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3 Reasons Why Americans Choose A Church

Jill Van Nostran Digital Strategy

According to data from a new Pew Research study, about half of U.S. adults have looked for a new church in their lives and primarily because they have moved. When they search for a new congregation, they look first and foremost for a place where they like the preaching and tone set by its leaders. In fact, 83% said quality of sermons played an important role in their chosen congregation.


According to the study:

79% said feeling welcomed by church leaders was most important in their choose of church
74% said style of worship was important
70% said location was important to choosing a church
56% said educational programming for children was an important factor
48% said having friends or family in the congregation was important
42% said the availability of volunteer opportunities was important to their decision

What’s also interesting is how Americans come to find a church. According to the study, there is simply no replacement for face-to-face interaction—85% attended worship services at the church they were considering.

69% talked to members of the congregation
68% talked to friends and colleagues about the congregation
55% talked to congregation clergy
37% looked for information about the church online
19% made a phone call to the church

Though most adults reported looking for a new church because of relocation, 11% reported disagreement with clergy or other congregation members at a previous church, and 11% reported change in marital status as reasons for choosing a new church.

About half of U.S. adults say they attend worship services regularly—at least once or twice a month. Of this group, about 23% say they have always attended worship services at least as regularly as they do now. But 27% say they attend worship services more often now than they did previously in their adult life.

About 49% say they attend worship services a few times a year, rarely or never.

About half of Americans say they found the process of finding a new church very or somewhat easy. They attribute this ease of finding a new church to convenient location or because it was easy for them to find information they were looking for.

Of those who responded that finding a new church was difficult, they cited theological disagreements, inconvenient location or that it was hard to find pertinent information.

Considering this data, we’d love to know: How does your Christian church remove barriers to 1) finding information and 2) attending services—both physically and digitally?

We’re listening. Share your thoughts with us on Facebook or Twitter and use #GetFoundGiveHope.

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