is what really counts. 4545 Fleur Drive, Des Moines. ;
Runners-up: Century 20 Jordan Creek; Varsity Theater
There’s a new winner in town this year. The voters have chosen Goldfinch Theater Company as the best entertainment for the best ticket price, beating out the three-time winner Des Moines Playhouse.
Runners-up: Des Moines Community Playhouse; Civic Center of Greater Des Moines
The people of Des Moines didn’t have an easy time choosing this winner, since several new bars graced the metro area in 2014. The Standard kept its classic martinis but changed its name and ownership, now known as The Stuffed Olive. Its classy atmosphere and top-shelf drinks made it a crowd favorite from the beginning. 208 Third St., Des Moines. ; stuffedolive.com/dsm/
The voters have chosen two bars as alternating winners for the last few years in this Best Patio Bar category. This year they’ve chosen the 2013 winner, Saints Pub Patio, and left the 2012 and 2014 winner in second place. When it comes to summer nights in Iowa, everyone flocks to the patios, especially those of Saints Pub. Multiple locations.
Runners-up: Wellman’s Pub & Rooftop; Mickey’s Irish Pub
Was there any question about this one? Mickey’s has taken home this award at least five times. There’s just something about an Irish bar that draws people in — and whatever it is, the voters know where to find it. Multiple locations.
Runners-up: Sully’s Irish Pub; Cooney’s Tavern
Known fondly as “the epitome of a local dive bar,” Carl’s Place steals the win for 2015. Without so much as website or a sign above the door, it truly does meet all the criteria of a dive — and our readers appreciate that. 1620 Woodland Ave., Des Moines.
Runners-up: Toad’s Tavern; The Locust Tap
It’s a wonder this hasn’t been included in the list in previous years. Des Moines is full of upscale dining and drinking venues, and it’s time they’re recognized. First up: The Exchange, where the drinks are like stocks and there’s never a shortage of well-dressed people. 216 Court Ave., Des Moines, Third floor. ; sm.com
Runners-up: The Stuffed Olive; The Continental Lounge
One can’t fully appreciate the hipster-ness of The Lift without stepping inside and absorbing the art-covered walls and basement-style furniture tucked away in the corner. The small space allows customers to get cozy, and the live jazz music on Tuesdays and silent films on Sundays certainly bring something different to the late-night scene. 222 Fourth St., Des Moines. ;
Once again, the voters picked Johnny’s as the sports bar of choice in the metro. With multiple HDTVs playing every televised game and a range of bar games to keep fans occupied, Johnny’s knows a thing or two about winning. 302 Court Ave., Des Moines. ; shalloffame.com
Runners-up: Jethro’s BBQ; Saints Pub Patio
The title for Best Bar has shifted in the past couple years, and this year it landed on Beer Can Alley. Known as a favorite in the country genre, Beer Can Alley actually suits most people and styles. 216 Court Ave., Des Moines. ; www.beercanalley.com
Runners-up: Toad’s Tavern; el Bait Shop
The Court District reigns supreme when it comes to its excellent nightlife. From country bars to martini bars, dives to clubs — there really is something for everyone’s taste. The voters know it’s a great place to transition from dinner to drinks. smoines.com/court-district.
Runners-up: Historic East Village; West Glen Town Center
For the second year in a row, Beer Can Alley has snagged the win for Best Downtown Bar. It’s a coveted award, thanks to the Court District’s excellent selection of drinking options, so it just goes to show how much the readers really do appreciate country music and whiskey drinks. 216 Court Ave., Des Moines. ; www.beercanalley.com
Runners-up: Royal Mile; Mickey’s Irish Pub; The Exchange
Wellman’s is packed with customers on any given night, and its rooftop patio might just be the best view in West Glen. Whether dancing to the music videos on the screens or chatting at a table on the patios, the voters repeatedly recognize Wellman’s as the best of the west. 597 Market St., West Des Moines. ; www.wellmanspub.com
Runners-up: The Keg Stand; Saints Pub & Patio
It’s five years of wins for this popular Des Moines dive. The readers love it as a place for unwinding after work and gathering for late-night fun. It’s small but intimate, and the regulars are practically family. 1620 Woodland Ave., Des Moines.
