“Known culturally for its hipsters, bars, food trucks and gay community, Long Beach could also become known as a revival town for churches,” Josh Dulaney writes in the Long Beach Press-Telegram.
His article explores the network of church plants in Long Beach. Christians have sought to start a number of new small churches in the urban area, countering trends away from religion. Research Associate Andrew Johnson has studied a number of these churches as part of CRCC’s Religious Competition and Creative Innovation project. Here’s a excerpt:
According to those who study the Christian church’s growth and movement, younger pastors in the United States tend to focus less on how many are showing up to hear the sermon, and more on how much the congregation is doing in the community.
They also tend to be more concerned about relationship-building among those who attend their churches, which can mean keeping the congregations smaller on purpose, said Andrew Johnson, a research associate with the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at USC.
“Whereas 20 years ago, the goal might have been to buy or build a very large building, a really large property, the goal now is to hit a certain size and (branch off),” Johnson said. “Instead of a church of 5,000, you might want 10 churches with 500.”
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Photo Credit: The Garden Long Beach, which Andrew wrote about here.