Reflection 25-02-19

The growing informality in worship, as Chaves points out, is a trend that is interesting to observe. In Chaves’ chapter, he points out that much of the change happens in white protestant churches (Chaves,64). And what is most interesting is that 80 percent of black churches already incorporate much of the terms used in the survey (Chaves, 65). Chaves states that this is a growing trend even outside of religion as he points out that informality occurs in ordinary conversation when we use first names and even nicknames to address people (Chaves, 65). This is an interesting trend and I wonder if much of this has to do with conforming to society. I draw on my observations from Pathway Church. What used to be a Southern Baptist church (by name) is now Pathway. When I asked why a representative informed me that this change was made to not deter people that are looking for a congregation to be a part of. The sermon itself was very informal as the majority of the congregation wore casual attire and this included the pastor. This was a surprise to me especially since Southern Baptists are known to be strict and formal. After reading Chaves’ analysis on the informal trend, I believe that (in this case) Pathway deviated from the formal customs to an informal one to draw in the “trendsetter” population. My question to this is if there is any evidence that indicates growth in attendance with growth in informality and if this is also based on location?