ATTENDANCE & “Never on Sunny Days.” Researchers confirm what pastors know: people are less likely to attend church when the weather outside is just right.

“Never on Sunny Days: Lessons from Weekly Attendance Counts”

by Laurence R. Iannaccone and Sean F. Everton, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion Vol. 43, No. 2 (Jun., 2004), pp. 191-207 (17 pages) Published By: Wiley https://www.jstor.org/stable/1388122

Abstract

Congregational attendance data are abundant, accessible, and relevant for religious research. Weekly attendance histories provide information about worshippers, congregations, and denominations that surveys cannot capture. The histories yield novel measures of commitment, testable implications of rational choice theory, and compelling evidence that attendance responds strongly to changes in the opportunity cost of time.

Access the article here … https://www.jstor.org/stable/1388122?seq=1

TRENDS & Graphs Reveal Evangelicals Show No Decline, Despite Trump and Nones (but mainline church affiliation is declining)

by Ryan Burge, Christianity Today, 3/21/19.

… As Tobin Grant, editor of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, pointed out: “Changes in religion are slow. No group gains or loses quickly.” (The “nones,” a popular term for the religiously unaffiliated, being an exception—gaining faster than other affiliations tend to because they pull from multiple faith groups.)

Slideshow

That’s mostly what the 2018 GSS results show us. Evangelicals—grouped in this survey by church affiliation—continue to make up around 22.5 percent of the population as they have for much of the past decade, while the nones, now up to 23.1 percent themselves, keep growing. (For comparison, the Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Survey put evangelicals at 25.4 percent and the religious nones at 22.8 percent.)

Slideshow

Other than one outlier—a slight peak of 24.7 percent in 2012—evangelicals have ranged from 22.5 percent to 24 percent of the US population over the past 10 years. Still, this steadiness doesn’t mean “no change” among the evangelical population. There is always a “churn” occurring within any religious group. People leave the group because of death or defection, while new members either grow up in the faith or convert as adults.

Read more at … https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/march/evangelical-nones-mainline-us-general-social-survey-gss.html

TRENDS & 5 Trends from the Third Wave of the National Congregations Study #DukeUniversity #JSSR #UnivChicago

ABSTRACT:  The third wave of the National Congregations Study (NCS-III) was conducted in 2012. The 2012 General Social Survey asked respondents who attend religious services to name their religious congregation, producing a nationally representative cross-section of congregations from across the religious spectrum. Data about these congregations was collected via a 50-minute interview with one key informant from 1,331 congregations. Information was gathered about multiple aspects of congregations’ social composition, structure, activities, and programming. Approximately two-thirds of the NCS-III questionnaire replicates items from 1998 or 2006-07 NCS waves. Each congregation was geocoded, and selected data from the 2010 United States census or American Community Survey have been appended. We describe NCS-III methodology and use the cumulative NCS dataset (containing 4,071 cases) to describe five trends:

1)   more ethnic diversity,

2)  greater acceptance of gays and lesbians,

3)  increasingly informal worship styles,

4)  declining size (but not from the perspective of the average attendee),

5)  and declining denominational affiliation.

Read more at … http://www.soc.duke.edu/natcong/Docs/Changing_American_Congs.pdf

Changing American Congregations: Findings from the Third Wave of the National Congregations Study*

by Mark Chaves Department of Sociology Duke University Durham, and Shawna L. Anderson NORC at the University of Chicago (Forthcoming in the December, 2014 issue of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion)

*The NCS-III was funded by a major grant from the Lilly Endowment, and by additional grants from the Pew Research Center’s Religion and Public Life Project, Louisville Institute, Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, RAND Corporation, and Church Music Institute. It also received generous support from Duke University and from the National Science Foundation via NSF’s support of the General Social Survey. Jodie Daquilinea led NORC’s NCS team, and Viviana Calandra translated the questionnaire into Spanish. Cyrus Schleifer and Alison Eagle helped analyze data and construct the figures.

Download the report … Changing_American_Congs.pdf