It’s amazing how huge shifts in cultural attitudes can sneak up on us. In the July 14 Issue of The Economist (I had some time at Chapters OK?) Steve Klineberg says that people’s attitudes about housing and life are changing, and changing fast! He writes that,
In 2008 59% in the US said they would prefer a big house with a big garden, even if that meant they had to use their car to go everywhere. Just 36% preferred a smaller house within walking distance of shops and workplaces. By 2012, preferences were running the other way: 51% liked the idea of a smaller house in a more interesting district, and only 47% said they wanted the lavish McMansion in the ‘burbs.
It’s easy to miss this shift but the evidence is everywhere. Populations in countries around the world are shifting. In Canada, 40% of the population lived outside cities in the 1950s but that percentage is less than 20% today, and continuing to drop. Numbers in the US are similar.
How are churches addressing this shift in population? Are churches even aware of this shift? Within my tribe (Churches of Christ) in general, we have not done the urban church thing very well. With some exceptions, Churches of Christ are usually just outside of town (and a small town to boot). We tend to set up shop right where populations are shrinking. Perhaps a whole new mindset is needed for where churches should be planted (perhaps some should move? 🙂 Just something to think about.