When it comes to the key reasons so many Americans choose to attend church, sermon content apparently takes precedence.
In fact, when Gallup recently asked adults who attend church, mosques or synagogues at least monthly for the main reasons they head to the pews, 76 percent said “sermons or talks that teach you more about scripture” are a major attendance motivator.
Likewise, 75 percent said “sermons or lectures that help you connect religion to your own life” drive their attendance.
Interestingly, Protestants differ from Catholics in that Protestants place more importance on the contents of sermons. While 83 of Protestants say sermons that teach about scripture are a major motivator, 62 percent of Catholics say the same.
“Protestants, who have more control over their church leadership and flexibility in where they worship, place even greater emphasis on the quality of sermons than do Catholics, although both groups rate sermons highly,” Gallup reported.
After these top two reasons comes spiritual programs that are geared toward kids and teens, with 64 percent saying these elements constitute a major factor in their attendance. And the fourth motivator is a plethora of outreach and volunteer opportunities, with 59 percent seeing these elements as prime motivators in spawning church attendance.
The fifth most prevalent reason for flocking to houses of worship surrounds the presence of dynamic and inspiring religious leaders, as 54 percent point to these leaders as motivators.
It should be noted that 36 percent of American respondents in a separate poll told Gallup in 2016 that they had been to church at some point in the previous seven days; around 51 percent said they attended church at least once during the month.
Gallup collected the results in this latest poll from a pool of 1,526 adults aged 18 and older from March 9-29, 2017; 745 adults from that larger pool attend church, synagogue or mosque at least monthly. Read more about the results here.
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