One New York church has responded to the “changing sociology” by switching from worshiping on Sunday mornings during the summer to worshiping on Wednesday nights:
“Over the last summers, we’ve seen fewer and fewer members coming in on Sunday morning,” Movsovich said. “This is an attempt to try and stay together. To me, it was more important to maintain community than to maintain the tradition of Sunday.”
Movsovich, who has been with the congregation for 25 years, noticed an attendance decline of about 60 percent at various times in past summers. Some church members take two weeks off, others two months…
The trend of nontraditional services is gaining nationwide popularity, said Bill Leonard, professor of church history and religion at Wake Forest University. More churches are open to adapting to members’ changing schedules and priorities.
“People have so many other personal and familial responsibilities that appear now on Sundays in a way that has just mushroomed — families with aging parents, employment and travel issues or children in college,” Leonard said. “Traditional services were built around the sociology of another era. We’re simply responding to changing sociology.”
Let the theological debates begin! Seriously, I’m intrigued by this sociology explanation. The suggestion is this: we are in a different era of church going where Sunday morning is no longer “sacred” in the same way it may have been in the past (though this sort of “golden era” thinking always has issues). A few questions:
1. Is Sunday morning on the way out with younger generations?
2. How many churches have changed to other days and times for regular worship?
3. How many churches would talk about a “changing sociology”?