Why Are People Waiting So Long To Head Back To Church In Michigan
Before we begin, I just wanted to clarify that the photos of the EMPTY church parking lots used in this article were taken AFTER service at both churches.
These photos were taken at local churches and used as only a point of reference. I can only speak on attendance at one of the churches and I can state that the lot in the photo used below was a little over a quarter full when I went to 11 am service.
Just had to clear things up so I didn't have pastors calling me. I don't want folks to think that I'm saying NO ONE is back at church. But the numbers are not huge by any stretch of the imagination. And there has been some speculation about how long it's going to take people to head back into the building.
I only wanted to talk about this because I remember at the height of the pandemic, churches were one of places shut down because of health/safety precautions and people were very vocal about it. They were also upset when other "essential/nonessential" businesses were allowed to open but churches were not.
Now churches are open. I have been to at least 3 services over the past few weeks. There are precautions but not restrictions at church . But nothing that would necessarily prevent or prohibit anyone from coming back INTO the building.
However, I have noticed that the parking lot during service is only about a quarter full. After much ado and noise about not being able to attend church, now that people can come back they aren't.
I wonder why?
There are two schools of thought.
The Pandemic Reinforced Digital Church Consumption
Without any in-person services for months on end, digital-only church further reinforced the ease of consumeristic patterns by allowing people to attend without “attending,” making church even easier for the predisposed church consumer. These people may come back to an in-person event or service at some point, but I’m not holding my breath. They were consumers before the pandemic, and now, the ease of digital church solidified their behavior. (churchleaders)
Going to church online from the comfort of your own home is much easier than loading the kids up and heading into the building. Folks were doing it before the pandemic and the shutdown only reinforced it.
I Missed A Year Of Church and Things Were OK - I Might Not Ever Go Back
I fear they disengaged from the local church during the pandemic and nothing in their life got worse. They aren’t coming back because they didn’t miss it. And apparently, they didn’t need it. When you think about it, why would they come back? Possibly what they were getting at church wasn’t worth their time, energy, and effort after all. (churchleaders)
Are you back at church? If not, is it because of one of the two reasons above?