Influence

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Most Churchgoers Attend to Become Closer to God

The desire for more of God eclipses all other reasons for going to church

Influence Magazine on August 14, 2018

While the promise of free-flowing coffee and friendly fellowship may help churchgoers roll out of bed on Sunday morning, most point to a desire to become closer to God as the main motivation for attending services, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.

Among U.S. adults who go to church at least monthly, 61 percent cited drawing closer to God as the most important reason they show up — and no other reason even came close.

Smaller shares of churchgoers said the main reason they attend is to become a better person (8 percent); to be part of a community of faith (6 percent); to find comfort in tough times (5 percent); to give their children a moral foundation (4 percent); to hear valuable sermons (4 percent); to please a family member or partner (2 percent); or to continue a family tradition (2 percent).

Some 8 in 10 regular churchgoers did say they “often” or “always” experience a sense of God’s presence when they attend services. Nearly three-quarters say church provides a sense of community. And about 60 percent say attending helps them feel a connection to longstanding tradition.

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