Growth in Christian "Home Based Observances"

July 21, 2004

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On July 21, 2004 The Christian Science Monitor reported that, "for many Americans, worship is no longer centered exclusively under a steeple. In an era of long commutes, overloaded schedules, and made-to-order spirituality, religious experience increasingly means venturing into someone's home for refreshments and a taste of God on far more personal terms... Though religious life beyond traditional walls is too decentralized to track precisely, some indicators suggest a rising trend: about half of the nation's observant Christians participate in small group ministries that meet either at church or in parishioners' residences, according to Gallup Poll research. Over the past year, followers of 'Conversations with God' author Neale Donald Walsch have launched 162 home-based 'Humanity's Team' gatherings nationwide. Organizers of the Alpha Course, an introduction to Christianity, are currently recruiting hosts to offer an environment 'less threatening' than the institutional churches... Reasons for religious pursuits in the living room range from the practical to the theological. In some cases, home-based observances aim to provide a complement to gathering formally on a holy day."