the shape of leadership

Loneliness Rises as Church Attendance Declines

More self-identified Christians are skipping services

Influence Magazine on March 15, 2019

Church attendance among U.S. Christians is declining, even as loneliness is on the rise, Barna Group reports.

Just 60 percent of respondents self-identifying as Christian have attended church in the past six months, compared to 77 percent in 2003, according to Barna’s recent Reviving Evangelism report.

In the same time span, the share of Americans saying they feel lonely or isolated increased from 10 to 20 percent.

“The increase in loneliness reported by Americans is likely due at least in part to their disengagement from communities of faith,” the report concludes.

Among non-Christians and “lapsed Christians” (those who identify as Christian but have not attended church in the past month), just 23 percent belong to a faith community where they can explore questions of meaning or faith.

“The de-churching of America is not the only factor making people lonelier than ever — but it’s certainly a factor,” Barna writes.

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