Here’s Why 800 Christians Left Their Old Churches, and How They Chose New Ones
Pew examines church shopping among evangelicals (and other groups) in 2016.
The American pastime of church shopping finally has some solid stats: how many Christians do it (and how often), why they left their last church, and why they picked their current one.
The Pew Research Center’s new study, which categorizes respondents according to their denomination, also looked at who is attending church more often and whether their reasons are more theological or practical.
Overall, more than two out of five churchgoing evangelicals say they are attending worship services more often than they used to.
Of the 75 percent of evangelicals who attend church at least once a month, 44 percent said they’re going more often than they did before. About a third said they’ve always attended regularly (31%).
Evangelicals are a little more likely to attend regularly than historically black Protestants, two-thirds of whom identify as evangelical. About two-thirds of historically black Protestants attend church at least monthly (68%); of those, half have always attended regularly (34% overall) and half are going more often now (33% overall).
The biggest reason evangelicals are attending more often is a change in their beliefs (54%), Pew told CT. Those who have increased their attendance reported that it’s because they’re becoming more religious (29%), realizing they need God or church in their lives (13%), or becoming older or more mature (12%).
About a quarter of evangelicals said they attend more now for practical reasons—because they have the time in their schedule (11%) or found a congregation they like (6%). Still others began attending more often for social reasons, like starting a family or wanting the fellowship of a church family.
Historically black Protestants were more likely than …