Saturday, June 12, 2010

Do Children Make Parents More Active Churchgoers?

A new research study by Barna Group, conducted among nearly 700 parents of children under the age of 18, asked respondents to describe how having children affected their connection to a church or faith community. The following are essentially five ways these parents describe how having children influenced their involvement with a church:
  • No influence. The largest share of parents (50%) reported that having children did not influence their connection to a church. This perspective was most common among parents in the Northeast and West and among college graduates. Nine out of 10 atheists and agnostics said it made no influence, along with nearly seven out of 10 adults associated with a faith other than Christianity. Among Christian parents, 47 percent said that having children did not change their church life.
  • Reconnected. About 17 percent said that having a child helped them reconnect with church after a long absence. Lower income homes and Hispanic parents were most likely to identify with this group.
  • More active. Twenty percent of parents said they were already active, but became more involved after having children.
  • Less active. Four percent of parents said that having children actually decreased their involvement with a church, this being most common among single parents and Asians.
  • New commitment. Only one out of every 20 parents said that having a child helped them become active in a church for the first time. Midwest parents were among the most likely to express this view, as were Catholics and Hispanics.
To view the full report, click here.

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