(Part 8 in an 8-post series on Christian church attendance)
One of the values in Christianity is having people fully engage their faith through the local church. Bringing people into the church is termed evangelism, bringing Christians more into their faith is termed discipleship. Reaching out to more nominal Christians fits somewhere between evangelism and discipleship, and so it's worth asking who, among Christians, is most likely to be nominal.
To answer this, I look at how many Evangelical Christians attend a church service on at least a weekly basis (as opposed to attending less often or not at all). I also stratify by age and gender. Here are the data, from the General Social Survey--1995-2004. I analyzed those respondents who identified themselves as attending evangelical churches. Then, I broke them up into six groups by age and gender. Finally, I computed how many of the respondents in each age-gender group attended church at least once a week.
As shown, there is a lot of disparity by both age and gender. Whereas over half (56%) of evangelical women over age 50 frequently attend church, only about one-third (34%) of the young men do. What are the implications of these findings?
* Churches might want to focus outreach efforts to the young and males.
* With age, people attend church more frequently, but this is more true for women, who go from 41% to 56% than men, who go from 34% to 44%.