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Home > Trend Watch > 2014 > March 10 > Drive-In Church

Trend Watch

Perspective on the buzz

"Empty pews are forcing churches across America to get … creative," opens this story on a drive-in church featured on NPR's All Things Considered. One expression of that "creativity"? Daytona Beach Drive In Christian Church in Florida.

Amy Kiley comments:

Liturgical purists might balk at a worship style in which even Communion isn't very communal. Parishioners in their cars drink wine from plastic ramekins with tiny rectangles of bread under the lids. As they do so, the radio pipes out instructions over organ music: "Remove this inner lid and, holding this cup, join me in prayer."

Kiley fills the picture in a little more:

… [P]arishioners say the drive-in approach is perfect for those who have trouble walking or for antsy children who enjoy the open space. Others say they revel in the ocean air and Florida sunshine. And some say they like that the church welcomes the whole family, including pet dogs: When ushers hand out Communion, even the dogs get treats. At the service's close, things get even livelier when people use their car horns to "clap."Those who want human interaction can then gather in the fellowship hall, which used to be the theater's concession stand. Today, it offers a Christian tradition that transcends even locked cars: doughnut hour.

Missional cultural expression, gross end-product of peak-oil consumer Christianity, or something in between? Is this on the same spectrum as the other strategies to combat emptying pews that the article mentions (social media, changing service times, etc.)?

This trendwatch was originally published on PARSE. Join the conversation over at the original post.

Related Topics:ResearchTrends
Posted: March 10, 2014; All posts for week of March 10, 2014

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