While most Americans still identify as Christian, there are big differences when it comes to how involved they are with a congregation – or whether they’re involved at all. Indeed, some of the largest Christian denominations in the U.S. have relatively low levels of involvement among their members.
Among all Christian religious traditions in the U.S., Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses have the largest shares of members who are highly involved in their congregations, according to a new analysis of data from Pew Research Center’s Religious Landscape Study.
Our analysis uses a scale we created drawing on the survey’s three measures of congregational involvement: membership in a congregation, frequency of attendance at worship services and frequency of attendance at small group religious activities. While these three measures don’t encompass all the potential ways people might be involved in their congregations, they represent common and broad categories of congregational engagement.
Those who are members of a congregation, attend religious services at least weekly and attend a prayer or scripture group weekly or monthly are categorized as having a “high” level of congregational involvement, while those who are not members of a congregation and who seldom or never attend religious services and small group prayer or scripture-reading groups are in the “low” category. All other respondents are categorized as having a “medium” level of congregational involvement.
Related article: U.S. public becoming less religious