Church growth keys: Multiracial, happy, more males active

Study notes factors in decline or expansion
Congregations interested in increasing their weekly attendance would do well to make a plan for recruiting new members, become multiracial and make sure that serious conflict doesn’t take root.

That’s the message of an analysis recently released by the Hartford Institute for Religion Research at Hartford Seminary. The “FACTs on Growth” report, based on data collected in a 2005 survey of nearly 900 congregations, found that congregations reporting growth in worship attendance between 2000 and 2005 tended to exhibit certain common attributes.

Multiracial congregations had a better chance of growing than those predominantly consisting of one racial group. Some 61 percent of multiracial churches said they had experienced growth, while just 31 percent of predominantly Anglo congregations said the same.

But even more important may be whether people in the pews, no matter their race, actually get along with one another.

 

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