Thom Rainer has seen dramatic changes in just ten years:
If you were attending a church worship service in 1955 and then returned to the same church in 1975, the changes would be noticeable but not dramatic. Churches were slow to change over that 20-year period. If you, however, attended a church worship service in 2000 and then returned to that same church in 2010, there is a high likelihood you would see dramatic changes in just ten years.
So today, Jonathan and I discuss some of those changes that are happening in worship services. The related post for this topic was one that caused a lot of discussion and at least a little controversy. In this week’s episode, we share some of the reaction to the original post, dive deeper into some of the changes more, and I explain why I hate neckties.
- Choirs are disappearing. From 1998 to 2007, the percentage of churches with choirs decreased from 54% to 44%. If that pace holds to this year, the percentage of churches with choirs is only 37%.
- Dress is more casual. In many churches, a man wearing a tie in a worship service is now among the few rather than the majority. While the degree of casual dress is contextual, the trend is crossing all geographic and demographic lines.
- Screens are pervasive. Some of you remember the days when putting a projection screen in a worship center was considered a sacrilege. Now most churches have screens. And if they have hymnals, the hymnals are largely ignored and the congregants follow along on the screens.
- Preaching is longer. I will soon be in the process of gathering this data to make certain the objective research confirms the anecdotal information.