A Denver Megachurch is Selling Its Building and Going Virtual Due to the Pandemic
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Potter’s House of Denver, a 32-acre Colorado megachurch started by Pastor Touré Roberts and his wife Sarah Jakes Roberts (the daughter of Potter’s House founder T.D. Jakes), opened in 2010 in a building that’s now assessed at roughly $12.2 million.

The church’s website brags about having 628,000 YouTube subscribers and 6,000,000+ in their “social family,” They even accept donations of stocks and Crypto. You would think they’re doing fairly well.

Yet it’s now shutting down due to lack of in-person interest and declining revenue.

The pastor said it wasn’t worth keeping up with the cost of the building when it wasn’t the center of the action.

“COVID-19 forced every church in America to rethink how to best serve their parishioners and the broader community,” Roberts said. “Due to the inability to gather and the economic instability of the pandemic, our church, like many other churches in the nation, experienced declining donations.”

Instead of trying to do upkeep on an “old building that needed significant repairs,” he said, Potter’s House decided to remain fully virtual.

“We decided that the best way forward would be to sell the property, continue our online offering that had proven a successful alternative and maintain our hands-on community outreach operations, which includes our food bank that feeds thousands of families per year,” Roberts said.

“Inability to gather” is a weird way to put it — as if he’s blaming the government for trying to keep people safe in a way that treated churches like all other gathering places. The most telling thing he said is that donations were on the decline. That means even the church’s most devout members didn’t care about the church enough to keep handing over their cash at the same level as before. If your church’s revenue depends on peer pressure and people giving money primarily because the people next to them are doing so, you’re running a scheme, not a decent business.

The Christian Post cites data from the (faith-based) Barna Group that says the pandemic will “result in a loss of faith for the next generation.” But once again, that’s not a bad thing. If the lack of an in-person meeting space blew up your faith, your faith was never that strong to begin with. I would hope those people found a better use of their time — in a way that doesn’t involve superstitious thinking and the typical Christian bigotry that emerges from evangelical churches.

The shuttering of this megachurch is good news for everyone involved, though. It’s a positive development for the church because they’re selling property, going virtual, and maintaining the useful services they actually provide. They will have enough cash to develop their online offerings and community services. (Hey, you give me a few million bucks and my YouTube content would ramp up significantly.)

It’s positive for the people who may soon own the land, too. The proposed plan is for a developer, DHI Communities, to build homes, apartments, and a five-acre public park in that space. (It’s not a done deal yet, but the Denver Post notes that a potential groundbreaking ceremony could occur by September.)

The only people upset by this news seem to be the people who cling to tradition. And as I’ve said before, if that’s the best thing your church has going for it, it deserves to close down.

Hemant Mehta is the founder of FriendlyAtheist.com, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.