By the Presiding Bishopric
In May 2022, Community of Christ conducted a survey targeting those under the age of fifty who had an affinity with the church. The purpose of the survey was to seek a better understanding of their connection points and the ways they might choose to engage with and support Community of Christ.
A total of 1,074 people participated in the survey through Community of Christ:
- 79 percent of the respondents under the age of fifty
- 32 percent were male, 63 percent female, 2 percent nonbinary, 3 percent preferred not to answer
- 79 percent of the respondents lived in the United States, 21 percent were from outside the USA
- 85 percent considered themselves to be members of Community of Christ, 15 percent did not
Engagement with Community of Christ
Of the respondents, 98 percent said they had attended a Community of Christ worship service with 47 percent indicating they attended both online and in-person activities.
Satisfaction with Community of Christ
When asked why they were satisfied with Community of Christ, the top responses were:
- They have attended their entire life or they grew up in the church
- They support/believe in the mission and Enduring Principles
- They liked the people or congregation
- They felt Community of Christ is welcoming and accepting
Of the respondents, 94 percent of respondents had given financially to support Community of Christ:
- 95 percent have given at a Sunday worship
- 69 percent gave at a camp, reunion, or retreat
- 58 percent gave during a large event such as World Conference or Spectacular
- 45 percent use online giving methods
Connecting with Spirituality
When respondents were asked how they preferred to connect with their spirituality, the top answers were:
- Spending time in nature
- Helping those in need in my community
- Through camps and retreats
When asked what was important when considering a religious or spiritual organization, 58 percent responded by saying the organization needed to be open-minded about faith and big life questions. About 56 percent said they wanted a place where they belonged and 53 percent said it was important that the organization helped them stay connected with God. Another 52 percent also wanted the organization to provide opportunities to make the world a better place by:
- Helping to fight poverty and needless suffering
- Being involved in community service opportunities
- Working on social justice issues
Describing their ideal spiritual community:
- 71 percent said it would be a place that is nonjudgmental and where I am free to be myself
- 68 percent felt it should be supportive of me/my family/one another beyond the church setting
- 66 percent wanted it to be accepting and inclusive of everyone
- 57 percent felt it should be a place to grow spiritually and learn
Online and social media were the preferred methods for seeking information and learning about a religious or spiritual organization. Most respondents preferred Facebook with email, website, and online search making the top five.
Initial Reflections on Engaging with this Data
As Community of Christ continues to explore ways to connect with younger generations, this information provides valuable insights and considerations for church leaders about the places to intersect with those under the age of fifty as this group explores spirituality.
The Communications Team already has begun to use the data collected to refine how the church communicates with younger audiences and the messages that will resonate with them.
The Presiding Bishopric acknowledges the important need to find ways to connect with the passion of younger generations of disciples to change the world providing ways to financially support ministries and services that are making that happen. Sharing stories that put faces on how mission tithes make a difference in the world locally and globally will remain a priority.
Church leaders are grateful for all those who took the time to complete the survey and provide valuable insights. World Church leaders will continue to listen to all ages and seek to discern how the church as a worldwide organization can support all disciples in living Christ’s mission.