|CHURCH LIFE: Knowing your congregants|
|Thursday, 11 June 2009 01:12 PM EDT|
Successful retail involves understanding your customers, and a new study emphasizes how church stores' typical shoppers-members of the congregation-may differ from the customer base of a regular store.
The National Survey of Megachurch Attenders, released this week, found that young and single adults are more likely to be part of a megachurch-one with more than 2,000 members-than a smaller fellowship, and that two-thirds of megachurch attenders had been at these churches five years or less.
Many had arrived at their new church home from other congregations, but nearly a quarter had not been in any church for a long time. Attenders reported a considerable increase in their involvement in church, in their spiritual growth, and in their needs being met.
However, 45% of them said they never volunteered at the church.
In addition, the average megachurch worshiper was found to be somewhat more educated than other church attenders and significantly more so than the general U.S. public. More than half held college degrees or higher.
Further, megachurch-attender households were more affluent on average than churchgoers of the nation as a whole, with 40% at or below the 2000 U.S. median household income of almost $51,000 (50% of all churchgoing households). Likewise, 26% of megachurch-attending families had an income of $100,000 or more while just 15% of all comparison churchgoers did.
Conducted by the Hartford Institute for Religion Research at Hartford Seminary, the survey looked at 12 megachurches across the U.S., and is the largest national representative study of megachurch attenders conducted by any researchers to date.
Read the full report at http://hirr.hartsem.edu/megachurch/megachurch_attender_report.htm