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?