Worship Habits

Worship Habits

Dear Friends,

A member of Peace Lutheran sent me a article by Daniel Burke, the CNN Religion Editor. The article, dated August 9, is entitled, “10 Reasons Americans Go To Church -- And 9 Reasons They Don't”

Citing a Pew Research Center study Burke lists the top 10 reasons people go to church are:

1. To become closer to God. (81%)
2. So their children will have a moral foundation. (69%)
3. To become a better person. (68%)
4. For comfort in times of trouble or sorrow. (66%)
5. They find the sermons valuable. (59%)
6. To be part of a faith community. (57%)
7. To continue their family's religious traditions. (37%)
8. They feel obligated to go. (31%)
9. To meet new people or socialize. (19%)
10. To please their family, spouse or partner. (16%)

The top 9 reasons people don’t go to church are:

1. They practice their faith in "other ways" (37%)
2. They are not believers. (28%)
3. No reason is "very important" (26%)
4. They haven't found a house of worship they like. (23%)
5. They don't like the sermons. (18%)
6. They don't feel welcome. (14%)
7. They don't have the time. (12%)
8. Poor health or mobility. (9%)
9. No house of worship in their area. (7%)

Burke notes a surprising tend in these numbers. He states:

“But the survey complicates other stereotypes about Americans who rarely, if ever, attend religious services. As it turns out, they're all not atheists, or even members of the ‘spiritual but not religious’ crowd. Many say religion is important in their lives, and lean conservative, politically.”

Also surprising is another observation Burke makes:

“The believers most likely to say they practice their faith in ‘other ways’ aren't spiritual freelancers with a disdain for discipline. They're Republican women in their 50s, and lot of them are Christians. … Of those who believe in religion but don't regularly attend religious services, nearly 7 in 10 still identify with a particular tradition, including 6 in 10 who say they are Christian.”

Burke then concludes:

American pastors, imams and rabbis have spent endless amounts of time trying to cater to millennials' tastes, or at least what they perceive to be millennials' tastes: Coffee bars. Hip young clergy. Mission trips to exotic locales. … But this study suggests that there is an under-served group of believers who seem like they'd actually like to go to religious services -- if only someone could help get them there and welcome them when they arrive.” (emphasis mine)

I thought this article was particularly interesting.

To read entire article, you can copy this link:


Ricky Adams
Peace Lutheran Church
Mill Valley, California