Prof. Scott Thumma‘s research for Faith Communities Today was the jumping off point for a recent survey by Eventbrite, which wanted to find out how religious groups were using the online marketplace for events.
Eventbrite’s report describes the project this way:
“In 2010, the Faith Communities Today national survey asked 12,000 leaders of congregations about which types of religious programs increase spiritual vitality and growth. They found that the more member-oriented and mission focused the program, the higher the interest and engagement—especially true for programs aimed at young adults and parenting/marriage enrichment. The survey also found that the more often congregations held special events to attract people from the surrounding community, the more likely they were to grow.
“Eventbrite took a cue from the Faith Communities Today research and conducted a smaller survey of our own. We surveyed 1000 people who attended special religious events in the past year. Our findings confirmed the relationship between special religious events (outside of worship) and spiritual growth at the individual level. The more often our respondents attended special religious events—whether held by their congregation or those hosted outside their faith community—the higher their level of religious involvement in terms of congregational attendance, small group participation, personal scripture reading and prayer, and the importance of faith in their lives.”
Prof. Thumma added these points in a Christianity Today blog by Ed Stetzer.
- The data clearly shows a positive relationship between involvement in religious special events and greater faith development. This is similar to what Faith Communities Today 2010 found.
- Participation in such events inside and outside the local church, for roughly 70% of respondents, strengthens faith, helps them feel more connected and meet others of their faith, and for nearly half the respondents offers evangelistic opportunities that make it easier for them to reach out to others.
- Special events have significant appeal to the younger 18-45 folks in the survey. They attend at higher rates than older persons.
The Eventbrite survey looked at a variety of faith groups—Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and more. For the full Eventbrite report, click here.