Runners-up: Star Bar; Wellman’s Pub & Rooftop ; Saints Pub & Patio
Between its holiday events and sports viewing parties, Highland Park Country Club satisfies all crowds from the afternoon into late night. The voters appreciate its fun, laid-back atmosphere. 518 Euclid Ave., Des Moines. ; s/Highland-park-country-club/121882787847303
Runners-up: The Derry’s Lounge; Yankee Clipper
The loyal following of Toad’s Tavern will keep it as the Best East Bar once again. With one of the longest happy hours around and a pool league not to be beat, the voters know just where to go when they visit the east side. 3002 State Ave., Des Moines. ; www.toadstavern.net
This long-battled title has been awarded to Francie’s for the fifth consecutive year, as our readers can’t get enough of the family-style atmosphere and delicious food. From lunch into the early morning hours, Francie’s aims to please. 2100 Wakonda View Drive, Des Moines. ; www.facebook.com/pages/Francies-Bar-and-Grill/170467119650602
Runners-up: Kung Fu Tap & Taco; Manning’s
For wine enthusiasts and live music lovers alike, Jasper Winery makes for some of the best summer evenings to be had in Des Moines. Drawing in large crowds to its lawn parties, Jasper is known to bring great local talent and delicious foods to complement its many flavors of wine. 2400 George Flagg Parkway, Des Moines. ; sperwinery.com
Runners-up: Summerset Winery; Penoach Vineyard & Winery
Once again, Confluence remains the readers’ favorite for local craft beer. With a variety of seasonal flavors, the classic Des Moines IPA and so many others, the voters appreciate the work these brewers put into developing unique beers. 1235 Thomas Beck Road, Des Moines. ;
Runners-up: Exile Brewing Company; 515 Brewing Company
How could the voters choose anything other than the bar with more than 100 beers on tap? From the outside, it may not look like much to the unassuming eye, but el Bait Shop is a longstanding favorite to the metro’s residents. Now if they could just get some news coverage… 200 S.W. Second St., Des Moines. ; shop.com
We might start calling this one “The Blazing Saddle Award” for as many times as it has won the title. The bartenders haven’t slowed their heavy pours here, and the happy hour specials keep going strong, just like the drinks. 416 E. Fifth St., Des Moines. ; www.theblazingsaddle.com
Runners-up: Carl’s Place; Sully’s Irish Pub
If the beer at Twin Peaks was any colder, it would be frozen. Which is exactly how the people of Des Moines like their brews, and they know exactly where to go to get it. It’s the second consecutive win for Twin Peaks. 4570 University Ave., West Des Moines. ; www.twinpeaksrestaurant.com
Runners-up: Toad’s Tavern; el Bait Shop
It makes sense, right? You can’t get drunk for cheap if you don’t have the strongest drinks, and Blazing Saddle has been appreciated for both attributes for several years. 416 E. Fifth St., Des Moines. ; www.theblazingsaddle.com
Runners-up: Toad’s Tavern; Sully’s Irish Pub
There are several bars that offer games and gaming specials to their patrons, but none that compare to Up-Down and its more than 80 vintage games. From Nintendo and Pinball to skee ball and Jenga, it’s all here, and it’s all fun. 500 E. Locust St., Des Moines. ; sm.com
After Le Boi Bar’s recent closing, the window opened up for a new bar to take over as Best Place to Hook Up in Des Moines. And here to take its place is The Garden, also known as the readers’ favorite dance club and the spot for meeting new people.
Edging out the popular Wellman’s Pub and Rooftop, the Exchange is now the place to go to see good-looking crowds. For a night out at this bar, everyone is donning their best duds and taking extra time in front of the mirror to look their best — and it shows. 216 Court Ave., Des Moines, Third floor. ; sm.com
Runners-up: Crossfit 8035; Vanity & Glamour Cosmetics
A new venue steals the show for Best Happy Hour this year. Eatery A offers half-price wines and pizzas during its happy hour, which runs every day from open to 6 p.m. That’s plenty of time to get pleasantly stuffed at an affordable rate. 2932 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines. ; www.eateryadsm.com
Runners-up: Toad’s Tavern; Sully’s Irish Pub
From last year’s runner-up to this year’s winner, Joe Wells is recognized by the readers for his pouring skills behind the bar at The Exchange. His good looks and friendly service probably didn’t hurt, either. 216 Court Ave., Des Moines, Third floor. ; sm.com
Runners-up: Matt Ferguson – 34’s Sports Grill; Brett Burke – The Garden
A book of menus dedicated to different concoctions of flavors and top-shelf liquors comprises the martini menu at The Stuffed Olive, making sure the building holds the name of Best Martini Menu — regardless of the name of the bar. 208 Third St., Des Moines. ; stuffedolive.com/dsm/
Dos Rios has been voted the place to get the Best Margarita for too many years to count, and it’s really no surprise. With 100 different tequilas at hand, our readers know those margaritas are always good. 316 Court Ave., Des Moines. ; www.dosriosrestaurant.com
For this ginger beer-infused cocktail, why not pick a brewery to shake it up? The Court Avenue-brewed beer makes for the best mule around, according to Cityview readers. And the classic mule Friday night special from 4 p.m. to close makes it an even better deal. 309 Court Ave., Des Moines. ; www.courtavebrew.com
