PCUSA, Episcopal Churches Rank Themselves Low on ‘Evangelism’ Abilities: Survey

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When it comes to marks of congregational vitality, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Episcopal Church congregations rank themselves lowest on evangelism, according to a recent survey.

PC(USA)’s Research Services department released an analysis of the U.S. Congregational Vitality Study centered on PC(USA) and the Episcopal Church congregations.

The survey, released Monday, included 156 congregations, 78 from PC(USA) and 78 from the Episcopal Church, with the opinions of about 9,000 church members taken, according to Presbyterian News Service.

PC(USA) looked at responses centered on what they described as the “Seven Marks of Congregational Vitality,” which include “caring relationships,” “ecclesial health,” “intentional, authentic evangelism,” “lifelong discipleship,” “outward incarnational focus,” “servant leadership,” and “Spirit-inspired worship.”

Taken on a scale of 1-100, the survey found that of the congregational vitality marks, “evangelism” was ranked the lowest at 69, deemed the equivalent of a D+ grade.

Within the overall questions pertaining to evangelism, the statement “I try to ensure that visitors to my church feel welcome” was the most popular of the responses, while “I invite people who do not attend church to come visit mine” was the least popular.

The highest of the vitality marks was caring relationships, scoring at 81 percent, or a B to B-, followed by worship and ecclesial health, both at 79 and servant leadership at 78.

Angie Andriot, a research analyst with the PC(USA)’s Research Services, said in comments to Presbyterian News Service that this marked “the first deep analysis” of the congregational vitality data, with more analysis expected in the near future.

Regarding differences in responses between Presbyterian and Episcopal congregations, Andriot said both denominations tended to have similar responses.

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Source: USA Today