To the editor:
I read with interest your column "Old School, new church," in the April 19-20 Independent. I have been a member of small mainline churches all my adult life. I have seen the membership of these churches decline, sometimes almost to the point of possible closing.
Most seniors like me are happy to worship each Sunday, the same way we have always done. However, I believe most of us see the need to attract new members, especially young families.
Many of us seniors lack the energy to be involved in many of the aspects of the life of the church. Younger people are needed.
Past generations had brand loyalty. If a family always bought a Ford, GM or Chrysler car, the next generation also did. It is the same with church denominations. If you were confirmed a Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, that is where you continued to attend all of your life.
Not so much with the new generation. They tend to attend a church where they find what they seek. Some of what they seek is a Sunday School for their children, a youth group for their teenagers, great music.
These expectations are difficult for many small churches to provide. Sunday school is only possible if there are children to attend. It is the same with teen groups. One teen does not make a group. Great music can only exist if there are people with musical skills willing to attend and share.
Unless there is out there somewhere a proven plan for these small churches to use to address these needs, I fear that many small churches will close in the future from the lack of support.
I pray that I am wrong.