Some South Florida churches struggling with shrinking attendance are shortening their traditional Sunday services, promising to get a generation with limited attention spans out the door in as little as 30 minutes.

These abbreviated ceremonies are an innovation leaders hope will lure 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 for them," said the Rev. Chip Stokes of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Delray Beach. "We recognize that things are changing and we have to be more adaptive without losing our core."

This is exactly what happened with the game of cricket in England.



  1. “According to voter data, Delray Beach, FL votes 52.91% Democrat.”

    I guess this explains why there is even an Episcopal church there at all. It’s a shame the young people from all those socialist families aren’t appreciative of the good thing they’ve got at St. Paul’s. They certainly won’t be able to abide the Republican megachurches with their coffee bars and their Christian rock bands.

  2. This seems to be a generational change. Here in Illinois, in a local parish that emphatically is not a mega church, we get pressure to keep the service short. At the insistence of some prominent parishioners, we have chopped the prayers of the people, reduced the number of lessons at the later (9:30)service to the canonical minimum (who cares about the integrity of the lectionary anyway?) and put some pressure on preachers to be done in under 10 minutes.

    Sad isn’t it, that we claim to be God’s people but cannot find time to speak to, worship, or listen to God?


  3. Fr. J – “This is exactly what happened with the game of cricket in England.”

    The first time I took Victor to a Red Sox/Yankees game he wondered when everybody was supposed to go ’round to the pub!