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Study: Theology Is the Top Reason Churchgoers Stay or Leave Their Church

LifeWay Research recently released new research showing that churchgoers really care about the doctrines of their faith communities. According to the study, churchgoers who participated indicated a much higher tolerance for change in music or preaching style than doctrine.

“Mess with the music and people may grumble. Mess with theology and they’re out the door,” explained Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research (h/t: Christianity Today).

The numbers are a bit counterintuitive. For years, pastors and ministers have made references to the dreaded “worship wars,” that can seem to divide many congregations. But only 5 percent of participants indicated that they would leave their churches because of changes to the music. Nineteen percent indicated they would leave if the preaching style changed.

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Meanwhile, 54 percent indicated they would leave their churches because of doctrinal changes, making it the top reason participants indicated that they’d leave a church. Relocation came in second to theological changes.

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