It’s no secret that attendance in mainline Protestant churches has been declining, while nondenominational evangelical churches continue to grow. But researchers at the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life were surprised by three trends in American religion when they analyzed the results from their U.S. Religious Landscape Survey.1
First, based on interviews with more than 35,000 adults, the survey found that 44% of adults have left the religious affiliation of their youth. Second, church-hopping is becoming more common. Because of this, many churches are competing for the same dissatisfied churchgoers.
Third, even with its great number of churches, Bible schools, and Christian bookstores, the United States is actually becoming less Christian. More than one fourth of adults have left the church they were raised in for another religion entirely or now have no religion at all.
While the idea of shopping for religion or churches smacks of consumerism, one aspect is potentially positive. Those not satisfied with their liberal church (or non-Christian religion) may be looking to Bible-believing churches for relevance and answers to life’s difficult questions, which the Scriptures provide. They may end up finding good churches that don’t compromise with secular thinking, such as evolution.