It was a startling announcement, but in a recent interview with The Denver Post, Touré Roberts, who pastors Potter’s House of Denver, announced the megachurch is selling its building and going completely virtual.
Roberts is the son-in-law of Bishop T.D. Jakes, the founder of the Potter’s House network of churches based out of Dallas, Texas. Roberts took over as pastor of Potter’s House of Denver after the resignation of the church’s lead pastor, Chris Hill, in 2017.
The church sold its 137,000 square-foot building valued at over $12 million to a developer and the 32-acre property will be converted to housing and apartments.
The decision to go virtual was based on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in the complete shutdown of church services and/or restrictions limiting attendance.
Though the services have since been restored, attendance is down, and the emergence of additional COVID variants has caused more uncertainty.
The resulting decline in donations was complicated by the church’s thirty-year-old building that requires major repairs and renovations.
Pastor Roberts told The Denver Post:
“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.”
“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.”
According to Potter’s House of Denver’s website, it has developed a strong network of smaller community groups, where people gather based on common interests, such as prayer, jobs, football, or Bible study. Many of these groups meet on Sundays to watch the church’s online service.
Potter’s House also reaches over 20 million people through its online networks.
But the problems facing Potter’s House of Denver are not unique.
The Christian Post reported that a Lifeway Survey in September 2021, discovered that though many churches have returned to corporate services, attendance is down from pre-pandemic levels.
- 13% of pastors report attendance is below 50% of pre-pandemic levels
- 35% report attendance is running at between 50% and 70%
- 30% report attendance is between 70% and 90%