Younger generations prefer smaller worship gatherings

"Larger churches will have a more difficult time staying larger. At least, that is my postulate according to our early research.  And to be clear, I am defining a larger church by the size of its largest worship service, not by its total attendance." - Thom Rainer

645 reads

There are 4 Comments

Ed Vasicek's picture

People have been saying this for the better part of a decade, but it doesn't seem to be happening.  I think there is a difference between what people say and do.

Illustration: A woman who once attended here was raised on the mission field.  She and her husband/kids visited the small church she attended on the field, and decided our church (at that time pushing 200) was too big. They wanted to find a smaller church instead. They ended up attending a church of 3,000.  

In my opinion, Rainer's prediction would be wonderful -- if it materialized.  Maybe one day it will, but I am getting skeptical about such a trend being on the verge.


"The Midrash Detective"

TylerR's picture


Sure they don't ...

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

pvawter's picture

It's like the proverbial bar where "everybody knows your name," or the mom and pop store around the corner or the local coffee shop. Everyone says they want these things, but Walmart continues to grow as do Starbucks and Buffalo Wild Wings. It really is easy to say we value community and real fellowship, but in practice most of us like to keep a healthy distance from anyone who might look too closely at our lives. And we certainly love to hear great preaching, but we're not so sure we want the preacher to know our struggles and sins. If we miss a week or two, we don't want anyone to notice, unless we really want everyone to notice. 

Bert Perry's picture

No doubt that a lot of people talk a good game, but don't bring it "to the court", but on the flip side, I can envision a fair number of people--starting with those on the fringes, really--might love it if people did it well.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.