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U.S. Congregations:
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Congregational Life Survey
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U.S. Congregational Life Survey -- Measuring Congregational Vitality

The study will explore three dimensions of religious life:

Faith development refers to ways congregations help people grow in their faith through their worship life and other religious activities. Participation in devotional activities, the role of the congregation and the faith in worshipers' lives, individual religious beliefs, and how worshipers experience the worship services in their congregations are all part of faith development.

Community involvement refers to the congregation's participation in and services for the local community. This includes involvement in social service ministries that help individuals or families and participation in advocacy, justice issues, or lobbying groups that work for political change. Together these types of ministries provide essential "social capital" for improving the quality of life in the community.

Attracting new members describes the congregation's efforts to invite people to join the congregation and become involved in its activities. Do individuals who worship there feel comfortable talking about their faith and inviting others to visit the congregation? This measure also includes the congregation's efforts to retain existing members -- especially young adults. Numerical growth or decline in church membership and attendance are a part of this measure, as well.

Participating congregations will receive a profile of their membership that includes a check-up on these three dimensions of congregational vitality, and tools for positive change. Printouts will show how their congregation measures up on each of the vitality measures and compares their scores to those of a national benchmark based on the responses of worship attendees in thousands of congregations across America.

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Last modified May 2, 2000 by U.S. Congregations Home Page Manager