I am attending the annual meeting this week in Chicago of the Cooperative Congregational Studies Partnership (CCSP). This is the group of researchers from more than 40 different religions and denominations that publishes the Faith Communities Today (FACT) series. We are reviewing the raw data from the FACT 2005 survey ... a random sample of 880-some congregations of all faiths across the U.S. with a particular focus on growth factors.
One interesting tidbit: there is a strong correlation between the use of two kinds of electronic technology and church growth: web sites and electric guitars/basses. There is also a strong correlation between church growth and the willingness of a congregation to embrace change. This is a correlation that I found in a denominational study from the FACT 2000 data, so it is interesting that this same factor is showing up in the interfaith sample in 2005. That seems to be a strong characteristic.
There will be more coming soon. I will keep you posted on how to access this information more fully as it is released and published. I also got a bibliography of new research on local congregations published in the last year which I will post later today or tomorrow morning.