Barna: What people experience in churches

Barna has a new survey out.  Most Americans have first-hand experiences in churches or parishes. What happens, if anything, in the hearts and minds of those who attend?

Here are some of the findings:

(66%) feel they have had “a real and personal connection” with God while attending church.

(26%) who had been to a church before said that their life had been changed or affected “greatly” by attending church.

Nearly half said their life had not changed at all as a result of churchgoing (46%).

(61%) said they could not remember a significant or important new insight or understanding related to faith.

(23%) of those with church experience selected the description that church feels “like a group sharing the same space in a public event but who were not connected in a real way.”

40% of adults with church experience said caring for the poor was emphasized “a lot,” while 33% indicated it was “somewhat” of a priority.

OK… what surprises you in this new data?  Anything?



  • Pastor Shane January 12, 2012 Reply

    the question I ask is, for the money spent by churches for buildings, salaries, insurance, ect. — are we good stewards of God’s resources? Is God getting the return for His investment? I was recently in a sanctuary that easily cost over half a million dollars and the lights are on less than 5 hours a week. Is that a good investment of God’s resrouces? I am not throwing stones, but I am wondering if we shouldn’t rethink where we are investing God’s resources in a economic downturn.

    • Dennis January 12, 2012 Reply

      Great point Shane!!!

      • Dan Smith January 12, 2012 Reply

        Shane, I’d totally be throwing stones with what you said. The church needs it.

  • John January 13, 2012 Reply

    Our church shut down Sunday Night services…and they are looking to buy property for an annex church. Make sense out of that one!

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