I live near a large entertainment venue, the Fargodome. Everytime there is a big star there, I count the vehicles in the entourage. It’s usually about 14 semi trucks and 10 buses.
All this equipment and staff makes it possible for the star of do things like fly over the heads of the audience and other gimmicks. Every show has to have something new and different.
All of us change TV channels a lot. We want variety. Church has little.
That’s why I think religious leaders who watch declines in church membership and attendance are doing wishful thinking when they say, “People are still spiritual. They aren’t becoming atheists. They will return.”
The problem with this thinking is spirituality allows the imagination to soar. Since its source is the mind, religion can be choosen the way one chooses among 175 TV channels.
An then there is the ever present feed back where people have come to expect to participate. “Your view counts,” they are told constantly. They can respond on their computers to every news story and everything they buy.
Church, on the other hand, is a venue where the preacher preaches and you listen. Things are done differently everywhere else.
Here is a suggestion for churches. Change the service format to include 30 minutes of open mike time called, “Here’s what I’m thinking today.”
Churches might turn this thing around.