Why go to church when a recent Barna Group survey found that most churchgoers barely remember any insight from the previous week’s service? CRCC Director of Research Richard Flory talked about that topic and more to the Research on Religion Podcast on “Why We Go to Church (and other stuff).” Based upon a blog post he wrote on this topic, Flory speculates that it might not be the spiritual message that lures us to church service, but rather the communal aspect of worshiping together that draws us together every Sunday.
The podcast discusses some of the demographic possibilities for these research findings as well, contemplating whether age, gender or the clergy’s lack of dynamism may have something to do with why people report tuning out during the sermon. The second half of the discussion then looks at the role that churches play in the community and Richard’s research on church activism in Los Angeles following the 1992 riots, a topic near to the heart of your host since he was living in L.A. at the time.
Flory details the various means that churches have tried to heal the city vis-a-vis charity, advocacy for social justice, community development, and interfaith dialogue. He provides several examples including work done by Rev. Mark Whitlock, Cecil Murray of the First AME, La Voice PICO, and other groups.