Lifeway news office
American Christians seem to be following that advice.
According to a new study from Nashville-based LifeWay Research, few Americans are aware of many efforts by local Christians or churches to serve their neighbors.
LifeWay Research’s survey of 1,000 Americans looked at 13 service programs often run by churches — from tutoring kids to teaching job skills.
They asked Americans if they’d heard of churches or church members being involved in those activities in the past six months.
Six in 10 say they know churches feed the hungry. Half say they know churches give clothing to the poor.
Beyond that, acts of service by churches often appear to go unnoticed, said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research.
Few Americans were aware that churches help people prepare their taxes (8 percent), provide foster care (12 percent), teach English to immigrants (13 percent), or teach job skills (13 percent).
A few more know churches tutor kids (16 percent), provide aid to new moms (19 percent), support local schools (21 percent), offer after-school programs (24 percent), or meet with people in prison (25 percent).
About a third of Americans know churches shelter the homeless (33 percent) and provide disaster relief assistance (39 percent).
Fourteen percent of Americans haven’t heard of any of these services by churches. Seventeen percent are not sure.
“Unless you’ve received help from a church — or been involved in serving others — these kinds of programs may fly under the radar,” McConnell said.
Not surprisingly, Americans who attend religious services are more likely to have heard about good works done by congregations.