What’s new in the religious landscape?
There are big research studies that answer that question and offer helpful and very reliable data. But our own impressions and observations in response to that question are important too. How might you and others in your congregation answer the question, “What’s new in the religious landscape?” What are you noticing?
Small Group Experiences
In a recent small group conversation at the Center for Congregations, several people noted the impact of our digital, networked culture on religious life. The long-time executive pastor of a “mega church” explained that he notices their people want smaller and more intimate experiences of worship.
“When we built our current facility, we assumed we would one day be expanding our worship center to be even larger,” he said. “Now I doubt that will ever happen.”
Instead, his congregation recently began to offer a smaller worship experience in their chapel, seating 150 and video-streaming the message from the main worship center. The chapel tends to be standing room only. The smaller setting is what people are looking for even when they come to a very big church. Our conversation group wondered if that church’s experience is related to what we are noticing about the digital and networked culture. People do less and less in person, even accessing faith resources digitally. Could it be that when folks have an in-person experience – like public worship – they want it to be more personal, more intimate?
What are you noticing in the religious landscape? What questions would you like to explore?
The Center for Congregations is happy to engage you and your congregation around questions like these. We’re here to help you identify and use good resources for conversation and action around the issues that are key for you. Here is our contact information.