In a recent post at his blog, Thom Rainer asserts there’s a trend toward smaller worship facilities for churches. Among the reasons—only two of which deal with declining attendance—he cites these factors:
“The growth of the multi-site and multi-venue church. This movement is large and growing. Church leaders are strategically starting different sites and venues to bring the church to the population rather than expect the people to come to one worship center. Churches are more likely to have a few small worship centers or use one worship center on multiple days than to have one large worship center.
“The Millennials’ aversion to larger worship centers. I have seen this trend in my research of this generation born between 1980 and 2000. I have also experienced this sentiment personally with Millennial church leaders. On one occasion, I went on a tour of a large worship center with a Millennial. I came away greatly impressed with not only the size of the place, but its functionality as well. My Millennial friend remarked that he hopes he never has to build something that large. On another occasion, I went by a small worship center with little parking with a Millennial leader. I noted that only about 200 people could ever worship there. He countered that 2,000 could be at the worship center each week if it were strategically used throughout the week.
“The shift in emphasis from the big worship event to an emphasis on groups. Worship services will not go away. Preaching will remain central. But an emphasis on worship services as the big event will not be as great. Church leaders are giving more of their energy to the development of healthy leaders and groups. As a side note, watch for an increased demand for small group pastors or discipleship pastors. As worship pastors were sought after the past 30 or 40 years, so will these other staff members for the years ahead.” (Click to read the full article.)