Editor’s note: the link for the full story is no longer active. Newsvine has the article, which you may access here.
This little gem arrived Aug. 28 from my Pew Forum feed. It deals with a lot of topics found in my congregation. As we grow and take on more English-speaking members, we are learning how to communicate to a broader audience.
Our congregation is roughly 55 years old and started an English-language service four (?) years ago. It’s going well enough but the attendance is still far below the 12 p.m. Spanish-language service. There are many in our church who are perfectly fluent in English but who prefer the Spanish service for its “fervency.” The songs have more of a salsa beat, there’s a bigger crowd and the people seem to get into it more than at the 9:30 a.m. English service.
By comparison, the English service music is more staid, with choruses that repeat a lot — although this is changing. We seem to be singing older songs; by older, I mean gospel music of the 1970s. A lot of Andrae Crouch and others of his type.
I’m not sure how we crack the code on worship during the English service. It seems like the pastor has to prime the pump quite a bit more during the English service. What does one do? I’m committed to making the English service not only work but grow by leaps and bounds. We seem to have hit a temporary plateau. Any growth minded people have any ideas on how to work past this without sacrificing the spiritual health of those already in fellowship?