Another repeat winner, Blazing Saddle has been around for more than 30 years and continues to be a voter favorite. The drinks and prices are a big plus, but the people are the real deal breaker when it comes to a good bar, and for the gay/lesbian crowd, it’s right here. 416 E. Fifth St., Des Moines. ; www.theblazingsaddle.com
Runners-up: The Garden Nightclub; Buddy’s Corral
The live music scene in Des Moines is an impressive one, and Wooly’s adds to it by hosting shows nearly every night of the week. Both local and national names grace the stage at Wooly’s for many all-ages shows and some over-21 acts. 504 E. Locust St., Des Moines. ; www.woolysdm.com
Runners-up: The Gas Lamp; Vaudeville Mews
This is a new category this year, but not a surprising win. Simon Estes features popular acts all summer long, and the backdrop of the Des Moines River is a stunning one as it turns from daylight to dusk. www.dmgov.org/Departments/Parks/Pages/SimonEstes.aspx
Runners-up: Jasper Winery; Summerset Winery
Bringing in talented acts such as Marlon Wayans and Dave Coulier, the voters say the Funny Bone is the best place to go when you’re looking for a good laugh. 500 S. Prairie View Drive, Suite 100, West Des Moines. ; www.funnybonedm.com
Runners-up: The Last Laugh Comedy Theater; The Temple for Performing Arts
If dancing is your preferred method of exercise, just head over to The Garden and shake it like Zumba. The voters choose this nightclub as the best place to get your groove on every year for a reason. 112 S.E. Fourth St., Des Moines. www.grdn.com
Runners-up: Joker’s; Miss Kitty’s Nightclub
For those who don’t recognize this name, it’s because Marina Van Leeuwen has never cared much about exhibiting her work. She paints in watercolor, acrylics and pastels, and she has only two exhibits in the area and two in South Africa, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fine arts. For her, painting is about enjoying the creative process. Now that she’s settled in Ames, she does portraits for commissions. www.marinavanleeuwen.com
A consistent winner with Cityview readers, The Lumberyard offers weekly specials, a cheap admission and, of course, the best dancers in town. 1504 N.E. 54th Ave., Des Moines. ; www.iwantwood.com
Runners-up: Beach Girls; The Outer Limits
Since 2012, Tyona Diamond has been Des Moines’ resident drag queen according the readers of Cityview. Diamond’s fans are numerous, and for good reason. People look forward to her performances each night to see how she’ll top the last one. 112 S.E. Fourth St., Des Moines. www.grdn.com
Runners-up: Jupiter Phuckit; Kata Klysmic
Des Moines’ resident rock band managed to steal the title from Bonne Finken for the Best Band award this year. After 20 years of rotating members and producing 10 albums, The Nadas have grown a loyal fan base in the metro. s.com
Runners-up: Dead Horse Trauma; Brother Trucker
The voters have chosen a new act for this year’s Best Musician award. As the guitarist and a vocalist for the local band Street Thieves, Justin Hashman has made a his mark on the local music scene and its listeners.
The various forms of gambling available at Prairie Meadows make it a consistent winner in the Best Place to Gamble category according to the Des Moines voters. It offers slots, tables, live races and other entertainment to draw in a lively crowd night after night. 1 Prairie Meadows Drive, Altoona. ; www.prairiemeadows.com
With its recent addition of Monday night karaoke, AJ’s is one of the few places in the metro to offer karaoke every night of the week. That’s right: Every. Single. Night. They’ve also added a new lyrics monitor, so prepare to belt out your favorite hits all night, every night. 419 E. Court Ave., Des Moines. ; www.facebook.com/ajsoneastcourt
Runners-up: Jeannie’s Bottle; Cattoor’s on Grand
This favorite hotel offers a budget planner and a wedding checklist to guide the bride and groom through their big day. The Holiday Inn promises an unforgettable wedding, and with a central location near the Court District, the readers think it’s a great venue, too. 1050 Sixth Ave., Des Moines. ; www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/des-moines/dsmdw/hoteldetail
Runners-up: Temple for Performing Arts; Sticks
Best Place to Hold a Corporate Event/Party
For the best work party location, the readers voted for this classy hotel and its helpful staff. The Holiday Inn can accompany large groups and smaller parties, and the downtown location is the perfect spot for those after-hours cocktails. 1050 Sixth Ave., Des Moines. ; www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/des-moines/dsmdw/hoteldetail
Runners-up: The World Food Prize; Pinot’s Palette
Best Place for a Bachelor/Bachelorette Party
The soon-to-be-married residents of Des Moines prefer a more sophisticated place for their last single shindigs. They’ve named The Stuffed Olive the first winner in this new category, no doubt for its gourmet food and top-notch martinis. 208 Third St., Des Moines. ; stuffedolive.com/dsm/
Runners-up: Blue Moon Dueling Piano Bar; The Garden Nightclub
Bella Flora Event Design was voted the Best Event Décor Company for its elegant decorations and expert planning.
