Who REALLY Attends Church?

Over the last 10 days I have seen at least a few dozen different articles or blog posts talking about the gap between who says they attend church and who actually attends.  The sudden focus on the topic is a result of a survey by the Public Religion Research Institute, which was release on May 17.  More specifically, the latest inquiry finds that people are more honest about the topic when asked in an anonymous online survey than when asked by phone.  Interestingly, three groups were more likely Read More …

Boosting Church Attendance

The comedian Stephen Tyrone Colbert recently offered this four minute segment entitled "Extreme Measures for Boosting Church Attendance."  As you watch, I encourage to admit when the humor is funny only because it reflects current reality.   The Colbert Report Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Indecision Political Humor,The Colbert Report on Facebook   So What? While most churches seek to grow, only a small percentage engage in very radical campaigns to help Read More …

Unchurched Americans

Warren Bird, Research Director for Leadership Network and co-author of 24 books on various aspects of church health and innovation, recently explored just how many Americans are actually unchurched.  He concludes that more than 1 in 3 adults are unchurched (have not attended church in the last year), which is a number of people that would be the size of the tenth largest country in the world. So What? Bird communicates several data points visually using an infograhic, including: The Read More …

Churchgoing = Better Moods

Recent research by Gallup finds, "Americans who attend a church, synagogue, or mosque frequently report experiencing more positive emotions and fewer negative ones in general than do those who attend less often or not at all." So What? Higher levels of religiosity correlate to higher levels of well-being according to other findings from Gallup's research (see my post on the benefits of being religious).  Within that context, it makes sense that those who are most involved in religious Read More …

Less Educated = Less Churched

Religion News Service contributor Nicole Neroulias, recently wrote an article that begins with these words: A recent study reports that white Americans without college degrees are dropping out of church faster than their more highly educated counterparts . . . The study, by University of Virginia sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox, found that since the 1970s, white Americans with no more than a high school diploma have been leaving the pews twice as fast as other Americans.  Wilcox's research was Read More …

Shifts in American Religious Behavior

The Barna Group recently published a list of changes in American religious behavior over the last twenty years based on data collected via their annual OmniPollSM survey conducted each January. Bible reading undertaken during the course of a typical week, other than passages read while attending church events, has declined by five percentage points (to 40%); Church volunteerism has dropped by eight percentage points (to 19% who do so during a typical week); Adult Sunday school Read More …

The Gap Between Saying and Going: A Church Attendance Reality Check

How many Americans attend church regularly (two or three times a month or more)?  Extensive research suggests that the number who say they do so is between 35 and 45% of the adult population.  Interestingly, new research by Phillip S. Brenner suggests that there is a significant gap between what Americans claim about their church attendance and their actual attendance. Philip S. Brenner is a University of Michigan research fellow at the Institute for Social Research.  His latest research Read More …