Small Church vs. Big Church Faith

The Barna Group released an interesting study this morning exploring how faith varies by church size. Surprisingly, there is a significant difference between the average faith of big churches versus small churches. The only factor that did not vary by church size was whether a church attendee had prayed during the past week.

The tipping point for religious differences seems to be at a church size of 200 adult attendees. However, house churches (roughly 20 adults) have religious beliefs and behaviors more similar to those of large conventional churches of 500 rather than conventional churches of less than 50.

Big Church vs. Small Church Faith

Big Church (1000+) vs. Small Church (1-100) Faith

  • The Bible is totally accurate in all the principles it teaches.
    75% big church
    60% small church
  • I have personal responsibility to tell others my beliefs.
    61% big church
    41% small church
  • My religious faith is very important in my life.
    90% big church
    82% small church
  • Satan/devil is a living being not just a symbol of evil.
    51% big church
    30% small church
  • A good person cannot earn a place in Heaven.
    55% big church
    33% small church
  • On earth Jesus Christ did not commit sins, like other people.
    74% big church
    49% small church
  • God is the omnipotent, omniscient creator who rules all.
    90% big church
    81% small church

In addition the study discovered that adult attendees of large churches are more likely than adult attendees of small churches to read the Bible, volunteer at church, be a college graduate, be affluent, and have kids. For more statistics, read The Barna Group’s article.