There is a new National Congregations Study’s report out looking at trends in congregations in America. There's some interesting information here, particularly when read along with the report on megachurches from my last post. Here are some highlights:
- Most congregations are small but most people are in large congregations.
- Worship services are becoming more informal.
- Congregational leaders are still overwhelmingly male.
- Predominantly white congregations are more ethnically diverse.
- Congregations embrace technology.
- Congregations and clergy are getting older.
- Congregations’ position in the social class structure remains unchanged.
- Congregations’ involvement in social service activities remains unchanged.
- Only a small minority of congregations describe themselves as theologically “liberal,” even within the Protestant mainline.
- Congregations are more tolerant and inclusive than we might expect them to be, even when it comes to hot-button issues.
- There has been no signifi cant increase in congregational confl ict since 1998.
- Congregations’ involvement in political activities is largely unchanged since 1998.
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