Views from the pews : distinguishing factors present in twenty churches that experienced attendance growth during the years 1996-1998

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dc.contributor.advisor McElhinney, James H. en_US Shumate, Charles R. en_US 2011-06-03T19:31:06Z 2011-06-03T19:31:06Z 1999 en_US 1999
dc.identifier LD2489.Z64 1999 .S58 en_US
dc.description.abstract The purpose of this study was to describe various characteristics that contributed to the growth in twenty churches that experienced a rate of numerical growth by a minimum of ten percent per year over the three years 1996-1998. The general methodology for the study was to report the experiences of the persons attending these fast growing churches. The study intended to bring some objectivity to the issue of increased attendance in worship services in the church.The review of literature revealed a plethora of central characteristics and vital signs that should be taken into account in developing a growing church. However, most of the studies were approached from the variable of membership instead of actual worship attendance. Since few studies have targeted the actual worship attendance as the focus of study a gap remains in the whys of Sunday morning worship attendance increase. The present study drew a blueprint for qualitative research and focused on the factors that accompanied attendance growth, as reported by church worship attendees.The twenty fast growing churches studied were of different sizes to discover essential differences and similarities in their growth characteristics and in their prescriptions for increased attendance. The churches were stratified into five different size categories, which included: fewer than 124, 125 to 249, 250 to 499, 500 to 999 and 1,000 or more in Sunday morning worship attendance. Three churches were chosen from within each of the five church size groupings, a total of fifteen churches whose attendees completed the survey instrument. In each of these congregations, one hundred persons were completed and returned. Also, five churches were chosen, one each from the size classifications for on location small group interviews. The overall quality of the worship service related positively to attendance growth. Church attendees reported the quality of preaching as an essential ingredient in the attendance increase in Sunday morning worship.Survey participants indicated that the growth of their congregation was related to the friendliness of the people in their church. Also, churches where attendees have a growing sense of belonging are more likely to be growing numerically.The five highest categories identified as contributing to attendance growth were associated with the Sunday morning worship. These churches place a high commitment upon worship. Friendliness was among the high five but goes well beyond the context of morning worship. Preaching, worship, a sense of God's presence, music, friends and caring relationships are important factors in church vitality, which accompanied increased attendance. Recommendations for further research were given.. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Department of Educational Leadership
dc.format.extent vii, 160 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm. en_US
dc.source Virtual Press en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Church attendance. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Church growth. en_US
dc.title Views from the pews : distinguishing factors present in twenty churches that experienced attendance growth during the years 1996-1998 en_US Thesis (D.Ed.) en_US
dc.identifier.cardcat-url en_US

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  • Doctoral Dissertations [3248]
    Doctoral dissertations submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University doctoral candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

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