the shape of leadership

Fewer Americans Identify with Denominations

Church labels falling away, Gallup finds

Influence Magazine on July 24, 2017

Americans are gravitating away from denominational church labels, according to a new Gallup poll.

In 2000, 50 percent of U.S. adults named a Protestant denomination when asked about their religion; today, that number has dwindled to 30 percent.

Gallup offers two reasons for the trend. First is the increasing number of religious “nones,” a term pollsters use to describe the religiously unaffiliated, including atheists and agnostics. In other words, fewer people identify with Christianity or any other religion.

Second, more places of worship are non-denominational, while others seldom mention their denominational ties.

“This latter trend reflects the increase in non-denominational Protestant churches in America today, and may also reflect a tendency for church leaders to downplay their denominational affiliation in their own local branding,” the Gallup report says.

Among those who identify with a Protestant denomination, these are the most popular:

• Baptist — not including Southern Baptist (10 percent)

• Methodist (4 percent)

• Lutheran (4 percent)

• Southern Baptist (3 percent)

• Presbyterian (2 percent)

• Pentecostal (2 percent)

• Church of Christ (1 percent)

• Episcopal (1 percent)

• Other (3 percent)

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