This topic is close to home for me…and will be for the next few development years.
“People who don’t go to church may be turned off by a recent trend toward more utilitarian church buildings. By a nearly 2-to-1 ratio over any other option, unchurched Americans prefer churches that look more like a medieval cathedral than what most think of as a more contemporary church building”
Now what interests me about this article is that they are making the assumption that non churched people will go to a medieval style cathedral because that is what they prefer…
That is simply not borne out by the facts.
In fact the article seems to contradict itself when it says this..
“Stetzer noted that despite these survey results, most of the churches that look like a cathedral are in decline. Just because someone has a preference for the aesthetically pleasing, Gothic churches doesn’t mean they’ll visit the church”
I think plenty of non churched people have sentimental reasons for wanting to retain old church buildings…but they sure are not going to become part of the church communities struggling within the 4 walls. They might however become part of a relevant thriving community, inside useable facilities….
However…I do like this quote…””I don’t like modern churches, they seem cold,” said one survey respondent who chose the Gothic design. “I like the smell of candles burning, stained-glass windows, [and] an intimacy that’s transcendent.”
I would like our new facilties to be modern, useable, contemporary. But I also want them to reveal something of the transcedant…to take us on a journey…to invite intimacy, but also a sense of awe.
There is a show on TV sometimes called “Live at the Chapel” where they get guest musicians to play to a smaller audience. This is the “feel” I would like.