4 Types of People in Church to Consider

People are the heartbeat of a church, and pastors play an important role in understanding and connecting with each member or group, crafting a thriving church environment. With knowledge of who is part of your congregation, you can craft meaningful messages that speak to their unique needs, demonstrate pastoral care to form strong relationships, and create a church environment where everyone feels connected!


The Importance of Going to Church

Lately, church members’ attendance has been declining. So it prompts the question, why is it important to attend church? Attending church is more than just a Sunday morning ritual – it’s an opportunity to discover and deepen our relationship with God, build meaningful connections with fellow believers, receive guidance from sermons on the substance of faith, and celebrate the uniqueness that each person brings to their own journey. Attending services remains one of life’s richest opportunities: connecting people closer to God through incredible relationships we form along the way.

Every churchgoerwhether in the pews, parking lot, or tuning in digitally on Sundayis at a different point of their faith journey and has an individual relationship with God. To truly connect with each person, exploring this unique intersection between spirituality and personal experience is important. By understanding the different types of churchgoers, you’ll be better equipped to engage them.

The use of technology can help take some of the pressure off, and help you reach your church’s goals. Church management software like Pushpay’s can help engage your audience, grow your community, and increase generosity in these dynamic times.


The Types of People in Churches

From long-time goers to newcomers, churches are filled with a variety of people from different backgrounds and beliefs. Understanding the types of people in your congregation is essential to creating meaningful connections and engaging them. Take a closer look at the various types within your church and discover which demographics have taken root in yours! Here are four different types of people who make up a church congregation. 

1. The Seekers

For those searching for deeper meaning and spiritual growth, the Church can be a great starting point. You’ll hear seekers say, “I’m spiritual but not religious.” But who are they? Barna Research found that Seekers are more likely to be women, live on the West Coast and the South, and usually identify as liberal (50%) or moderate (33%) politically. Although those demographic details give some insight, we’re taking our understanding of people to the next levelnot just what they look like or where they live. In another Barna study, looking into how churches can connect with Seekers, they found that spiritual development is a Seekers top motivator for attending and feeling welcomed and accepted, making a second visit more likely.

2. The Chreasters

Chreasters. CEOs (Christmas/Easter Only). Irregular Regulars. No matter what you call them, they are visitors to your church at major Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter. Pew Research shows us that more Americans google “church” around these significant days than any other time of year. They’re looking for a service to attend during those holidays, which makes it critical for pastors across the nation to provide a welcoming atmosphere for guests in order to establish connections that might have them returning on a more frequent basis!

3. The Streamers

Since churches have adapted to the digital age and embraced virtual worship, streaming has given churchgoers newfound flexibility in watching services from anywhere at any time, and engaging in worship and spiritual growth on their own schedule. In 2020, one-third of U.S. adults watched religious services online or on television. The study also found that about half of U.S. adults who typically attended church at least once a month in 2019 (49%) substituted virtual participation for in-person attendance. 

The shift to a digital worship service may have started because of the pandemic, but Streamers are here to stay. In 2022, Barna found that one in five (20%) is still primarily attending online, and one in four (26%) is mixing online and in-person worship. This has become especially true for Millennials, who are more likely than other generations to embrace hybrid and digital services. The influx of virtual attendees is also reflected in REACHRIGHT’s finding that 20% of people who regularly attend church attend an online church service monthly.

4. The Regulars

Regulars are people who attend church regularly, whether that is every Sunday or multiple times a week. They often participate in small groups or church ministries, host events, and volunteer regularly. You may not need our insight to be able to spot the regulars at your church! You see their faces in the lobby, sipping coffee, singing in the sanctuary, and coming to a Bible study. But across the country, 47% of U.S. adults belong to a church, synagogue or mosque. Church membership is strongly correlated with age: 66% of traditionalists (born before 1946) are members, 58% of baby boomers, 50% of those in Generation X, and 36% of millennials. Although these numbers may look discouraging, there are many ways to combat the church attendance decline

Although the overall American church attendance and membership rates have seen a decline, a Barna survey from 2022 revealed that those who already attend church are attending more consistently. In 2021, only 17% of Millennials reported weekly worship attendance, but the number jumped to 39% in 2022. Daniel Copeland, Associate Vice President of Research at Barna Group, explains, “Now, in 2022, younger generations especially are re-engaging in church, a shift that might potentially mark a new chapter in church attendance.”

What This Means for Senior Pastors

As pastors, it’s important to recognize that there are a variety of personas that comprise their congregation. Regulars who’ve been attending for years sit side by side with those just starting out on their faith journey, while some come faithfully every week and others may only pop in occasionally. To better connect with each of these individuals and foster growth within the congregation, pastors must be mindful of how they address them differently, tailoring messages that truly speak to everyone’s unique needs. With this knowledge and insight, church leaders can build meaningful connections that reach far beyond Sunday service!

How Do You Identify the Different Types of People At Church?

From observing who attends services to deep focus groups, there are a variety of ways for churches to gain insight into their members’ needs and interests.  Here are a few ideas for learning about who attends and why:

1. Observe and ask questions each week before, during, or after services.

2. Create a survey to get answers to questions like who’s attending, what they need, and if they want any changes.

3. Conduct focus groups for detailed, in-depth information for ministry leaders to review. 

4. Utilize data from social media to your ChMS for high-level insights and strategic next steps.

By doing all these things together, you’ll better understand who makes up your church family. With thoughtful analysis and intentional approaches, you’ll be able to build stronger connections with everyone within your congregation.

The Benefits of Knowing Your Congregation

As a pastor, understanding the different types of people in your church is essential for creating an environment that encourages connection and engagement. Knowing who makes up your congregation can help you tailor messages to each group, as well as foster meaningful relationships with themall of which are key to growing your church. 

When you know your congregation well, you can:

  • connect meaningfully with members 
  • tailor messages for each group 
  • foster greater connection
  • increase insight into different perspectives and needs 
  • understand how members interact and engage  
  • improve communication throughout your ministry
  • encourage unity and cohesion

To serve your congregation better, invest in getting to know them! Discover the unique needs of each individual or group, and customize messages accordingly. Taking this time will result in a deeper connection with members, ultimately leading to an improved church experience for all. 

Become More Involved with Pushpay

When it comes to community engagement, there’s no substitute for forming meaningful relationships—but data can help fine-tune your approach. With Pushpay’s church management software, you get a comprehensive database of insights into all aspects of your congregation: from their donor history and current giving habits to how engaged they are in services and events. All these insights empower you to build stronger connections with your congregation, both individually and as a whole.

It’s Time To Make A Lasting Impact

We understand how important it is to build meaningful relationships within your congregation. With Churchstaq, your ministry can go the extra mile in connecting with members and creating meaningful relationships! Our church management software helps bridge digital and physical gaps to make it easier for everyone involved. Find out how we can help your ministry make a lasting impact. 











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