Foregoing maintenance of an "old building that needed significant repairs," Potter's House of Denver opted to stay completely virtual.

According to the Christian Post, Pastor Touré Roberts said that the Potter's House of Denver has opted to sell its $12.2 million, 137,000-square-foot megachurch in Arapahoe County, Colorado, and go totally virtual.

In an interview with The Denver Post, Roberts claimed that the government closure of religious activities caused the church to relinquish its physical presence in the Four-Square Mile district.

"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."

"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 added.

In its place, DHI Communities, a real estate developer, plans to build more than 500 duplexes and flats on the church's present 32-acre property, as well as a 5-acre park.

Managing Director of DHI Communities, Kyle Henderson, said the Potter's House property "is in an ideal location, surrounded by residential and close to commercial corridors."

The Arapahoe County Assessor's Office estimates that the property will be worth $12.2 million in 2021.

The closure of The Potter's House of Denver comes at a time when many churches around the country are making the painful decision of relinquishing their facilities owing to declining attendance.

Following a pandemic that dropped its in-person attendance to 12, Pennsylvania's 221-year-old First Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte had its farewell service on Christmas Eve and closed its church.

Only 40 people remained from the congregation's former membership of hundreds before the outbreak.

The reality is, people have been sluggish to return, as seen by a poll of 1,000 Protestant pastors done by Lifeway Research between September 1 and 29, which found that even while 98% of Protestant churches are again available for worship services in person, attendance is still much below pre-pandemic times.

The poll found that 13% of churches had attendance that was less than half of what it had been before COVID-19, as compared to January 2020 data. Most pastors had attendance levels between 50% and 70% over the time period; the rest had attendance levels between 70% and 90%.

Consequently, Barna Group President David Kinnaman and Barna Director of Insights Mark Matlock predicted in 2020 that the outbreak might lead to a generational loss of faith in God.

According to previous study, a majority of young people who grew up in the church are likely to either abandon their religion or leave the church as adults.

"We know that 22% of young people today are what we call 'prodigals.' They lost their faith entirely. That number grew by double from 11% 10 years ago. So what it will look like in 10 years is hard to know, but we think it's going to actually accelerate that problem," said Kinnaman.