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Trends in Faith Involvement:
How does faith involvement relate
to church participation?
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A Growing Gap?

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l While faith involvement in America increased slightly between 1994 and 1998, this does not translate into more active church participation. In fact, the gap between strong faith involvement and active church participation is growing. In the years between 1994 and 1998, strong faith involvement increased by 10%. However, in that same period, active church participation declined by nearly 3%. In 1994, the gap between strong faith involvement and active church participation was 4.6 percentage points. By 1998, that gap had grown to 8.5 percentage points. l
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Ethos Survey Asked l

"Indicate your level of involvement with your faith both now and 10 years ago"; and, "Indicate your level of activity or participation with your local church, synagogue, or place of worship now, and 10 years ago."

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l l l 1994 l 1998 l %
CHANGE
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l STRONG FAITH
INVOLVEMENT
l 32.0% l 35.2% l 10.0% l
l VERY ACTIVE
PARTICIPATION
l 27.4% l 26.7% l --2.7% l
l DIFFERENCE l 4.6% l 8.5% l 12.7% l
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Strong Faith Involvement compared
to Active Church Participation
between 1994 and 1998

qi3graph.gif (7216 bytes)
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l SOURCE: 1994, 1998 ETHOS SURVEY  © 1994, 1998, 2008 PERCEPT GROUP, INC. l
l Ministry Ideas l
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Explore reasons for the disconnect between faith involvement
and active church participation.
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l Take a poll of your congregation. Ask them how much they correlate in their own minds strong faith involvement and active church participation.
l Visit the local coffee bar and take an informal poll. Ask people if they think active participation in a church is important or necessary to strong faith involvement. Ask them to explain their answers.
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Consider teaching a series on the nature and mission
of the church in this world.
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l Read The Essence of the Church by Craig Van Gelder.
l Invite your leaders to read it with you and conduct monthly discussions about the implications of what it says for your congregation.
l Develop a plan for implementing some of the ideas you come up with over the next year.
 
     
     
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l ©  COPYRIGHT 2001 PERCEPT GROUP, INC. l
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