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1 in 5 Adults Attend House Churches, According to First Hard Statistics
By Hannah Elliott, Published July 6, 2006
DALLAS (ABP) — For the first time, advocates of the house-church movement in America have solid facts to back up their enthusiasm — and those stats are shocking: Perhaps one in five American adults attends a house church at least once a month.
While attendees themselves have long said that an increasing number of Americans are moving from First Baptist on Main Street to living-room congregations, the very nature of home churches — decentralized, undocumented and unadvertised — has made them difficult to study. Until now.
In a June 19 report from the Barna Group, evangelical researcher George Barna said 70 million Americans regularly attend or have “experimented with” a house church. That’s an increase of 8 percent since 1996, the report said. Moreover, the movement is taking on evidence of permanence, he said.
“The traditional ways of thinking about and experiencing church are rapidly being revolutionized by a form of religious choice, in which people are taking greater personal responsibility for their spiritual experience and development,” Barna said in the report.
“Today, house churches are moving from the appraisal phase into the acceptance phase. We anticipate house-church attendance during any given week to double in the coming decade and a growing proportion of house-church attenders to adopt the house church as their primary faith community.”
Furthermore, the study noted, more than 20 million adults attend services in home churches each week. Over the course of a month, that number rose to 43 million. Findings were based on a year of research that included phone interviews with more than 5,000 adults nationwide.
from the Associated Baptist Press