USA Today publishes article on a decade of church diversity and informality

How does your church compare with the results of this research? Do you find it’s true?

clipped from

Churches in USA more diverse, informal than a decade ago

Worship services may still be the USA’s most segregated hour, but fewer congregations are now completely white, finds a study comparing churches, synagogues and mosques last year with a decade ago.

Worship is not only more diverse, it’s also “more informal and more enthusiastic by every measure,” Chaves says, with more shouting, clapping and hands raised overhead in praise. Use of drums in worship jumped 70% in eight years, from 20% in 1998 to 34% in 2006-07. “We find drums almost everywhere, even in Catholic and Jewish services,” he says.

The study also found that both clergy and their congregations are substantially grayer now than in 1998. The average age of the lead clergy person in congregations has risen from 48 to 53, and one in three members are over age 60, up from one in four. This is partly the result of people living longer and fewer young families joining congregations.


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