A couple months ago, some of you were invited through Net Results to participate in a research survey. Well, the results are in with nearly 300 responses from across the nation. And congratulations to the Rev. Loril Hawk, the winner of the Apple TV.

Participating churches included those with less than 50 to those over 3000. The general percentages follow closely with the average church sizes across the nation, with the largest segment of churches under 100 and the smallest those over 2000. Although the questions we asked look a bit like a hodgepodge, there was some method to our madness. Many smaller churches have been seeking information from us regarding best practices and we wanted to see if our experience and anecdotal data matched the church’s reality. The good news, at least for us, was that we’ve been pretty spot on. So, without further ado, here’s a brief preview (perhaps some of it will help in your 2012 planning).

  • Multiple Services aren’t just for big churches anymore: Over 25% of churches worshipping less than 125 have more than one weekly worship service and fully 51% of all churches offer multiple services.
  • Most worship services (not surprisingly) are held on Sunday mornings. Over 85% of all churches offer an 11 AM (or thereabouts) worship service. 4.5% offer Saturday evening services and 65% provide a Sunday evening experience.
  • The most attended worship service is the 11 o’clock Sunday morning event (54.9%), but that’s followed closely by services held at 10ish (37%). However, if a guest is going to show up at a worship service, odds are they’ll be attending your 11 AM service (70.6%).
  • If you go to the average worship service in the US, you may or may not be able to take your coffee in with you. Only 57% of churches allow beverages in the worship center (even fewer allow you to bring in a cookie). Interestingly, size almost doesn’t matter. The vast majority of churches worshipping over 500 allow refreshments in their worship center (over 85%). But for churches worshipping less than 500 it’s a bit more dicey – only 55% allow refreshments. Interestingly, smaller churches appeared to be slightly more likely to allow refreshments than many churches over those between 226 and 500.
  • However, once you’re in the worship center, you’re more likely than ever to be greeted with screen technology (projected or flat screen digital imaging). Although it’s not surprising that churches worshipping less than 50 were the least likely to have screen technology, over 66% provided digital projection in either all or some of their worship services. Although not every large church offers projection, over 88% do, and it appears that virtually all churches over 500 have adopted the technology.

We’ll be processing and interpreting the data we received over the next couple of months, particularly in Net Results magazine.