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U.S. Congregations:
Research, Resources, and Results
Congregational Life Survey
Resources for Congregations
Community Profiles

U.S. Congregational Life Survey -- Reporting Results

A major goal of this project is to provide congregations with a mirror to look at their own lives, priorities, and connections with the wider community. By using national, denominational, or international benchmarks, results will help congregations recognize the factors that make them unique, discover their strengths, and identify areas where change is needed.

Providing Results to Participating Congregations

The series of reports provided to each participating congregation will include:

The reports will contain charts like this one. It shows the church background of this congregation's worshipers ("your worshipers") compared to the national benchmark for "all worshipers." As you can see, this congregation has more than the average number of newcomers who have been there for less than 5 years -- they must be doing something right!

Chart showing that
U.S. worshipers have been attending their current church for more than 20 years

The reports contain lots of information to help congregations understand and use the information from their surveys. The reports can be used with a group (perhaps your congregation's governing board or a committee looking at the congregation's future or its current mission and goals). The will also help you identify your congregation's unique strengths.

We'll also send a video that can be used to help a group look through the reports, discuss what they find, and use their new understanding of who their worshipers are to look at the congregation's future.

The first package congregations receive will also include a book, The Field Guide to U.S. Congregations. To be published by Geneva Press, this book will describe the study and what we will have learned about congregations and worshipers in the U.S. It will be an easy-to-use guide to understanding congregations and worshipers in America, and will help us understand which of our assumptions about congregations are true and which are not.


Workshops are being scheduled around the country so that participating congregations (and anyone else who is interested in vital congregations) can work with others to examine and understand the information on their reports. They'll receive additional guidance in using the reports effectively and planning change strategies. And they'll learn more about the national benchmarks that describe worshipers across America.

Some workshops will be conducted in conjunction with other regional or denominational events, such as Evangelism Connections and the annual meeting of the Association of Presbyterian Christian Educators (APCE). Others will be stand-alone events focusing entirely on results from the U.S. Congregational Life survey.

Results for Denominations

Participating denominations (those selecting additional samples of their congregations) will receive a report profiling their denomination. This will allow them to compare their congregations and worshipers to those in other denominations.

Results on the Web

When the national benchmarks are ready, we will make them available on the web. This will allow individuals to ask questions about worship in America and get their answers quickly. You might be interested in knowing whether worshipers in small congregations attend church school or Sunday school more often than worshipers in large congregations. You might want to know whether Catholics pray more often than mainline Protestants. You might want to know how frequently people attend worship. You'll be able to get these questions answered when the results are ready -- probably in early 2002.

Other Resources

We'll also be writing another book, a number of articles, and press releases, and producing other resources for congregations and denominations. While the first book, A Field Guide to U.S. Congregations, will describe what we have learned about U.S. congregations and the individuals who worship there, the second book will focus on congregational vitality and identify what makes congregations vital in today's world. Both books will be published by Geneva Press.

Together with our international partners, we'll be providing a wide range of other resources using the results of this historic study.

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Last modified July 3, 2000 by U.S. Congregations Home Page Manager