Will the Pandemic Bring About the End of Small Churches?
January 20, 2022
News about religious trends in the US is rarely upbeat. A recent exception was Bob Smietana’s article for Religion News Service in which he documented how declining service attendance has created a new category of “minichurches” that feature fewer members than you might find at a family reunion. But with fewer congregants, religious leaders are able to connect with them directly, and “relationships matter more than the spectacle of a Sunday morning.”
The numbers certainly bear this out. Most congregations in the US are small—70 percent of all congregations have memberships of less than 100 people. And many are getting smaller. The median attendance has declined every year for the last two decades. It’s now less than half of what it was 20 years ago.