A listener wrote in to ask about the problem of attrition in the Buddhist Churches of America (or Jodo Shinshu more generally) and suggested a few possible doctrinal reasons for declining membership including Shinran’s seemingly anti-institutional and anti-ritualistic understandings of Buddhism. Harry and Scott tackle these questions starting with the assumption that membership is declining. It brings up some important sociological questions about who is and who isn’t “a Buddhist” or who is “religious”? (Not to mention how the BCA counts and tracks members.) We also discuss the important question of how Shinran’s doctrinal understandings of Buddhism translate to the motivations behind lay members coming to temple (or not). The question is a good, deep, important one, giving us an opportunity for personal and institutional self-reflection.