Monday, January 30, 2006
Multiplying - or trying to
However, I sensed that the two children (12 and 8) were less than ecstatic. The building is pretty baltic at this time of year despite our best efforts, and as they are the first children to darken the door on several years there are no child-centered activities to get them out of at least part of the service. I remember being twelve. That was two years after my parents had allowed me to give up Sunday School and church after moving house. This seemed a good move to me!
So what now? Obviously a church in which I have felt young for over 30 years is not going to survive without new blood - but I would contend that it's not actually chidren we need to attract; it's younger adults who happen to reproduce. Their children will grow up and leave the area, as did ours, but they are just as likely to stay on as not.
When we had a choir the children who sang in it tended to be of no real church affiliation - they were there for the music. A few were confirmed, but, bright as they were, they went off to Uni and that was that. Their parents might come to hear them on special occasions - but not often.
I reckon I'm of the "come and see" school of thought on this. If people want what we have, that's all that's needed. If not, then no amount of tub-thumping is going to change their minds. But I'd like to hear from anyone with a better idea. Just remember: average Sunday congregation = 15-20.
Average age: late 50s.
The music is great. And we do incense on high days!