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How Congregations do Social Service

In this chapter from the 2004 book, Congregations in America, Mark Chaves argues that churches typically engage in social services in a peripheral way. Most try to meet individual emergency needs with minimal involvement. Those churches that are deeply involved often collaborate with other religious organizations and secular groups.  These highly involved churches are more dependent upon secular agencies rather than creating alternatives to them. Contemporary congregations are as socially involved as congregations were at the beginning of the 20th century.  Likewise, collaborating with government does not appear to dampen church political and advocacy activities. Read the full development of these themes in the PDF chapter at http://www.soc.duke.edu/natcong/Writings/Congregations_Social_Services_c....



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