So I was reading this article/email thing that I ran across and found it very interesting. I don’t know that I agree with the conclusion completely but…
Did media kill the church? The author proposes that media and the growing consumption of it is the real reason people are leaving the church and I think he might be kinda right. I mean, media is not inherently bad but there are two reasons I think he might be on to something:
1. Television has presented an idea of human connection that is unrealistic. All disagreements (aside from Ross and Rachel’s “break” which never really resolved itself) are wrapped up in a neat little package in 24 minutes (if you are binge watching on Netflix), and sleeping with your friends brother and then your friend and then maybe your other friend doesn’t really make things awkward. Roommates move here and there. Jobs are not all consuming and eating Chinese food together every night is totally normal and doesn’t kill your wallet. Who wants to make the effort to go to church or build relationships when you can just sit in your yoga pants and feel like “everybody knows your name” all weekend on the couch. Who wants to engage when it is easier to disengage?
2. We are over connected. Smartphones have made access to Facebook, Twitter, Google and texting not just easy but intuitive. I’m not saying we should stop using social media but who needs to have a conversation when it’s possible to just post something online and just wait for a response? Who wants to have to LISTEN to someone else express an opinion when you can just barely scan the top three lines of someones post and then judge them in the comments? Why bother making a coffee date and keeping it when you can just sit in your yoga pants (see reason #1)?
So really, I think there might be something to this Millennials leaving the church because of media thing after all. I would even put forth that not only are they leaving the church, but they are leaving society as a whole in droves.
What do you think? Have Millennials fallen prey to binge watching and living in a fantasy world? Has media killed churches and society as a whole?
6 thoughts on “Did Media Kill The Church?”
Hmmm. I think technology really is changing us and the media is altering our perceptions. People are becoming far more distrustful and quick to judge others.
As to people leaving the church however, I’m not sure how true that really is. It seems to be a meme that is relentlessly promoted, but the statistics show very little change one way or another.
Church statistics are based on membership and non-membership records and as the keeper of those records for our particular church, I can assure you they are skewed. I contribute to those statistics on a website and the way they are collected is not an accurate representation of butts in pews or people involved in ministry in any capacity. There are far less people involved in the church on a regular basis in any way than are shown in the statistics. I would be interesting to see how those statistics are gathered in other denominations…
I wrote a post about Narratives and the Christian Decline. In my area, there has definitely been a decline and as you mentioned those statistics be hard to measure.
Read the article. Love the siting. Now I am rethinking. Thanks for posting!
I’m not sure if media kills anything. In Great Britain, it could be argued that the media has killed politics. But maybe the church and politics killed themselves, and the media have just exposed their weaknesses.