Tags: churches | study | gays | worship

Study: Evangelical-Style Worship, Gays on Rise in US Churches

By    |   Thursday, 11 Sep 2014 10:36 PM

Houses of worship look a lot like the world around them – with evangelical-style worship on the increase, along with a slowly growing acceptance of gays and more diverse congregations, a new survey shows. 

"Congregations are embedded in our culture and our society, and they are reflecting both the trends, but also the divisions and the conflicts," Mark Chaves, the director of the study and a professor of sociology, religion and divinity at Duke University, told The New York Times. 

The third National Congregations Study – based on data collected leaders of 1,331 congregations – notes one of the most striking changes is how informal worship has become over the last 16 years.

According to the new report, 46 percent of Americans worship in congregations where drums are played, up from 25 percent in 1998, while 56 percent are in congregations where organs are played, down from 70 percent.

Fifty-nine percent of worshipers now attend services in congregations where hands are raised as an expression of praise — up from 48 percent in 1998.

Choir-singing and vestment-wearing are down, while the use of visual projection equipment and the practice of jumping, shouting or dancing by worshipers is up.

"Behaviors associated with evangelical worship style are ticking up, and there is a shift of people to large churches where this is more common," Chaves told The Times.

The poll also found 48 percent of congregations allow gays in committed relationships to be members, up from 37 percent since the second study in 2006, and 27 percent of congregations allow them to serve as volunteer leaders, up from 18 percent.

But the acceptance of gays has dropped in the Roman Catholic church, the study shows.

The study also found the number of all-white congregations is declining – and the average size of congregations is either stable or "somewhat shrunk."

And the data shows 24 percent of congregations aren't affiliated with any religious denomination at all.

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Houses of worship look a lot like the world around them – with evangelical-style worship on the increase, along with a slowly growing acceptance of gays and more diverse congregations, a new survey shows.
churches, study, gays, worship
322
2014-36-11
Thursday, 11 Sep 2014 10:36 PM
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