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New Report Explores Trends in Congregational Programming
A new report co-authored by Dr. Jessica Williams and Dr. C. Jeff Woods of the American Baptist Churches USA explores trends in congregational programs and ministries across twenty years of Faith Communities Today (FACT) findings.

This report summarizes findings from six national FACT surveys dating back to 2000, including the FACT 2020 survey, which was the largest national survey of congregations ever conducted in the US (covering 15,278 congregations from 80 different denominations and faith traditions).

A few of the key findings highlighted by this portrait of programming trends include:

  • The types of programs congregations offer has remained relatively steady from 2000 to 2020
  • The top 5 emphasized congregational programs from each of the FACT surveys over the 20-year span were:
  1. Religious education
  2. Community service
  3. Prayer or meditation groups
  4. Music programs
  5. Fellowship
  • The percentage of congregants involved in recruiting new people has remained similar over the past 15 years, with the majority engaging in some level of recruitment
  • Congregations’ level of engagement with other congregations has decreased over two decades
  • Congregations are consistent in the programs they have offered but are collaborating with other congregations less and less to offer such programming

What programmatic changes might be called for as the social context continues to change over the coming 20 years? Explore the expanded report for further considerations and insight:
Note: The Faith Communities Today (FACT) 2020 national survey of congregations took place as the pandemic arrived in the United States. As such, some congregations responded to the survey before restrictions on public worship and other pandemic-related measures were put into effect; others responded in full lockdown mode. The data in this report reflects both congregational programming prior to the pandemic as well as programming that emerged during it, as well as longer trends dating back to 2000.
Faith Communities Today |