It’d be easy to fret about the dramatic drop off in new church construction—which NPR reports as being at its lowest point since 1967—but the news isn’t actually as bleak as it might appear. NPR suggests one possible reason for the decline in new church buildings is the rise of the house church movement. “With more religiously unaffiliated Americans than ever before, many congregations say they’ve become more committed communities by losing the pews and stained-glass windows of a central building.”

“I don’t know that everyone needs to do house churches,” says Gary Alloway, who pastors a house church in Bristol, Penn. “But every church should be doing the things that house churches are doing — that ability for people to come into something right away and be known” …