06 Appendix B: Methodology

Appendix B: Methodology



Practicing Christians are self-identified Christians who say their faith is very important in their lives and have attended a worship service within the past month.


Gen Z were born after 1999.

Millennials were born between 1984 and 1999.

Gen X were born between 1965 and 1983.

Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964.

Elders were born in 1945 or earlier.

Parents include those who say they have children, regardless of child’s age.



Mainline churches include American Baptist Churches, Episcopal, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, United Church of Christ, United Methodist and Presbyterian Church, U.S.

Non-mainline churches include Protestant churches not included in mainline.

Small church: Less than 100 adults attend weekend services

Mid-sized church: Between 100 and 249 adult attenders

Large church: Churches with more than 250 attenders



The research from this study includes a total of 2,307 online interviews with U.S. adults ages 18 and older, including 1,003 interviews with all adults in the general population and an additional 1,304 interviews with practicing Christians. Combined with the number of adults who qualified among the general population (n=219), the total number of interviews among practicing Christians is 1,523.

In order to qualify as a practicing Christian, respondents had to identify as Christian, agree strongly that their faith is very important in their life today and report attending a Christian church service at least once in the past month. The margin of error among the general population sample (n=1,003) is ±2.9 percentage points at the 95-percent confidence level. The margin of error among the practicing Christian sample (n=1,523) is ±2.3 percentage points at the 95-percent confidence level.

Interviews were conducted between March 27 to May 3, 2019. Respondents were invited from a randomly selected group of people matching the demographics of the U.S. population for maximum representation. Researchers set quotas to obtain a minimum readable sample by a variety of demographic factors and then minimally weighted the data by ethnicity, education and gender to reflect their natural presence in the known population, using U.S. Census Bureau data for comparison.

The research also includes 656 interviews among U.S. clergy, including 604 interviews with Protestant senior pastors and 52 with Catholic priests. Interviews were conducted between March 19 and April 26, 2019. These pastors were recruited from Barna’s pastor panel (a database of pastors recruited via probability sampling on annual phone and email surveys) and are representative of U.S. Protestant and Catholic churches by region, denomination and church size. The margin of error among pastors is ±3.7 percentage points at the 95-percent confidence level.

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