Do Mainline Protestants Need to Be More “Home-Made”?

Child in India drawing a kolam floor painting
Child in India drawing a kolam

I love being a Protestant minister. I believe in the “priesthood of all believers” and I’m deeply committed to my own Presbyterian denomination’s way of doing things “decently and in order.” But now, in the midst of this pandemic, I am increasingly concerned that, as good as we are at some ways of being the church, mainline Protestants have not sufficiently prepared believers to be religious at home.

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Sunday May Be Sacred, But Church Is Not

“I only have my son every other weekend and he doesn’t like church, so I don’t come those Sundays.”

This is the voice of a church member attending a committee planning session I recently led. She was clearly an active member, committed enough to the life of her congregation to spend 4½ hours talking on a gorgeous late summer Sunday when she could have been outside playing. But, as you can see, she only attends church every other Sunday at best. For her and many others, Sunday morning church attendance no longer is a primary identifier of active membership. It is now just one way among many of being active, and for some it may even not be important at all.