Thursday, June 04, 2009

National Congregation Study full report

Mark Chaves, of Duke University, just came out with the full report from the important National Congregation Study.

Here's its summary of findings (taken from the report itself):


What Are Our Most Important Observations? This report highlights some of the National Congregations Study’s most important findings, including:
• Most congregations are small but most people are in large congregations.
• Worship services are becoming more informal.
• Congregational leaders are still overwhelmingly male.
• Predominantly white congregations are more ethnically diverse.
• Congregations embrace technology.
• Congregations and clergy are getting older.
• Congregations’ position in the social class structure remains unchanged.
• Congregations’ involvement in social service activities remains unchanged.
• Only a small minority of congregations describe themselves as theologically “liberal,” even within the Protestant mainline.
• Congregations are more tolerant and inclusive than we might expect them to be, even when it comes to hot-button issues.
• There has been no significant increase in congregational confl ict since 1998.
• Congregations’ involvement in political activities is largely unchanged since 1998.

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