Study: Richmond's Faith & Faith in Action


Barna Study: The State of Faith in Metro Richmond

In 2017 and 2018, the Barna Group conducted extensive research on 131 U.S. Cities, including Metro Richmond, that provides important insight into the spiritual health of our community. This research includes where we are with both our public and private faith and has implications for the work of For Richmond as we seek to connect and equip Christian leaders to collaborate around the deep needs of our region.

In talking with Christian leaders across the country, we’ve learned that there must be a neutral party like For Richmond that brings diverse leaders together around one table to develop a shared vision. We’ve also learned that we must figure out how to mobilize and equip Christians for this work.

Here is what we know about the 1.2 million people living in Metro Richmond:

· 85% identify as Christian

· 63% attend church at least monthly

· 55% attend church weekly

That is over a half million people attending church every week!

We can also learn something about these church-goers compared to Christians in other cities. Out of 131 cities in our country that were studied, here’s where Richmond ranks in certain areas:

People who:

1. Prayed to God in the past week #8

2. Participated in a weekly Small Group #17

3. Read the Bible in the past week #36

It looks like we have a lot of Christians who are active in their faith compared to other cities, which is great!

Here are two more pieces of information the study found:

People who:

5. Volunteered at their church this past week #66

6. Volunteered at a non-profit in the past week #111

The Opportunity to Mobilize

As you can see, there seems to be a disconnect between faith and faith in action in Metro Richmond. We don’t want this information to serve as an indictment. We want us to look at this as a HUGE opportunity that is yet to be realized.

Imagine what Richmond would look like if we could mobilize over a half million regular church attenders around a shared vision! Imagine if we could provide pathways for them to volunteer that moved beyond charity and equipped them to help move the needle on the upstream issues in our community. Imagine if we could equip these Christians to engage in spiritual conversations with their neighbors as well. Richmond could truly be transformed!

Exploring Next Steps for Action

Our advisory team is exploring a variety of ways to increase opportunities for our congregations to put faith into action. One idea that is already being implemented in several Metro Richmond congregations and communities is a 5th Sunday Day of Service.

There are four months each year that have a 5th Sunday. Imagine if we mobilized all the people in our churches for a day of service on those Sundays. Imagine how that could be the means by which we activated the people in our churches who are not currently volunteering.

If you’re interested in reading more of the Barna Report, email us: