And if heating costs triple, large buildings (at least in the north) are going to become a bit more of a burden. The megachurch depends heavily upon people who drive more than 15 miles to church. I would bet that a lot of people won’t do that anymore, or as many times per week as they used to. Heating costs will skew budgets. The commitment level of the larger crowd will be tested. I suspect a shake-up is coming in the way we all do church. I’d have a task force working on this one if I was leading a big church. Everyone ready for a strategy of church life that depends more upon small groups and distributed ministries?
An interesting thought. Community churches, as opposed to neighborhood ones, wouldn’t exist without widely available and affordable transportation. I can’t see things changing dramatically quite yet, but it’s worth thinking about. Richview would look very different if transportation costs became an issue, and we’re already feeling the heavy cost of building maintenance.