Where are all the people?

Published 6:19 am Monday, July 24, 2006

By By LISA TINDELL – News reporter
Here's the church, here's the steeple, open the church - but where are the people?
The childhood game played with hands being the church and fingers being the people has two parts - one with the people and one without the people. Heading to worship services during the summer months may find you remembering the second part of the game - no people, or at the very least, fewer people.
Area pastors and leaders have described the same problems throughout congregations regardless of denominations.
Cook said classes for Sunday school are cancelled at his church during the summer months.
While churchgoers are away from their home church during the summer, some pastors feel it is important to encourage faithfulness to God.
Fitts also said the drop in their summer attendance is a result of not only folks on vacation, but a number of those absent locally are working for the Lord in other areas.
Some churches have more than vacations that are causing a lag in attendance. Catawba Springs Baptist Church is experiencing a slight drop in regular attendance for a couple of reasons.
Some churches experience a lull in activities and programs during the summer due to the absence of leaders, Fitts said.
Some churches, like those positioned in beach areas, tend to have higher numbers in the summer, Cook said.
Other churches were unofficially polled with findings showing that attendance is usually down by 10 to 15 percent on any given summer Sunday.
Some churches have chosen to cancel evening services and mid-week services due to the decrease in summer attendance. History shows that some churches cancelled all services during the summer.

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