National

Surveys predict that 30% of the U.S. congregation is unlikely to survive the next 20 years

A new, extensive polytheistic study predicts that 30% of US religious congregations will fail due to a dramatic reduction in attendance over the next 20 years.

According to a survey produced by the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, a survey of 15,278 congregations of 80 denominations of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Baha’i Faith found that large congregations continued to grow and small congregations continued in 2020. Shrinked to.

For last year’s COVID-19 pandemic, the Institute found that the top 10% of church sizes already accounted for 70% of all weekly participants in religious services.

“Given that many of these small congregations are aging rapidly, 30 percent of them may not survive for the next 20 years unless something dramatic happens that attracts young people,” Hartford said. Scott Thumma, director of the Ford Institute, said. Led the research.

Conducted every three to five years and run by participating religious groups, this survey provides only a snapshot of the reality before the March 2020 pandemic blockade. ..

Thumma said the pandemic was likely to have accelerated the ongoing trends identified in the study. “The church itself is getting smaller and smaller, and the average church is currently attended by 65 people, which is enough to actually fund a full-time minister and influence society and the community. It’s not money, “he said.

Hartford received a $ 5.3 million Lily Fund grant to study the impact of a pandemic on the congregation over the next five years.

Thumma pointed out various difficult factors in the future, such as the aging of church members nationwide. The average age of members is in their 60s. COVID-19 also reduces volunteer opportunities and limits direct attendance.

Many congregations are still limited to virtual participation in weekly service, and Thumma predicts that “the potential of those who participate in the congregation will virtually continue,” but such virtual participation is In the end, he said, “making it difficult for the congregation to survive.”

Hartford data complements the religious landscape survey conducted by the Pew Forum and shows that religious compliance and affiliation in the United States is steadily declining with each new generation.

However, while Pew requires individual adults to report their religious identity and participation, the Hartford study distributes questionnaires to the congregation itself and reports their average weekly attendance. I am asking.

Thumma said Hartford law provides a broader picture of institutional decline across all US religious congregations. “For the largest congregation [the] Most participants, “he said. “The majority of the congregation is small, poorly skilled, and has a relatively small number of people.”

Researchers conducted a survey through self-reported questionnaires sent by each religious group to their congregation, collected, and returned to the institute for aggregation. This year’s survey included more than 1,000 new congregations, but researchers said the survey covered only monotheism.

The Hartford Institute was founded 40 years ago at the Hartford Theological Seminary, a non-denominational Christian institution in Connecticut, and recently adopted the new name Hartford International Religious Peace University.

Sign up for the Daily Newsletter



Surveys predict that 30% of the U.S. congregation is unlikely to survive the next 20 years

Source link Surveys predict that 30% of the U.S. congregation is unlikely to survive the next 20 years

Back to top button