Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Survey: Megachurches more intimate, believers less gullible

Survey: Megachurches more intimate, believers less gullible:
" ... “We all know that megachurches have all sorts of flaws. They’re big; they have a wonderful Sunday service because they can afford a symphony orchestra. But they’re kind of cold, they have … like, theater audiences,” said Baylor sociology professor Rodney Stark, the study’s lead researcher, noting common perceptions of megachurches. “All wrong.”

The survey found that members of such churches tended to have more friends within their congregations, hold more conservative Christian beliefs, share their faith with friends and strangers more often, and be involved in volunteer work more frequently than their counterparts in churches with less than 100 in average attendance. ..."
These conclusions, which seem counter-intuitive, make a little more sense if one notes that the things that draw people in to church -- doctrine, friendliness, sharing faith, volunteerism -- are likely to continue to characterize the congregation as it grows.

The Baylor University website has a more extended article on this study entitled Baylor Survey Finds New Perspectives On U.S. Religious Landscape.

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