Faith Communities Today
New Fact Information
The largest number of Adventist churches report having more worship space than is needed for the number attending on Sabbaths. Adventist churches are more likely than other religious groups in America to have too much worship space.
A total of 42% of the Adventist churches in the U.S. have more seating capacity in the sanctuary than is needed, while 35% are "just about right."
This compares to 34% of all religious groups who have more seats than needed, and 41% that are "just about right."
One explanation for these data is that Adventist churches may have over-built their worship space in the first place. The preaching of the Word is central to Adventism, and building committees may simply have put a greater priority on that aspect of church physical plant.
Another explanation may be that nearly two-thirds of Adventist church buildings were constructed or purchased more than 20 years ago. Since that time many observers believe that Sabbath attendance has declined and the proportion of inactive members increased in most congregations.
1. Is the amount of worship space in our church much less than needed, somewhat less than needed, just about right, somewhat more than needed, or much more than needed?
2. What does our consensus about the first question tell us about our congregation?
3. What do we need to do to increase worship attendance? Or, should we consider either re-configuring the use of space in our building(s) or replacing our physical plant with a smaller facility?
New FACT Information, Center for Creative Ministry