A church in Sweden is attempting to lure Christian youth to worship services by offering “techno mass”-a ceremony in which blaring techno music replaces traditional songs.
The Church of All Saints in Stockholm will illuminate this Sunday with strobe lights flashing and techno beats thumping. The Lutheran church says it is modifying worship in order to get more young people into the pews on Sunday morning.
27-year-old priest Olle Idestrom is organizing the event. “Techno mass” started last week and Idestrom said the feedback has been entirely positive.
Idestrom said he had to turn away people wishing to attend last Sunday’s techno mass.
Church attendance in Sweden has been dwindling for years. The Church of Sweden, to which the majority of Swedish Christians belong, is a Lutheran denomination.
In 1972, 95 percent of Swedes attended Church of Sweden ceremonies. Today, only 71 percent of the population attends church.
This, however, is compared to 40 percent of Americans – of all religions – that attend church on a weekly basis.
Many churches around the globe struggle to pull in attendees. Many have gotten creative, like Idestrom, in attracting Christians to worship.
From retreats to free food to live music, churches generally try to entice, perhaps cajole, community members to attend services.
Churches in the U.S. have set up large screen projectors in the past on Super Bowl Sunday. Churches have advertised services or offered goods when an event-like a music festival, sports game, convention-rolls into town.
Many churches have used social media to appeal to Christian youth. Making sermons, podcasts and resources available online has led to more engagement within the younger demographic.
The use of contemporary rock music within churches is also a recent worship innovation. It is unknown if other churches have used techno music specifically to attract worshippers.
There is no word on whether or not Idestrom will continue techno mass after this weekend.