1 in 5 undecided about Easter worship

Easter Sunday is one of the biggest days of the year for churches, but worship attendance on Easter is no longer a no-brainer for many Americans.

By Bob Allen

One fifth of Americans haven’t decided if they will attend church on Easter Sunday, according to newly reported numbers by LifeWay Research.

easter2013The rest of the population is roughly half and half. Four in 10 -- 41 percent -- say they plan to attend a worship service on Easter, while 39 percent say they do not.

Among worshippers who darken the door only on religious holidays, those ministers playfully nickname the “CEOs” – Christmas and Easter Only – 18 percent say they do not plan to attend church on Easter. Another 19 percent still haven’t made up their mind.

Just over half of professing Christians say they will attend Easter services. Protestants (58) percent) and Catholics (57 percent) are most likely to say they plan on attending Easter services, followed by 45 percent of nondenominational Christians.

The numbers, collected online two weeks prior to this year’s Easter Sunday, March 31, show that attending church on Easter is not a cut-and-dried decision, even for those who identify themselves as Christians, said Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research.

With so many of their friends and neighbors still on the fence, LifeWay Research Director Scott McConnell said it’s an opportune time for faithful attenders to invite someone to church.

“Christians who automatically attend church on Easter should be mindful of their many friends, neighbors and family members who haven’t ruled out the idea of attending,” McConnell said. “It may be that a personal invitation is what would make a difference to them.”