According to research by the Pew Forum, young people are becoming less religious and many churches are shrinking as a result, but Idlewild Presbyterian Church isn’t one of them. A recent survey found that Idlewild is among the fastest growing congregations within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
At 5:30 on a Sunday afternoon, the chapel at Hope Presbyterian Church on Walnut Grove has the feel of a rock concert. The lights are dark and the music is loud.
The more staid, traditional service is in the morning, but this late service was designed to appeal to a younger and less conventional crowd. It’s called The Stirring.
When Pastor Eli Morris climbs to the stage he’s wearing jeans and a black t-shirt. Morris isn’t part of the target age-group. He’s 58 with long, gray hair and a goatee, but he clearly enjoys the free-wheeling atmosphere.