LifeWay, an evangelical religious research firm, found that most Americans view most denominations favorably and when they feel ready, they would be willing to explore any or all of the churches listed.
“American Perceptions of Denominations,” is the result of a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults last fall who were asked to give a favorable or unfavorable rating on nine traditions, or say they don’t know enough to form an opinion.
Many Americans today don’t think they have a place for church in their lives.
“But they believe the church has a place for them, when or if they are interested,” said Scott McConnell, vice president of LifeWay Research, which issued a new survey Wednesday (June 3) on perceptions of religious denominations.
The findings show that as many as 45 percent of Americans will look at the church brand on the sign out front — Catholic or Baptist or Methodist or whatever — and drive past, thinking it is “not for me.”
And yet, McConnell said, the survey reveals an openness in most people — if not a very theologically deep one — to stopping by, even if they declare no religious identity, the “nones.”
“Many people view a church like the ice cream parlor down the road. They think, ‘When I’m in the mood, I can go.’ Church leaders can take it as good news: People haven’t ruled them out. But they have to be a little unsettled at how little people are thinking about this,” said McConnell.
Posted by Andrew Gerns