2. Higher focus on kids’ activities
A growing number of kids are playing sports. And a growing number of kids are playing on teams that require travel.
Many of those sports happen on weekends. And affluent parents are choosing sports over church.
It’s as simple as that.
3. More travel
Despite a wobbly economy, travel is on the rise, both for business and pleasure.
More and more families of various ages travel for leisure, even if it’s just out of town to go camping or to a friend’s place for the weekend or a weekend at the lake.
And when people are out of town, they tend to not be in church.
4. Blended and single parent families
Fortunately, more and more blended families and single parent families are finding a home in church.
So how does this translate into attendance patterns?
Church leaders need to remember that when custody is shared in a family situation, ‘perfect’ attendance for a kid or teen might be 26 Sundays a year.
Similarly, while the affluent might not be in church because of access to reliable transportation, single parents (who, not always, but often, struggle more financially) might not be in church because they lack access to reliable transportation.
So here’s the strange twist. People who have a car are often not in church because they have a car. People who want to be in church are often not in church because they don’t have a car or because it’s not their ‘weekend’ for church.
Sadly, people who want to get to church simply can’t.
By the way, I lead a church that virtually requires a vehicle to get there. I love how we often see people with reliable transportation helping out those who don’t have a vehicle. That’s at least a partial remedy to this problem.
5. Online Options
Many churches have created a social media presence and many podcast their messages like we do at Connexus. Churches are also launching online campuses that bring the entire service to you on your phone, tablet or TV.
There are pros and cons to online church (I outline seven here) and there’s no doubt that churches with a strong online presence have seen it impact physical attendance.
But whether or not your church has online options doesn’t make the issue go away. Anyone who attends your church has free access to any online ministry of any church.
Online church is here to stay, whether you participate or not.
6. The cultural disappearance of guilt
When I grew up, I felt guilty about not being in church on a Sunday.
The number of people who feel guilty about not being in church on Sunday shrinks daily.
I regularly meet people all the time who haven’t been in months but LOVE our church.
If you’re relying on guilt as a motivator, you need a new strategy. (Well, honestly, you’ve always needed a new strategy …)