Views from Pews on Strong Congregations

By Banks, Adelle | The Christian Century, April 6, 2004 | Go to article overview

Views from Pews on Strong Congregations


Banks, Adelle, The Christian Century


Certain assumptions have long been made about what makes for the strongest congregational life--for example, that megachurches provide the best worship experience or that the best churches generally make children's ministries a priority.

But a new study by two social scientists shatters many such notions and finds a wide variety in the strengths of the nation's congregations. "Beyond the Ordinary: Ten Strengths of U.S. Congregations" is the latest phase of published research on results of the U.S. Congregational Life Survey of 2,000 congregations and their 300,000 worshipers taken in April 2001.

Whereas many surveys on congregations have been based on the impressions of a minister or other key leaders, this study determined congregational strengths based on the perspectives of parishioners. "The view from the pew is just different," said coauthor Cynthia Woolever, professor of sociology at the Hartford Institute for Religion Research in Hartford, Connecticut.

She and coauthor Deborah Bruce found that small congregations had many of the ten strengths they examined, far more than mid-size and large churches. Congregations with fewer than 100 worshipers and mid-size congregations of 100 to 350 worshipers are "unsung heroes," she said, receiving higher average scores for strengths such as growing spiritually and caring for children and youth than larger congregations.

"Congregations that are very small often feel they just can't do good work," said Bruce, associate research manager in the research services office of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). "This [study] certainly refutes this." Despite being limited in clergy--some small congregations do not have full-time pastors--these churches ranked highest in congregational participation, sense of belonging, sharing faith and empowering leadership. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Views from Pews on Strong Congregations
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.