Our Newsletter is back - with new research findings for the New Year!
Happy New Year from all the researchers and staff at the Faith Communities Today project. A few days into January 2016 and you may still be struggling to keep those New Year's resolutions. You tell yourself, if I don't change I'll never lose those pounds, get fit, quit this bad habit or whatever is holding you back from achieving your best.
Perhaps it is time for more of America's congregations to be considering the same thing - to make some resolutions of their own regarding change. At least this is a key finding from our new report, American Congregations 2015: Thriving and Surviving. Willingness to change and openness to adaptation are strongly correlated to vitality, growth and the expectation to thrive into the future.
The new report
, authored by David Roozen the director of the project and released today, includes 18 pages of significant findings in text and graphics. This is the first of several focused reports to be released in 2016 from the national survey of over 4400 U.S. congregations. These other reports will include a closer look at growth, young adult ministry, measures of vitality, and the use of technology. Our newsletters this year will contain a diversity of information based on this 2015 study.
American Congregations 2015 offers an honest look at the overall patterns within the data, not all of it encouraging but most of it isn't entirely desperate either. What it does indicate is that the churches, mosques, synagogues and other faith communities in the United States must ask themselves if they are willing to change and adapt to the ever-evolving social context. Without this willingness to adapt and be innovative there is a great likelihood that these congregations will find themselves struggling in the coming decades.
Check out the report for yourself. And good luck with those New Year's resolutions!