American pastors believe that stopping Christian children participating in Sunday sport could boost church attendance by 25%.
The issue has also been robustly debated by Australian pastors and parents on the Growing Faith website.
For many pastors it’s a quandary.
Do they demand that parents put their faith first and their children miss out on competitive sports?
Do they try to offer alternative church meetings for sporting families?
Thom S. Rainer from the Church Answers Ministry says he repeatedly hears pastors complain that Sunday is no longer reserved for church.
They lament it’s now a day for everything else including kids sport.
Mr. Rainer observes that today’s parishioners are less committed to churches than they used to be.
He believes churches have also ‘dumbed down’ their expectations of their membership.
He notes that churches could adapt and try to accommodate parents with sports commitments by offering alternative service times.
But he questions whether that would really make a difference.