What Do Families Want from a Church?

A research study by Baylor University polled more than 3,000 Baptists from 12 states asking how churches can help and serve families. According to the Associated Baptist Press, respondents most often answered that their family would appreciate opportunities to serve together, and they would like to learn more about family prayer and devotional time. Twenty percent of those polled said they’d like to learn more about communication skills within families, and nearly twenty percent would like more help with developing a strong marriage. Researchers reported that although families are already engaged with community service and have ample opportunities to volunteer in secular service organizations, they still want to do more serving in the context of their faith.

Families also reported the stressors present in their lives: Four out of five respondents said they had to deal with at least one serious stressor related to their physical or mental health in the past year. A third of those polled reported serious illness or disability of a family member, close friend, or relative had caused them stress last year, and about twenty-five percent mentioned the death of a close friend or family member. Among families in their 20s, more than 60 percent mentioned financial troubles. The vast majority of respondents reported praying on a daily basis, but only half reported doing so regularly as a family.  

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Toni Ridgaway is a content editor for the Outreach Web Network, including churchleaders.com and SermonCentral.com.