04 November 2009

the unchurched prefer cathedrals to modern buildings

"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."

This is from a study by Lifeway, the Christian Education folks for the Southern Baptist Convention. My favorite part of the article is a quote from church planting expert Ed Stetzer: "Quite honestly, this research surprised us. We expected they’d choose the more contemporary options, but they were clearly more drawn to the aesthetics of the Gothic building than the run-of-the-mill, modern church building."

I hope and pray that the modern church building craze will fade away. Many with far more aesthetic sense than I have noted that the more modern a building's architecture, the more quickly it become out-of-date. Classical architecture for churches is always timely, and I believe does a better job of pointing us to God rather than drawing attention to itself (as the trendy always does). It is indeed telling that the unchurched, yearning for God, or at least for something bigger than themselves, find more fulfillment in spires than in the latest architectural fashions.

Read the whole article here.

Thanks to my friend Andy Stoddard (twitter @atstod) for pointing me to this study

1 comment:

Stephen Ley said...

Interesting! I wonder if what is true of modern architecture is also true of modern worship styles, particularly music. What seemed "contemporary" 5-10-15 years ago is now just plain embarrassing to astute outsiders.