Research, Resources, and Results
|Congregational Life Survey
Resources for Congregations
Myth 4. Congregations grow by attracting new people who are not attending
religious services anywhere.
Remember that new people are those who started attending their current congregation in the last five years.
New people come from four different faith backgrounds:
Transfers and switchers together make up 75% of new people and 21% of all worshipers. This means that 21% of all worshipers changed congregations in the last five years. Most new people in congregations are transfers and switchers rather than those who didn't previously attend a congregation. What are congregations offering to these types of new people that is important? What are the expectations of new people? Should congregations be making any special efforts to make switchers feel as comfortable as many transfers do?
Denominations and faith groups as well as individual congregations vary in terms of the type of new people they are attracting. Catholic parishes have lows levels of switchers compared to Protestant congregations. But all denominations and faith groups have low levels of first-timers. What can congregations do to increase their efforts to attract first-timers and returnees?
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Last modified April 25, 2002 by U.S. Congregations Home Page Manager