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Why they Flee
The latest findings from the LifeWay Research area of LifeWay Christian Resources give the top 10 reasons adults switch churches.
This study builds on LifeWay Research’s 2006 study of the formerly churched, which explored the reasons adults stop going to church. The current findings explain why people change churches and how these situations differ from those in which the individual does not resume church attendance at all.
Church switchers are defined as Protestant Americans who have attended more than one church regularly as an adult.
"There are two types of people who slip out through the back door of the church," said Scott McConnell, associate director of LifeWay Research. "One group is probably leaving church permanently, and the other group is going to find a new church."
To understand why adults choose to change churches, 415 "non-mover" church switchers – who changed churches for reasons other than changes to their residential location – were surveyed in December 2006.
The study results indicate that overall, those who change churches for reasons other than moving are more likely fleeing their previous church rather than being drawn to another. Fifty-eight percent of study participants said the greatest impact on their decision to switch churches was "my need/desire to leave my previous church." The other 42 percent left because of the desire to join their current church.
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