Multiple studies show the percentage of adults who regularly attend church in the United States has declined. Tennessee ranks number 10 out of the 50 states with folks who attend church regularly.
Some churches look at rebranding as a way to make their mark amid a changing demographic landscape. OneLife Church is one of many churches in East Tennessee with nontraditional gathering places.
"Our facility choices are very much part of that brand in that we are trying to reach people who are far from God or disenfranchised by the traditional church," OneLife lead pastor Rodney Arnold said. "The mission completely impacts everything we do from a design standpoint."
Stacy Cox is the president of Studio Four Design. He's worked with dozens of churches looking to better communicate their brand.
"It's important to understand that the brand of a church is really no different than the brand of any organization or business," Cox said. "It's not only going to be about their logo and how they look on paper, but it's going to be about who they are as an organization."
A Pew Research study published in 2015 found that the percentage of Americans who identify as Christian decreased by around seven percent, or approximately five million people from 2007 to 2014.
Within the evangelical protestant branches, the study found that affiliation with non-denominational churches like OneLife grew by six percent.
"Whether you're a contemporary church or a traditional church or a transitional church, you have a particular brand or style, and the facility design is intended to enhance that," Cox said.
The study says generational changes are a major factor behind the changes in church attendance but doesn't go into specific characteristics prompting the changes.
"We truly believe in the power of every person's one life making a difference when they multiply like Jesus," Arnold said. "Whether it's the design of a car sticker, the design of a logo, the design of a building, we're trying in every way in a way that furthers that culture."