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Churchgoers Want to Learn More about Scripture

Poll suggests preaching and teaching are the main drivers for attendance

It turns out that the music style and social activities aren’t what keep most people coming back to church. A new Gallup poll suggests what worshipers most want is the opportunity to learn more about Scripture and discover ways to connect those teachings to their everyday lives.

Three in four people who attend services at least monthly listed those benefits as the major motivators for going to church. The numbers were even higher among Protestants, with 83 percent looking for Bible knowledge and 80 percent seeking practical application.

Other popular reasons for attending are programs for children and teens, with 64 percent listing that as a major factor; community outreach and volunteer opportunities (59 percent); and interesting and inspiring leaders (54 percent).

Among Protestants, 83 percent are looking for Bible knowledge, and 80 percent are seeking practical application.

“Social activities that allow you to get to know people in your community” was a major factor for just under half the respondents. Only 38 percent of worshipers cited the music, though the number jumped to 44 percent among Protestants.

As for reasons why non-churchgoers stay away, introversion appears to top the list, with 44 percent of respondents saying the main thing is simply a preference to worship on their own.

Approximately one-third listed a dislike for organized religion or lack of interest in religion as a major factor keeping them away. Just 9 percent said not feeling welcome was a major reason for not attending; however, 25 percent did list that as a minor factor.

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