This week WFX returns to the South! Charlotte is hosting it. I’m looking forward to seeing friends from other WFX’s and hearing the speakers. I learn so much from everyone!
It’s been a rough year on some churches. The economy has really battered budgets — especially travel/conference budgets. The whole premise of the WFX is to supply churches with the best information on their facilities. Those budgets, sadly, have been cut too. Not a lot of churches are building right now.
So is the church in demise?
Gallop and Pew have both polled the nation recently to see what’s happening to the church. And their findings? Attendance is staying about the same.
It seems that when they ask the average American about church, the same amount go (about the same frequency) as before the recession. Here’s the percentages: About 42% say they go to church at least weekly, 12% go monthly; 26% go seldom and 20% never go.
So why, when we’re all suffering from budget cuts and lost revenues, aren’t we filling our churches with people? You would think that the more people suffer, the more they would turn to God.
Well, it seems (when you dig deeper into the numbers) that for most recessions, Evangelical churches see an increase in attendance, while mainline churches see a decrease.
It seems that those churches (I certainly hope the evangelical churches) who preach the importance of individual faith, church fellowship, holy living and how trials remind us of our priorities, that they see growth. We turn to God in time of trials.
However, when people are committed to only a “religion” — church attendance because it somehow pleases God and will gain blessings — and the “good stuff” start to disappear in a recession, people are more apt to stop going (because it seems that it’s not working, I guess).
I’m glad that the WFX targets churches that talk about a personal relationship with Christ. Those churches seem to be doing better than the average. I’m also looking forward to being challenged by speakers of how we can do a better job in the Church. With worship and fellowship. I’m also excited to see all the ways we can use technology to get our message across more effectively.
Because that’s what it’s all about. God. He can take everything away from me and I’ll still praise.
Be sure to introduce yourself to me! And stop by the MORE booth in the expo to meet some great people and win up to $500! If you introduce yourself and say you read this, I’ll give you a gift card for Starbucks (while supplies last!). See you there!