If you think it's difficult to catch someone at home nowadays, try finding someone to answer the church phone.
Of 3,400 Protestant churches phoned in December by the Barna Research Group, a person couldn't be reached at 55 percent; 19 percent had neither a person nor an answering machine.
Barna called each randomly selected church, including ELCA congregations, five times during business hours over two weeks.
"Busy schedules, competitiveness and questions about the user-friendly quotient of churches make it increasingly unlikely that consumers ... will endure the frustration of difficult communication to pursue a church," says George Barna, research president.
A highly unscientific survey of 14 randomly selected ELCA congregations by The Lutheran found seven answering machines, two unanswered phones and five humans. Good for you: Betty in Bowie, Md.; Marjorie in Joplin, Miss.; Pastor Tim in Wausau, Wis.; Pastor Lldiko in Gonzalez, Texas; and Marilyn in Everly, Iowa.
© 2013 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers