Since the coronavirus forced worship services to move online, nearly a third of church-goers have stopped attending church, according to new Barna research. Among millennials, it’s even higher: Half of those who used to go to church have stopped since the pandemic started. It is not clear why. But when attendance plummets, we need to stop, reflect, and answer that question.
The church needs to be thinking outside the sanctuary, not only in the near term during COVID, but long after. Many church leaders are more than ready to welcome people back into sanctuaries, to see faces, shake hands, offer hugs. But that focus may risk distracting some leaders from considering what their hybrid churches will need over the coming year. So what should we spend our time doing?
Does it make sense to give up devices and social media like this? C.S. Lewis actually had something to say about this. Lewis, of course, never dreamed of anything like Facebook or even the internet. But we aren’t the first generation to notice technology changing our habits and lifestyles. Lewis once received a letter from a gentleman asking his advice about “motoring.” Here’s what Lewis had to say in a letter from 1956…
Of the 150 or so acres making up Willow Creek Community Church’s main campus, a full 8 acres are devoted to buildings. Parking lots cover more than 28. That ratio demonstrates just how important cars are to most churches today.