So, if you walked into an ordinary church on an ordinary Sunday morning, who would be handing out programs, serving coffee and teaching Sunday School?
According to a new study by the Barna Group, the most likely answer would be a white married woman in her early fifties.
That stereotypical conclusion was reached in a poll which confirmed what many folks who regularly attend church already know – the older you are, particularly if you are married – the more likely you are to be an active member if the laity.
Among the findings were that women composed roughly 60 percent of church attendees, Bible study participants and Sunday School teachers. The only environment where men were in the slight majority was in house churches.
On a regional basis, Southerners make up half of American small group attendees. This is also the case for Sunday School participation.
The proud tradition of allegiance to Christianity in African-American communities also persists. While African Americans make up about 13 percent of the population, they account for 27 percent of small group participants and also a greater chunk, proportionally, that whites as far as regular church attendees.
Barna Group president David Kinnaman said, “What it means to be involved as a Christian is highly dependent on region, demographics, and other background factors. At the same time, because there are so many needs and preferences, faith leaders must acknowledge that their churches and faith communities cannot be ‘all things to all people.’”