Statistics on worship trends
Does anyone have any objective statistics on trends within worship in terms of stylistic preferences and where the church is going regarding traditional and contemporary worship styles?
I would think someone has done a survey... in fact I used to have such an article but can't find it now....
I'd also like general profile information on "who is the modern contemporary worshiper?" How do they think? What do they value? What is important to them? What is a hindrance to them? And how do the answers to these questions shape how we structure and plan our worship services?
It is hard to do a survey, unless it is independent (and done by some group like Gallup).
CCLI surveys members every 2 1/2 years; but what doesn't appear in the results are the songs the churches used that aren't under CCLI -- whether it be from a written songbook/hymnal, or a public domain/spiritual/author-unknown, or from a source outside of CCLI (some of the late Keith Green's songs like "Rushing Wind", all songs from GIA, OCP, World Library, etc).
What CCLI's surveys CAN tell us, and what I've been discovering for myself, is notably what songs have increased usage over a past six-month period (and, ahem, those which decreased usage); and then to take that information and find connections between those songs.
If it means anything, I'm discovering that there is a large contingent of songs being used in churches that correlate with the former CCM industry radio charts. If a song is playing in heavy rotation on K-LOVE, chances are there will be a great increase of usage of such a song in many, many churches. As it drops down the list, it will be dropped as well. Few songs have staying power; but if it reaches 1/2 mass, (say, is in the top 170 songs... which represents the top 50% of all surveys), it has a hard time ever leaving this area.
Another interesting trend over the last ten years is the increasing reliance upon older hymns as the basis of newer ones, and the great success for those which make it. "The Wonderful Cross" was the first to break this trend, but since then we've had multiple versions of "Amazing Grace", "Take My Life and Let It Be", "I Am Not Skilled To Understand" (My Savior My God), among many others. I believe this is a very positive trend, as it seems to be the proper compromise for churches split between the contemporary-music divide.
In a couple of weeks, I hope to do a podcast ( www.prayermeetingpodcast.com ) on this, as well as list the Top Praise Song Movers in the latest survey results. I'll keep y'all informed.
A few years ago, the Barna group did a short survey that tracked the average lifespan of a new worship song, but that was as far as the survey went. (BTW, the finding was a lifespan of less than 20 months).
As far as a survey to track trends, I don't see how such a survey could truly be accurate given the extreme differences across the country/world. I would speculate that you would not be able to get any reasonable consistency just by polling the members of this community.
Just taking into account my own observations in leading at different points around the country, the styles being used by churches of 1000 or so in Colorado have almost no common points with similar-sized churches in Georgia.
A survey like this could be done, but short of polling EVERY single church in the U.S., it likely would be of little use.
Leaders don't follow trends.
make music to serve your local community and it will be cutting-edge in the earth.
what? me worry?
Tags for this Thread