Understanding America’s Churchless

By Natalie Dupuis, March 3, 2015

Fewer Americans than ever are attending church today. But what exactly do churchless Americans look like? Here’s the breakdown of statistics from Barna Group that defines America’s churchless:

38 million Americans have become churchless in the last decade.

77% of Americans have attended a church at some point in their lives—so they aren’t unchurched as much as they are dechurched.
30% of Americans were churchless in the 1990s
43% of Americans were churchless in 2014

2 in 3 unchurched Americans say they are spiritual people.

46% of unchurched Americans say family is their highest priority
18% of them are a married husband or wife with kids under 18
26% are married adults without children
43% are single adults without children

4 in 10 young adults who consider themselves Christians have walked away from the church in favor of exploring other world views and lifestyles.

Enlightened with these figures, the question remains: How can they help planners reach out to the churchless and attract them to events? In a recent interview, George Barna, founder of Barna Group, offered a suggestion. “If we want to turn this trend around, we have to understand what these people are thinking, what they’re doing, why they are making these particular choices, what we could do to actually serve them better, to understand them, to love them,” he says. “Armed with this kind of information, it’s a lot more likely that you’ll come up with a strategy that enables you to have a positive impact on the lives of such people.”

 Photo credit: Dave Gilbert

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