Study Shows Having Friends At Church Keeps People Attending

01.04.11 | Sarah Harnisch

A new study out of the University of Wisconsin at Madison says religion's part in making people stay put in a church has more to do with friends then faith. This study suggests people who have friends at church are more likely to attend religious services every week; and 1 in 3 said they were extremely satisfied with their lives. Only 19 percent of those who went to church but had no close connections reported the same satusfaction. The study's author says it's friendships that keep people at a particular church. If they don't feel wanted-- they don't stay. The pastor of the New Berlin Church says studies show within 2 minutes, a new visitor will decide if they want to stay at your church or not. He says many times, the first impression people have is how they are greeted when they walk in the door-- it's not the sermon, the worship, or the prayer time.