A new report co-authored by Dr. Petr Činčala, Allison Sauceda, and Monte Sahlin of the Seventh-day Adventist Church explores some of the correlations among spiritually vital congregations based on our Faith Communities Today (FACT) 2020 study.
In 2020, about a third of the 15,000 faith communities responding to our FACT 2020 survey question "Do you agree or disagree our congregation is spiritually vital and alive?” strongly agreed with this statement (over 40% more than in 2015). This question has been asked in the FACT surveys since 2000 and highly correlates with other measures of vitality and flourishing.
Most spiritually vital congregations had a set of distinctive characteristics that included:
- Being open to incorporating new people
- Willing to change to meet new challenges
- Having thought-provoking worship services
- Emphasizing religious education for both children and adults
- Considering it important to live out one's faith in all aspects of daily life, not just during sacred time
- Having more younger people participating
Despite minor variances by faith tradition and denomination, it is remarkable to see the level of general agreement on common denominators of spiritually vital and alive congregations. Explore further findings in the expanded report: