How can churches get people back in the pews? - New York News

How can churches get people back in the pews?

Updated:

By: Matthew Brown, WorldNow

Church attendance likely bumped up across the country this past Sunday in response to the annual Back to Church initiative.

The Back to Church Sunday outreach effort was supported by nearly 21,500 churches, according to Christianity Today.

Supporters of the movement told the Deseret News last year that if Christians invite a friend to attend church with them it can be "more far-reaching than a blip in attendance at a time when statistics show rolls at Protestant faiths around the country are thinning and only a small percentage of Christians are willing to share their faith with non-churchgoers."

They hope their outreach can also shore up the faith of the regular churchgoer as well as attract new believers.

Worship service attendance has roughly stayed the same the past 10 years, at just under 40 percent, according to the Pew Research Center. And there is plenty of research exploring what is keeping more than 60 percent of Americans out of the pews.

Recent coverage has pointed the finger at competing activities, such as sports, shopping and other entertainment, that lure people away from worship services.

But Steve McMullin, an associate professor at Acadia Divinity College in Nova Scotia, Canada, doesn't agree. He told the Christian Post that his research indicates something else is going on within the churches, not outside, that's pushing people away.

"My sociological analysis of the data from the congregations in the study indicates that it is not external factors, such as Sunday sports, but instead it is internal factors, including an unwillingness (on behalf of churches) to change, that has had the biggest effect," McMullin said.

He told the Christian Post that the change churches are not willing to embrace that would have the largest impact on attendance is adding additional worship times outside of Sunday mornings.

His study, "The Secularization of Sunday: Real or Perceived Competition for Churches," was published in the Review of Religious Research (which charges a fee to access the entire study).

More Stories

Reasons to stay: What faith communities do to attract and keep young adults

Younger generation driving down church attendance in Canada

More college dorm rules based on religious beliefs

 


Original Post

Copyright 2013 Deseret Digital Media, Inc.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Andy Golub's NYC Bodypainting Day

    Andy Golub's NYC Bodypainting Day

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:43:52 GMT
    The saying art is autobiographical takes on a whole new meaning when your canvas is a fully nude human body, as it is for artist Andy Golub. Andy along with 30 other artists and 45 Technicolor models paraded around several Manhattan hotspots over the weekend for NYC Body Painting day. Believe or not, this is completely legal in New York City.
    The saying art is autobiographical takes on a whole new meaning when your canvas is a fully nude human body, as it is for artist Andy Golub. Andy along with 30 other artists and 45 Technicolor models paraded around several Manhattan hotspots over the weekend for NYC Body Painting day. Believe or not, this is completely legal in New York City.
  • Protestors rally against NYPD's 'broken windows' policing

    Protestors rally against NYPD's 'broken windows' policing

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:07 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:07:39 GMT
    Emotions about police brutality were still raw at a protest in Harlem Wednesday night. Eric Garner died after police put him in an apparent choke hold. Cops stopped garner for the minor offense of selling loose cigarettes in Staten Island. Officers had been enforcing the so-called broken windows policy.
    Emotions about police brutality were still raw at a protest in Harlem Wednesday night. Eric Garner died after police put him in an apparent choke hold. Cops stopped garner for the minor offense of selling loose cigarettes in Staten Island. Officers had been enforcing the so-called broken windows policy.
  • Fatal skydiving accident on Long Island

    Fatal skydiving accident on Long Island

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 9:13 PM EDT2014-07-31 01:13:49 GMT
    Police on Long Island say one person has died and another has been seriously injured in a skydiving accident. Riverhead police say it happened at about 4 p.m. Wednesday at Skydive Long Island in Calverton. Police say the injured person was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital in critical condition.
    Police on Long Island say one person has died and another has been seriously injured in a skydiving accident. Riverhead police say it happened at about 4 p.m. Wednesday at Skydive Long Island in Calverton. Police say the injured person was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital in critical condition.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices