Terms of Engagement

We hear a lot of statistics these days about the growing number of people who are religiously unaffiliated. But, thanks to the Pew Research Center, we also get stats from time to time on people who are religiously active.
For instance, one recent Pew research study – featured in the current issue of Christian Century magazine – shows that religiously active Americans are more likely to be happy, more likely to belong to non-religious organizations, and more likely to vote than their inactive or unaffiliated neighbors. 


  • What do you make of these findings, for your own life and for the life of your congregation?  


  • What most surprises you? What most cheers or worries you?


  • What do you make of the significant jump in the percentage of those active in church reporting that they are “very happy” in their life?


  • Notably, for the purposes of this poll, “religiously active people” are those who identity with a religion and attend services at least once a month.  Is your congregation, like so many others, experiencing a change in what active engagement looks like? How do you define “active”?


  • In light of declining service attendance even among the religiously active. . . is it in fact a good thing that religious people are more likely to join non-religious organizations?  Why or why not?


  • Is larger civic engagement a goal for your congregation?  If so, how might that include discussions about voting?
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