Church of Scotland urged to ditch hymns for smartphones to avoid 'irrelevance and obscurity'

The Church of Scotland must modify its traditional services and ditch hymns for smartphones to avoid drifting into "irrelevance and obscurity," said the Kirk's former Moderator of the General Assembly, Dr. John Chalmers.

(WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / Kim Traynor)Church of Scotland Offices, George Street, Edinburgh 2013. 22 August 2013.

In an upcoming issue of the Church of Scotland's "Life and Work" house magazine, Dr. Chalmers said the Kirk's traditional church patterns will not help it connect with the younger generations. The Honorary Chaplain to the Queen said the church could use technology to be able to interact with the younger worshippers, The Telegraph relayed.

"A whole new generation cannot be separated from their smart phones and tablets. In these there is the power to help to sustain people on their spiritual journey and nourish their inner life," said Dr. Chalmers.

He added: "The purpose of God is not about saving denominations or institutions from extinction and the mission of church is about building communities of justice and peace and love - the Church of Scotland can be a part of that mission or it can drift into irrelevance and obscurity."

In addition, Chalmers said the Kirk was pouring too much time into arguments about philosophy and other "peripheral" issues. He said the Church needed to focus on connecting Scots to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

In April, the Herald Scotland published a report on a new survey which showed that the number of regular churchgoers in Scotland had dropped by more than half in the last three decades. In 1984, records showed a Sunday attendance of 854,000, but that number has now plunged to merely 390,000.

Based on statistics, only 7 percent of Scots currently attend Christian church services, a decline which could be equal to the closure of 10 churches per month. The result of the survey has prompted clergy to declare a "crisis" for Christianity.

In addition, statisticians predict that the number of Scots attending church services in the next eight years will decrease by another 100,000. By 2025, it is projected that only one out of 20 people in the country will be regular churchgoers.