Struggling with shrinking attendance, some churches are shortening their traditional Sunday service, promising to get a generation with limited attention spans out the door in as little as 30 minutes.
These abbreviated ceremonies are aimed at luring back the enormous numbers of young people who avoid Sundays at church. With distractions such as the Internet and a weak connection to the faith of their childhoods, many are steering clear, to the dismay of religious leaders who desperately want them back.
“We are increasingly aware of the time pressures on families, and they have been telling us that the traditional service is too long,” said the Rev. Chip Stokes of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Delray Beach, Fla. “We recognize that things are changing, and we have to be more adaptive without losing our core.”