A travel agency. A drive-through coffee shop. Zumba classes.
In southeastern Michigan and across the nation, places of worship are expanding their offerings to meet the needs of their congregants, to appeal to a wider audience of believers, and to generate revenue through new sources.
A recent article in the Detroit News lists some of the more prominent megachurches which have developed new, fun-filled mid-week activities and services.
Some of the programs—a Job Seekers group for the unemployed, a bipolar disorder support group, a 13-week Financial Peace University based on Dave Ramsey’s investment strategies—are intended to help believers with real-life problems. Others—like coffee shops, billiards leagues and softball—encourage healthy interaction and engender friendships.
David Roozen, director of the Hartford Institute for Religion Research in Connecticut, offered an explanation for the proliferation of megachurches: “There were big changes after World War II for big church buildings. Churches often offer the programs to satisfy the needs of their members, but also to attract new ones.”