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-’Most Favorable’ Denominations: The Baptists Win?

by Dr. D ~ June 4th, 2015


According to a recent LifeWay poll, among the different Christian denominational groups in the USA, Americans have the ‘most favorable’ impression of the Baptists, the Catholics, and the Non-denominational. From Lifeway Research:

Americans have a surprising openness to Christian churches, even those who are supposedly turned off to religion, a new survey finds.

No matter which denomination is in the name of a church, fewer than half the nonreligious say “it’s not for me.” Their views are more favorable than unfavorable toward a wide range of faiths—Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Assemblies of God, and non-denominational.

These findings, based on a new survey of denominational opinions by LifeWay Research, may come as a surprise to those who’ve seen recent headlines. Growing numbers of people who don’t identify with any church have gathered considerable media attention. But LifeWay Research vice president Scott McConnell says many of these “nones” aren’t as closed to church as many assume.

<Read the whole article>

Response: There is a trend among local Christian churches not to include a clue to any denominational affiliation in their names and on their signs. The non-denominational churches have been the fastest growing Christian faith group in America for some time and many denominational churches have named their local churches to compete with the non-denominational ones in their communities. This research indicates that it may be counter productive for Baptists in particular but not so much for Pentecostal churches who seem to carry the largest unfavorable or unknowable tag.

The largest Baptist church in my old home town (Lake Forest, CA) is Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church which has always been styled as a non-denominational community church but is actually affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. Counter to this research, I very seriously doubt that they would have grown into mega-church status carrying the Southern Baptist nameplate in South Orange County California.            *Top

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3 Responses to -’Most Favorable’ Denominations: The Baptists Win?

  1. Brian

    Interestingly, note that the denominations lower on the scale (with the lower “favorable” ratings) also have the highest ratings for “don’t know enough to rate”.

  2. Brian

    Another thought – the Southern Baptists take a lot of the heat in the secular press, and from the secular community, for conservative social views resulting in a 26% negative rating. The Assemblies of God, other “Baptists” and non-denominational groups (the latter two categories will include a lot of churches either quietly affiliated with the SBC or whose religious beliefs are very similar) get much lower negative ratings.

    The one group that does not seem to benefit from having the SBC draw the attention/ire of the secular community is the Pentecostals.

  3. -Evangelicals Still Growing but Denominations in Decline? | ANSWERS For The Faith

    […] recently wrote about a poll that showed Baptists to be among the most favored denominations in America. Now comes this latest information that shows a decline in the the largest Baptist and […]

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