Portraits of American Life Study
Hosted by The ARDA
The PALS seeks to understand the impact of religion in everyday life, and ultimately the connections between religious change and other forms of change among diverse individuals and families over the course of their lives.

Attitudes Regarding Own Religious Congregation (2006)

The following questions were asked of persons who were involved with religious congregation or place of worship at that time or during the previous three years. Depending on the question, participants could choose a level of agreement/disagreement or a level of satisfaction/dissatisfaction.

Among these measures on congregations, there are high levels of satisfaction for one’s own congregation, with each having about half of the respondents choosing “strongly agreeing” or “very satisfied.”

On the other hand, there is about 15% to 20% who are not satisfied with the congregation. One person out of ten feels like an outsider in their own congregation. What does your congregation do to help attendees feel included? COMMENT.

 Agree
An official member of your congregation?68%
My congregation feels like family78%

Nine out of ten Black Protestants relate to their congregation as family.


 Agree
My congregation meets my spiritual needs 84%
Feels like an outsider in congregation 12%

 Satisfied
Sermons, preaching89%
Music at worship services84%
Community outreach79%
Religious education76%
Youth/children’s programs74%


Give us your feedback!

Through out these sections, we invite you to enter the discussion about these findings and what their implications may be. Click on the COMMENT link to send your thoughts to pals@rice.edu. Where appropriate we will include comments for others to read and discuss. Names of contributors will not be posted, but, if you like, include your religious tradition.

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