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RESEARCH: Most parents would let trusted neighbors take children to church

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Most American parents would let their children attend church with trusted neighbors, according to a survey by LifeWay Research.

The study explored “how many parents were open to their children attending if they didn’t have to be the ones to take them to church,” Scott McConnell, associate director of LifeWay Research, said in LifeWay Research Insights’ Feb. 23 newsletter on Feb. 23.

The study found that 76 percent of parents agreed with the statement, “If a neighbor I trusted invited my children to go to church with them, I would let my child go with them.” Only 24 percent of the 1,210 adults surveyed disagreed.

“The jump is sizeable yet not unexpected,” McConnell said. “Similar to Romans 1:21, many American parents know God but do not glorify Him. As they express openness to their children knowing God, the opportunity for these children to attend a Bible-believing church rests with every believer who does glorify God.”

Mothers are more likely than fathers to let their children attend church with neighbors, the study found, and race is among the factors that make the greatest difference in parents’ willingness to send their children to church with neighbors. African Americans were more willing than whites or Hispanics to agree to the offer.

Also, LifeWay Research found that parents in the Midwest are more open to their children attending church with neighbors than in any other region. Single parents are more willing than those who are married, although age and education seem to have little effect on parents’ willingness to send children to church with a trusted neighbor, the study indicated.

“In a culture that struggles to learn the names of their neighbors, the benefit of loving one’s neighbor clearly applies to families,” McConnell said. “With intentional involvement in our neighborhood, we can glorify God in word and deed in regular interactions with our neighbors.

“As relationships develop, our neighborhood friends will be increasingly comfortable having their children attend church with us,” he said. “With spring around the corner, we all need to make plans to get out in our neighborhoods and meet some new friends.”

LifeWay Research is a division of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Compiled by Baptist Press staff writer Erin Roach. LifeWay Research Insights is published twice monthly by LifeWay Research; for subscription information, go to www.lifewayresearch.com.

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