Weekly Attendance Highest Among Evangelical Churches

Results of a new survey revealed that Evangelicals have the highest participation for those who attend services weekly or almost weekly, ranging in the 60 percentile.

Church attendance reaches peaks every Easter Sunday. Although holiday church attendants are usually absent from the pews on any other given weekly worship service throughout the year, church leaders see such days as a booster.

"I believe that people who come on Easter will see that it's a vibrant church that uplifts the Lord and, yes, I believe that we could see another rise from Easter," said Patti Gunter from Grace Baptist Church, according to World Now.

Weekly church attendance on average is at 33 percent, according to a recent Gallup poll. Religious bodies and denominations, however, have widely different "yields" from their customer base.

In a survey of more than 11,000 people, results revealed that Evangelicals have the highest participation for those who attend services weekly or almost weekly, ranging in the 60 percentile. Catholics showed a 45-percent participation and Jews a 15-percent.

According to a Gallup spokesman, Evangelicals constituted such groups as Pentecostals, Southern Baptists and other Baptists, non-denominational Protestants, and other Christians.

The wide-ranging variation across the church groups showed that denominations traditionally identified as more conservative and evangelical have higher reported attendance than the more traditional mainline denominations.

"High interest and participation can be signs of engaged parishioners who are less likely to out-migrate, and suggest that the religious group is more attractive to outsiders considering a change in religious preference," stated the survey.

While evangelical denominations emphasize highly involving church services, mainline Protestant groups are typically less engaging and low key. Falling below average in church attendance included Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans and Episcopalians.

Despite variations, church leaders see an overall trend of "searching" going on today.

"People are wanting to explore more about their faith," said John Stuart from Erin Presbyterian Church, according to World Now. "I think there's a resurgence in the Christian faith."

The Gallup Poll was based on 11,050 telephone interviews conducted between 2002 and 2005.

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