When it comes to hosting an event, no matter the size or reason, planning and coordinating the venue’s design can be extremely stressful. That’s where Bella Flora Event Design comes into play. It’s the best way to transform a regular event hall into a stunning attraction, according to the voters. 3100 Justin Drive, Suite A, Urbandale. ; www.bellafloraeventdesign.com
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Runners-up: Plum Event Design; White Willow Events
With so many exciting venues in the metro, it’s hard to choose the best place for a New Year’s party. Well, maybe not that hard for our readers, who have chose the Des Moines Social Club as the Best Place to Ring in the New Year for the second year in a row. 900 Mulberry St., Des Moines. ; smoinessocialclub.org
Runners-up: The Exchange; Embassy Suites; The Garden Nightclub
For 23 years, the Good Guys Heartland National has been gracing the Iowa State Fairgrounds with stunning cars, from classics and customs to hot rods and trucks. And for the third consecutive year, the readers say it’s the best car show around. www.good-guys.com
Runners-up: Nick’s Bar & Grill; 515 Get Down Car Show
The readers have chosen Absolute Transportation for all their party transportation needs each year this category has been offered in these awards. Whether your group is searching for a wild party bus or an afternoon trolley, Absolute will keep the steering steady while you keep the drinks flowing. ; www.dsm-limo.com
Runners-up: Majestic Limousine Service; Luxxor Limousines; NPI Limo Services
What would a girls’ night be without wine and crafts? The paint and sip art studio brings two of our favorite concepts together, and the readers say their favorite studio is — no surprise — Glazed Expressions. 8826 Swanson Blvd., Clive. ; www.glazedexpressions.com
Runners-up: Wine & Canvas; Pinot’s Palette
Best Place to Call for a Sober Ride Home
An upset in this category might be controversial to some folks, as Uber now holds the title of our readers’ favorite taxi service. Uber first came to Des Moines in the fall of 2014, but not without its share of skeptics. That didn’t change the minds of the voters, though, who like the app-based service and it’s often cheaper cab fare. www.uber.com
Runners-up: Drivers on Call; DSM Sober Drivers
For those times when you or a friend or family member has been caught in a bit of trouble, our readers recognize Kenny’s as the best bail bonds company in the metro. With more than 17 years of experience, Kenny Nulph has a reputation for helping his clients quickly and professionally. 3937 48th St., Des Moines. ; www.kennysbailbonds.com
Runners-up: Lederman Bail Bonds; All Iowa Bail Bonds
The Waveland Golf Course is 114 years old this year and stays a Des Moines favorite because of its wooded hillsides, traditional layout, length, beautiful surroundings and greenery. The venue holds two different golf tournaments: the WGA which runs the summer men’s league and hosts service projects and events, and the WWGA who play April through August on Wednesdays, and players can choose to play nine or 18 holes. 4908 University Ave. ; www.golfwaveland.com
Runners-up: Des Moines Golf and Country Club; Veenker Memorial Golf Course
For the third year in a row, Mathew Koder has held his title of the best yoga instructor. His one-on-one teaching style and apparent love for the growth of the mind and relaxation of the body has won the hearts of Des Moines yoga lovers yet again. He assesses his student’s physical abilities and then builds a routine for them based on their strengths. He also writes a blog that he shares with site visitors, and gives an insight to what it’s like to be a teacher and what it truly means to be strong. The 10th Street Lofts, Unit 101. ; www.mathewkoderyoga.com
Runners-up: Jennifer Hardcastle; Brittney Fairholm
Justin Behanish, LMT – East Village Spa
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Justin Behanish has been with East Village Spa since 2007 and has been voted best massage therapist for the second year in a row. Did he snag another win because of his good looks or because his active lifestyle makes him a good fit for knowing the right pressure points for people who are stressed and sore? Probably a combination of the two. When he’s not supporting his active clients, he’s playing hockey or practicing Brazilian martial arts. Check out his profile on the East Village Spa’s website. 601 E. Locust St., Suite 202; Des Moines. ; www.evdayspa.com/home.html
Runners-up: Robert Crane–Salon TEC; Silla Blades–Blades Massage
Load up with some peanuts and Cracker Jack’s, Des Moines, because the Iowa Cubs steal home with their best sports team win. As a part of the Pacific Coast League and with their major affiliation with the Chicago Cubs, they have big shoes to fill. Last season their overall record was 74-70. Let’s see if they can keep up the good work this year starting with the season home opener on April 17 at 7:08 p.m. www.iowacubs.com
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Runners-up: Iowa Wild; Iowa Barnstormers
This 25-mile long trail runs through five cities and through four counties . It travels across the Des Moines River valley on a half-mile, 13-story-high bridge and is built on the former Union Pacific Railroad. It’s become so popular that citizens are asked to obtain a permit two weeks in advance before holding an event on the trail. High Trestle Trail is featured in American Trails magazine. ; www.inhf.org/trails/high-trestle
