Pastors oppose sports betting but often not actively

With the Super Bowl this weekend, don’t expect many pastors to place a bet on Kansas City or San Francisco to win the game, but a few may have more than a rooting interest riding on the game. Despite its legalization across many states, U.S. Protestant pastors remain opposed to sports gambling, but they’re not […]

Baptisms rebound, but negative trend continues

With far fewer churches gathering in person, Southern Baptist congregations didn’t do much baptizing during the pandemic. Those numbers have increased in recent years, but the overall decline within the convention continues. In 2022, Southern Baptist congregations that reported figures for the Annual Church Profile  (ACP) recorded 180,177 baptisms, a 16 percent increase over 2021. Combined with […]

New normal settles for church post-pandemic

For two years now, almost every church in America has been holding in-person worship services, but not every pre-pandemic worshiper has returned. The final Lifeway Research tracking data for U.S. Protestant churches’ COVID-19 recovery finds 100 percent (rounded to the nearest whole number) met in person in August 2023, capping off a rebound since the […]

Weather most likely reason for churchgoers skipping services

Jesus said the gates of hell will not prevail against His Church, but sleet and hail will keep many churchgoers out of the pew on a Sunday. In fact, some may even skip to get a little extra sleep or watch their favorite team. A Lifeway Research study of U.S. adults who attend a religious service […]

Southern Baptists grow in attendance and baptisms, decline in membership

For the second straight year, baptisms and giving increased among Southern Baptist congregations. In-person worship service and small group attendance also rebounded, but total membership and the number of congregations slid. The Annual Church Profile compiled by Lifeway Christian Resources in cooperation with Baptist state conventions paints a complicated picture for the Southern Baptist Convention […]

Most churches plan to open on Christmas and New Year’s Day

On Christmas Day, churches plan to welcome “all ye faithful” and anyone else who wants to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, and for most pastors, that gives them all the more reason to gather. More than 5 in 6 U.S. Protestant pastors (84 percent) say their church plans […]

Pastors say Christmas Eve is most-attended holiday service

The closer it gets to Christmas, the more likely it is church pews will be filled. Half of U.S. Protestant pastors (48 percent) say a Christmas Eve service is their churches’ largest event during the holiday season, according to a Lifeway Research study. The frequency of the highest attendance events builds up to Christmas Eve […]

Encouraging Trends of Global Christianity in 2022

Regardless of the situation in the United States, Christianity is growing around the world, especially in the global South, according to recently released analysis. The Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary regularly updates a report tracking statistics and trends of religion in general and Christianity specifically around the world. There […]

Most Americans see churches as helpful during pandemic

Many Americans found themselves in need as the COVID-19 pandemic caused significant loss of life, medical burdens and business closures. Most say local churches were helpful during this difficult season, but some didn’t see the aid congregations were offering. Nashville-based Lifeway Research found 53 percent of Americans say churches in their community have been helpful […]