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Membership in U.S. Congregations

In 2000, there were fewer than 40 million evangelical Protestants in the U.S., more than 26 million mainline Protestants, 62 million Catholics, and fewer than 1 million Orthodox Christians; another... read more >

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Help for new pastors entering ministry

The Lilly Endowment supported a multi-denominational program to bring clergy, churches, schools and students into a coordinated mentoring program to help new clergy transition into full-time ministry.  In the article, "Transition... read more >

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The Hierarchy of Holiness

The contemporary Western world has difficulty thinking well of hierarchy, but in the Eastern Orthodox Church hierarchy has maintained a sense of divinity. The Russian Orthodox theologian Vladimir Lossky thought... read more >

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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... read more >

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Faith-Based Initiatives – the Impact on Churches

The 1996 reform to the federal welfare program included a provision allowing faith communities to compete for federal social service dollars. Using comparative data from the National Congregations Study, this... read more >

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Can Congregations Provide Enough Social Service?

In 1998 the average church had $1,000 in savings and just 11 percent had a one-year financial cushion. Between 1965 and 1994, the percentage of Americans regularly attending worship dropped... read more >

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America’s Churches Have Changed in a Decade

According to the 2006-07 National Congregations Study there were more megachurches in 2007 than in 1998, but a majority of churches are small with a median of 75 regular participants. ... read more >

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Scholarly Articles about Congregational Life

This resource has many scholarly writings interpreting the results of the National Congregations Study (NCS). The NCS was the first nationally representative survey of U.S. congregations and examined the work,... read more >

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Uncover Facts about America’s Churches For Yourself

What percent of U.S. congregations forbade alcohol use in 1998? Answer: 43.1 percent. What percent of churches reported no endowment funds in 1998? Answer: 47 percent. What percent of churches... read more >

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Church growth studies show trends in worship numbers

This resource provides links to three recent scholarly national studies that focus on church growth and decline. The Faith Communities Today study is the largest survey of congregations ever conducted in... read more >

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Looking for Online Resources?

The Congregational Resource Guide (CRG) is an online tool designed to help leaders of all congregations find the right...

Is Pence Right About The Growth of Religion in the US?

"Religion in America isn’t receding. It’s just the opposite. Faith is gaining new life across America every day." —...

Apply for a Thriving in Ministry Grant

Lilly Endowment Inc. has announced a new grant program to help pastors thrive in congregational leadership and thus...

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Browse dozens of topics and see responses from a major national survey of congregations.

 

 

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