Runners-up: Raccoon River Valley Trail; Great Western Trail
It makes sense that the Y took the win for the best place to work out, considering they serve more than 50,000 members throughout central Iowa. The YMCA prides itself on not being a part of the community, but creating the community and pulling everyone together for health, fitness, charities and events. They welcome any and all members, and their main goal is to make a difference in the community. 210 N. Warrior Lane, Waukee. ; www.dmymca.org/en/locations/waukee_family_ymca/
Runners-up: Wellmark YMCA; Life Time Athletic Des Moines
Farrell’s fitness program is based on a 45-minute, six days a week for 10 weeks workout plan. In these 10 weeks, trainees experience cardiovascular training to burn fat, strength training to build muscle, a nutrition plan for healthy eating and instructors and coaches for encouragement. Farrell’s strives to create a supportive environment, but also runs on the three values developed by Lance Farrell: discipline, self-control and respect. The people who work there want to help their gym goers transform their lives. www.extremebodyshaping.com
Runners-up: KoSama Group Fitness Redefinition; RoundKick Gym Martial Arts & Fitness
The YMCA has been offering organized swimming and lessons for 110 years and was the first to offer group swimming lessons back in 1907. Swim lesson guidelines and online registration is offered to customers with and without a membership to their local YMCA. You can check out the pool schedule online for your closest YMCA swim times. www.dmymca.org
Runners-up: Life Time Aathletic; Adventure Bay Family Waterpark
Tired of spending time at Chuck E. Cheese’s with screaming kids? Take them bowling instead at Plaza Lanes, and celebrate birthday parties where the adults and children can both have a great time. Carrying friends out of the bar before they cause a scene gets stressful, and does anyone ever remember what street they parked the car on? Save the trouble and take the group out midnight bowling where Plaza Lanes has laser lights, fog machines and great music. Don’t forget to grab drinks and dinner at Trophy’s Bar & Grill right next door. 2701 Douglas Ave., Des Moines. ; sdm.com
Runners-up: Val Lanes Recreation Center; Air Lanes
Everyone loves miniature golfing. Tap the ball once, it doesn’t go anywhere. Tap the ball again, it doesn’t go anywhere. Tap it the third time and it goes half way across the course into a random pond. But, hey, at least at West Grand Golf they have pretty bridges, natural surroundings, gardens and waterfalls. So when you realize how difficult playing miniature golf can be, just take a look around at the scenery West Grand Golf offers. Reclaiming their title this year, West Grand Golf makes it a point to accommodate their guests in every way possible, including a practice putting green for the above frustrations. 6450 Raccoon River Drive, West Des Moines. ; www.westgrandgolf.com
Runners-up: Blank Golf Course; Toad Valley Golf Course
Playing in the heart of downtown Des Moines at Wells Fargo Arena, the Iowa Barnstormers are looking to better their 2014 record of six losses and 12 wins. This season, they welcome back DeJay “Superman” Lester, who proved to be a big addition to the team last year. Coaches and fans are excited about the new season and the changes and additions that have been made. Head Coach Joe Brannen seems to be upbeat and positive about the season that starts this week. The first game of the season is on Feb. 28 starting at 7:05 p.m. www.theiowabarnstormers.com
Runners-up: Iowa Wild, Des Moines Buccaneers
The Iowa Cubs has been one of Des Moines’ favorite teams for years now, winning best outdoor sporting event yet again. The Cubs have set records, won several titles, and have even had a previous manager, Ryne Sandberg, inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. www.iowacubs.com
Runners-up: Drake Relays; Des Moines Menace
Baseball lovers rejoice at Principal Park. With a great view of the Iowa State Capitol and the heart of downtown Des Moines, it’s hard not to fall in love with America’s favorite game. Just root for the home team, and if they don’t win it’s a shame, but when they do win, fans can hang around and enjoy the beauty that Principal Park offers its loyal fans. 1 Line Dr., Des Moines. ; www.iowacubs.com
Runners-up: Iowa Events Center–Wells Fargo Arena; Des Moines Buccaneer Arena
2015 celebrates the 36th year of the annual Dam to Dam race. Runners can choose between a half-marathon, 20-kilometer run or a five-kilometer run. The Dam to Dam also offers youth runs. The 2015 Iowa Distance Classic will be held on Saturday, May 30. Registration begins mid-March. Results and winners of last year’s race are up on the website and available for everyone to see the overall winners and the top age division winners. www.damtodam.com
Runners-up: IMT Des Moines Marathon; Drake Relays
This annual race is designed to test a runner’s strength, endurance and ability to overcome obstacles…literally. Runners experience everything except what they would do in a typical 10K or 5K race. It’s a muddy, crazy, fun mess, and runners celebrate with a beer at the end. That’s actually what MOB stands for: Mud, Obstacles, Beer. Titan MOB serves as a joy for people both to participate and observe safely from the sidelines.
Runners-up: Living History Farms Race; Warrior Dash
The fresh produce, homemade goods and handmade crafts make the Des Moines Farmers Market a local favorite. Cityview readers voted it both Best Farmers Market and Best Place to Take Your Parents.
The farmers market is the best place to take a friend or significant other on a morning outing with some coffee, or to try new things and new foods to fall in love with and bring home. And don’t forget the great food that the farmers market always has to offer. Check their site for times and dates for the spring market. smoinesfarmersmarket.com
Runners-up: Valley Junction Farmers Market/Music in the Junction; Beaverdale Farmers Market
It’s no question why Rodney Filer won this race; he’s played in the NFL, he’s played in several area football leagues and is currently the fullback for the Iowa Barnstormers. He is also “half the heartbeat” of Gigi’s Pilates Studio, according to its website. Rodney also serves as a motivational speaker and coach for the Iowa Lightning football team. He is the co-founder and vice president of the Empower to Play Foundation and is also working to bring nutrition and activities to Des Moines’ at-risk youth. Wait — is this award for Best Personal Trainer or Best Person? 1312 Locust St., Des Moines. ; www.gigispilatesstudio.com
Runners-up: Jen Brambel; Dado Kantarevic
Jester Park may be the best place to camp for several reasons. Maybe it’s because there are endless features and activities, like boating, golfing, hiking, cross-country skiing, fishing and so many more. Or because it’s in a secluded area with beautiful scenery. Or maybe it’s because of the bison and elk herds that greet you at the end of the park drive. Whatever the reason, Jester Park Campground takes the cake for this race.11407 N.W. Jester Park Drive, Granger. www.mycountyparks.com/county/polk/park/Jester-Lewis-A-Park
Runners-up: Cherry Glen Campground; Yellow Banks Park
Governor Branstad has been in office since 2011, and before that he was the president of Des Moines University. As governor, his goals were to make 200,000 new jobs for Iowans, create a 15 percent reduction in the cost of government through the use of more efficient technology, create a 25 percent increase in family incomes, and develop some of the best schools in the nation through first-rate teachers and more critical teaching methods. Most recently, in the Condition of the State address, Brandstad has expressed taking action in terms of creating high-speed Internet and funding for revitalizing Iowa’s roads and bridges.
Runners-up: Mayor T.M. Franklin Cownie; Sen. Matt McCoy
KCCI wins for best channel for news for their extensive scope of reports, as well as their breadth of topics. From local news, entertainment, politics, health, travel plus many more, it’s hard not to vote for one of the biggest news organizations in Iowa. You can download their app to your mobile phone for the fastest news updates, as well as an alarm clock that plays a song or sound to wake you up, and then takes you to the news first thing in the morning. Talk about an easy way to stay up to date. www.kcci.com/news
From reporting on high school sports to special segments like “What’s Bugging Andy” and “Murphy’s Law,” WHO TV takes the win for best sports station. Whether biking, fishing, basketball or football — WHO covers it all. They even feature a workout move of the week on their website and have recently published workout trends for 2015 that predict what direction health and fitness will go this year. Here we go, group fitness! sports/
KCCI has the local weather scrolling across your television screen about every five minutes, offers notifications to be sent to users’ cell phones about school and event closings, and interactive radar and alerts are always available and up to date on KCCI’s website. KCCI also offers a breaking news and weather app, a storm team 8 KCCI weather app, and a tornadoes app, because everyone knows that we check our phones before we flip on the television. www.kcci.com/weather
Kevin Cooney joined KCCI while he was still in high school. He started with sports reporting and moved his way up to a news anchor, where he has been doing newscasts for the last 32 years. Cooney has interviewed President George H. Bush, President Bill Clinton, and Sen. Joni Ernst among many others. Cooney has covered stories such as presidential inaugurations, and he’s interviewed American hostages upon their return home. He has received the Jack Shelley Award from the IBNA and the James Schwartz Award for Distinguished Service to Journalism from Iowa State University.
Runners-up: Elizabeth Klinge – KCCI; Dan Winters – WHO
Maybe this makes us a bit superficial, but doesn’t it make watching the news a whole lot better when it’s a handsome, smiling face telling you the day’s current events? The voters say Eric Hanson is the best-looking man on TV this year, and we can’t say they were wrong with that pick.
Runners-up: Dan Winters – WHO; Andy Fales – WHO
Most people don’t really like waking up in the wee hours of the morning to start their day. Thank goodness we have Elizabeth Klinge right there with us — at least, on the TV while we’re getting our coffee ready — to help us through the morning. Her perfect hair and bright smile on the 4 a.m. news make us all wonder why mornings are so hard for us when she already looks like that.
Runners-up: Erin Kiernan – WHO; Jackie Schmillen – KCWI
It’s safe to say that Ed Wilson has done a lot in his career, and he started when he was very young. In fact, he has covered so many different storms it would likely exceed the length of this section of the column. Here’s what’s important: during the flood of 1993, Wilson stayed on the air for 30 hours, he has covered almost all of the major storms Iowa has endured over the course of his career, and he’s an only child. What’s being an only child have to do with it? It means he’s used to the attention.
Runners-up: Steve Deace; Andy Fales – WHO
Aside from winning numerous awards for his sportscasting, hosting SoundOFF, and, according to WHO, helping to change the expectations for sports reporting, Keith Murphy has also had neck, shoulder, knee and nose surgery. This is relevant because all four of his surgeries were from sports-related incidents, which makes him an expert at sports injuries, too. In other words, he da man!
Runners-up: Andy Garman – KCCI; Andy Fales – WHO
It’s no surprise that Rekha Basu stole the show for this category for the second time. She has won countless awards, including Des Moines Business Record’s Women of Influence and the Iowa Farmers Union media award. She’s been writing for The Des Moines Register since 1991 and reports on subjects such as human rights and racial justice. With so many accomplishments, it’s hard not to vote for Basu. Don’t miss her commentary about local politics on Wednesdays called “Rekha’s Voice. “
Runners-up: Andy Fales – WHO; Kevin Cooney – KCCI
Kurtis Gertz means business when it comes to weather. He’s worked at five stations to report the weather and has been with KCCI for about 16 years. Working construction in Wisconsin led Gertz to be interested in reporting the weather, which he followed up with a degree from Florida State University. Other than the weather, Gertz likes to travel, watch movies and spend time with his wife on their Harley. At least his head isn’t in the clouds while he’s reporting. He seems pretty down to Earth .
Runners-up: Ed Wilson – WHO; Jason Parkin – KCWI Great Day
These two goofballs talk sports every weekday from 2-4 p.m. What’s sports talk without challenging opinions, snarky comments and competitive conversation? Basically nothing, but these two hit all the trademarks of an interesting and entertaining radio show.
Runners-up: Big Ken & Colleen – Star 102.5; Van & Bonnie in the Morning – WHO 1040
Could it be his deep voice that makes him the readers’ favorite? Or the fact that he runs the show from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. — and we all know nothing good ever happens after midnight? Maybe it’s because he is also in a band, and people always have a thing for musicians? For whatever the reason, Brian Holtz claims the win in the sexy voice category, and our readers are very, well, excited about Holtz and his captivating voice. He’s on air every weeknight, and if you want to get more than the voice, catch his band playing at venues around the metro. 1000 Walnut St., Suite 1107, Des Moines. ; www.kfmg991.org
Runners-up: Clutch – KGGO 95; Max Schaeffer – KIOA 93.3
KFMG is one of the few locally owned radio stations left in the area, and it thrives on the community’s input. It’s run by the Des Moines Community Radio Foundation, which is a nonprofit, and works daily to inform Des Moines residents of the activities, events and charities happening daily. Their music is a mixture of jazz, soul, rock and roll and alternative. Radio shows run basically all day, every day, so you won’t miss a minute. 1000 Walnut St., Suite 1107, Des Moines. ; www.kfmg991.org
Runners-up: WOI – Iowa Public Radio; WHO 1040
“Sorenson was progressive before progressive was cool,” says KFMG’s website, and it seems that they are correct in their assessment of station general manager Ron Sorenson. Not only does he manage the station, he is also the president of the Des Moines Community Radio Foundation, which owns and operates KFMG. Sorenson lives a busy life running one company and managing another, but he still finds time to golf, enjoy his music collection and run the Ron Sorenson Show at 99.1. Catch him live weekdays in the afternoon. 1000 Walnut St., Suite 1107, Des Moines. ; www.kfmg991.org
Runners-up: Maxwell & Pam–KIOA 93.3; Big Ken & Colleen–Star 102.5
Books, magazines, film, periodicals, sheet music, media, movies…the options to rent and view at the Central library seem endless. With free parking and a prime location near the Pappajohn Sculpture Park downtown, it’s guaranteed to be a fun trip. The library even has a pickup window open Monday through Friday from 4-6 p.m. Our readers love the peaceful and quiet atmosphere both in and around the library. 1000 Grand Ave., Des Moines. ;
Runners-up: Des Moines Public Library–Franklin Ave.; Urbandale Public Library
We could brag about the Animal Rescue League for hours — and so could our readers. It’s the biggest nonprofit animal shelter in Iowa and relies solely on donations to run the shelter. The ARL website offers notices for lost and found pets, animal advice, and they host a slew of events, including Zumba classes. The voters love the mission of ARL, but they also love the happiness it brings to pets and owners alike. www.arl-iowa.org
Runners-up: Hope Ministries; AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport
Hope has worked hard to get where it is today. It has an extensive list of different ministries catered to each age group and religious maturity and a full calendar of events just about every month. Readers love the community at Hope, but also the convenience, because their sermons are posted online in a podcast or video form for those who can’t attend church. 925 Jordan Creek Parkway., West Des Moines. ; www.hopewdm.org
Runners-up: Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ; Westminster Presbyterian Church
Taking the title of Best Realtor for the third time is former Des Moines Sexiest People nominee Bob Eisenlauer. He’s accomplished a lot in his 11 years in real estate, and our readers appreciate him for it. He has received more than six awards for his outstanding performance and is very active in the family business. See this man for all your new-home needs — you won’t regret it. ; www.eisenlauerteam.com
Runners-up: Tim Scheib; Tina Johnson and Steve O’Meara
When it comes to buying a car, you want to work with someone you trust. Our readers say Tim Gilman is that someone. He works with his customers to find the perfect cars at the best prices. www.billionauto.com
Runners-up: Steve Johnson – Toyota; Jeff Nelmark – Stivers
It doesn’t have to be the biggest campus to be the best college, as proved by the voters’ choice to name Drake University the Best College. With countless opportunities for student involvement, Drake works hard to keep the Des Moines area happy and upbeat. 2507 University Ave., Des Moines. 800-44-DRAKE; www.drake.edu
Runners-up: DMACC; Grand View University
Best Place for Continuing Your Education
DMACC prides itself on being the best place to start your college career, offering 12 special programs for students with specific needs to succeed in college education. If you’ve left school and have decided to go back, you can take advantage of the transfer program. They offer courses for people who speak English as their second language and schooling for people who were in the military. DMACC is the No. 1 transfer institution in Iowa, and it produces the most undergraduates in the state. Visit the website and use their college planning timeline to plan the rest of your schooling. 1100 Seventh St., Des Moines. ; www.dmacc.edu
Runners-up: Drake University; Kaplan University
Creative Backing Real Estate Photography
Creative Backing is a company that assists realtors in selling their homes with stunning photography and videography. Winning the photography title at only two years old, this company creates a story for each home through its photos, giving each home life and energy. Our readers like Creative Backing because they strive to be the creative backbone of every real estate company and to offer them countless support services for their companies to succeed. www.creativebacking.com
Runners-up: Kerri Photography; Tim Vorland Photography
It’s clear that Natalie Heinemann has a passion for serving her community and country. Prior to serving five years on the Des Moines police force as a senior officer, she worked as a surveillance guard and spent seven years of her life serving the United States Army.
Tony Niedart – Principal Financial Group
Tony Niedert is among the slew of individuals at Principal that strive to help customers put their finances in order and develop the best strategy to achieving their financial goals. Niedert has presumably been voted the best because of his stellar work with his clients and their overall happiness with him as their financial advisor. It takes a sincere person to have so many people trust you with their money. 6701 Westown Parkway, Suite 200, West Des Moines. ; www.principal.com
He may not be Jake from State Farm and clad in khakis, but Ben Buenzow knows how to take care of his clients just as well. After working with State Farm for about 11 years, our readers trust Buenzow and his credibility as an insurance agent.
Runners-up: Doug Hoyng – Hoyng Insurance Group; Mike Adamson
Planned Parenthood has been known for years for helping people protect themselves and stay up to date on their health quickly and discreetly. They offer services like STD testing, birth control and the morning-after pill. They even have people to chat with on their website if you have a question or concern. They have convenient locations all over the metro and offer affordable health insurance choices. www.plannedparenthood.org
Runners-up: Vitae Family Care; Agape Pregnancy Center
His accomplishments are too many to name here, so it’s no surprise the voters named Dr. Braxton Pulley as the Best Chiropractor serving Des Moines. He opened Pulley Chiropractic Health Center to serve clients in the metro. The office will soon change its name to East Village Chiropractic, but don’t let that stop you from making an appointment with the best chiropractor around. 300 E. Locust St., Des Moines
Runners-up: 2022 Buy Air Jordan 13 “University Gold” White/University Gold-Black