Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Reaching out with the Old

Sometimes it's nice to hear you're not just an oddball, I read in Christian Century's June 17 issue the following...."
By a ratio of almost 2 to 1, unchurched Americans prefer churches that look more like medieval cathedrals to the modern, utilitarian church facilities that currently are being constructed.
This preference for the Gothic, found among both unchurched Catholics and unchurched Protestants, is even more pronounced among people between the ages of 25 and 34. "I don't like modern churches, they seem cold," said one survey respondent. "I like the smell of candles burning, stained glass windows and an intimacy that's transcendent." (survey by Lifeway Research.)
....From the article linked above...“Quite honestly, this research surprised us,” said Ed Stetzer, director of LifeWay Research and LifeWay Christian Resource’s missiologist in residence.

“We expected they’d choose the more contemporary options, but they were clearly more drawn to the aesthetics of the Gothic building than the run-of-the-mill, modern church building.”
Well, I'm not surprised, Ed.
I've always had a feeling about this---now I know that feeling is part of the collective unconscious and not just my own uncommon preference. Ha! I'm right. (I try to get in one of these "Ha! I'm right"s at least once a day. Usually my wife is the lucky recipient of said "H!IR's" but today, you all get to share in the glorious experience. ON the topic of really helpful worship findings, make plans to attend the Worship in a Postmodern Accent Workshop
So, how would the Oklahoma Conference like to sink money into building materials that would be required to build a church that 25-34 year olds would prefer to worship in--or should the New church starts initiative be in the market for a good, "pre-owned" gothic church? You want to see photos of my dream appointment in New York City? It was built by the Methodists--but they wanted to attract an ecumenical congregation in a Byzantine neighborhood. Yes, I fall in line with the preferences of the unchurched, and struggle with the implications for how we might allocate resources to start new congregations.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:47 PM

    Yeah!! And, of all things... from a survey group from Lifeway--SBC to the core. wonder if they think they've "missed the boat?"