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Originally Posted in March 2009

I commented in this post about the correlation church attendance in our city and the downturn in the economy. I compared two hypothetical churches, one boasting an increase in attendance, the other mobilizing themselves to help the those hit hardest in their community (but not necessarily bent on their numbers).

I actually did hear the comments from some pastors who were talking about their growing church attendance since the market collapse, hence my response. I had to also ask the question: why?

Why would church attendance grow and what kind of person would that be? I concluded that there wasn’t anybody new actually going to church, just the people who used to go before were scared by their falling equity to return.

Turns out the most recent Gallup poll conducted in the States goes against the findings of the pastors I overheard.

The survey concluded that there has been NO measurable increase in religiosity or church attendance since the financial crisis. Now two things to consider, I do believe what those pastors said since they see weekly attendance, and two, Canada is a different fish than America.

Having said that, it does confirm something for me: that the people who ARE going back to church in these churches apparently growing amidst crisis aren’t in fact adding to their ranks, but re-attracting the ‘already religious’.

I seriously doubt there has been any improvement with creating lasting relationships with people in the community. I doubt because nothing has changed, we just changed sermon titles to reflect the crisis outside and consider ourselves relevant.

In actuality, people who are regular non-religious, non-Christian people (I think those two thing can be mutually exclusive by the way), still wouldn’t comprehend the language and motive of current churches and therefore have no reason to resonate with their beliefs.

My perspective is we still have a ways to go to fix the machine that’s probably 30 years behind the time. It’s not going to die (as a whole), but church community needs a renewal, one that drops the ‘come and see Sunday’ approach, to a literally ‘in your face in your community’ presence.