Not only that, Mission-Shaped Church also points out that
Weekends, especially Sundays, are now seen as family time. This is a big tension for Christian partners of non-Christians. p2Add to that the fact that increased divorce and single parent families,
very many families will be involved in visiting absent parents, usually fathers, often at the weekend. This will inevitably make Sunday church attendance problematic. p3And
When they do have time, those who live away from their relatives, or who have children who live with ex-spouses, will visit them. People no longer view Sunday as special, or as ‘church time’. Children are much more likely to be playing sport than being in Sunday school or church. p4
Venues and meeting days are getting more diverse. This is a response to the sense that Sunday is no longer a ‘church’ day for our society, but rather a family day, or DIY day, or sports club day or whatever people choose to do. Some people may be keen to meet with other Christians regularly, but it is no longer feasible for them to do that regularly on a Sunday. p12
Since the seventeenth century more and more people have discovered,originally to their surprise, they could ignore God and the Church and yet be none the worse for it. (David Bosch, Believing in the Future, Continuum International Publishing Group/Trinity Press, 1995, p. 15.)
Magnets are useless at attracting non-ferrous objects, and many churches are not attractive to post-Christian people. p23That people are not "wired" for church the way they used to be is no surprise. The percentage of children at Sunday School in England went from 55% to 4% in the 20th century. I don't think Canadian numbers would be very different.
So here we are in our beautiful, historic building built for the way worship was done a century ago. We look closed even when we're open. Our bell-tower is built like the keep of a castle designed to keep people out!
I think we need to re-invent ourselves in order to E- or RE-emerge from the structures of our past. But, I hasten to add, I don't think that necessarily means the historic building has to go. It is expensive to run, but there is a new post-modern interest in "vintage" worship and we have the perfect venue for that. We also have a terrific group of people. We need to get serious about praying for divine insight and more good ideas which will get what we have out into the community.