Marriage is the Most Urgent Ministry Gap for the Church

Family Decline Drives Faith Decline

Americans—especially younger Americans—are falling away from faith at alarming rates. The primary factor behind this mass exodus from religion appears to be the collapse in family structure.

Rise of the Religious “Nones”:

The rates of those reporting to be religiously unaffiliated are growing dramatically from one generation to the next.
Source: The American Family Survey 2015-2018

Family Structure is Key for Passing on the Faith to Children

78%
Millennials from married homes are 78% more likely to attend church than peers from unmarried homes.

A parents’ marriage has a massive, lifelong impact on whether their kids practice Christianity as adults. Those from married homes across the last three generations regularly attend church at nearly the same rate.Source: 2018 Relationships in America survey

Faith is Falling Because the Family is in Freefall

40%

of all births in the United States occur outside of marriage.
*Institute for Family Studies

54%

of children born in the U.S. reach their 17th birthday without a married mom and dad in the home.*MARRI, The Catholic University of America

Family formation and stability rates in the U.S. remain in steep decline.

A Great Opportunity: Closing the Gap in Relationship Ministry

Communio commissioned a Barna Survey to understand where Evangelical, Catholic, and Mainline churches are allocating their ministry time and resources. The study found that marriage and relationship ministry is a big gap within American churches. Closing this gap is the largest cultural health opportunity.

of all churches in America lack a substantive marriage ministry.

of all churches have no ministry for newlyweds helping them through their first critical years of marriage.

of churches do not offer any ministries for singles. This is a huge opportunity area to encourage healthy habits around dating or finding the right spouse for marriage.

A large majority of churches report spending 0 percent of their ministry dollars on marriage and relationship ministries.