Key findings: What Did We Learn About Congregations in the U.S.?

Characteristics of U.S. Congregations

74% of congregations overall use the internet or e-mail to communicate with members; but 83% of mainline Protestant congregations do so. On average (median), U.S. congregations offer two worship services each week, but the typical Catholic parish offers nine. These Characteristics of Congregations provide a unique view of the programs, services, and facilities of the national random sample of congregations that participated in the U.S. Congregational Life Survey in 2008 and 2009. Results are also presented for five major faith groups: Catholic parishes, mainline Protestant churches, and conservative Protestant churches.

Worship Services in U.S. Congregations

Almost all congregations include a sermon in their worship service. Most also have a collection of money, singing by the congregation, and singing by a choir or soloist. Learn how worship services are similar — and different — in congregations of different faith groups. Then, see how the length of the service and the length of the sermon compare among these groups.