A new Lifeway Research study found that most Protestant pastors will worship God and honor America at church services this weekend.
About 56 percent of pastors said that they believe it’s important to incorporate patriotic elements into worship services the week of July 4th. About 27 percent said they strongly agree and 42 percent said they disagree, and 2 percent said they aren’t sure.
Some 1,000 American Protestant pastors were surveyed for the study.
In 2016, a similar Lifeway Research study found that 61 percent of pastors believed it was important to incorporate patriotic elements into worship services the week of Independence Day.
“While not a date on the Christian calendar, most Protestant churches adjust their worship services to acknowledge the birth of the United States each July,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research. “For most churches, it isn’t just tradition. The majority of pastors agree it’s important to incorporate it into the worship experience.”
Among pastors with no college degree, 70 percent said they were more likely to also celebrate Independence Day. Among pastors with bachelor’s degrees, that number was 67 percent.
About 46 percent of American pastors with master’s degrees also said it was important, and 50 percent of pastors with doctoral degrees said the same.
“Changes to July 4th church services today are similar to those described by pastors in 2016 with significant emphasis on people who have served in the military,” said McConnell. “The biggest change is fewer churches including special music related to America (58% compared to 66% in 2016).”
The survey also found that:
- Evangelical pastors (64 percent) are more likely to incorporate patriotic elements in a Fourth of July worship service.
- Pentecostal pastors (77 percent) and non-denominational churches (70 percent) are more likely than Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian/Reformed, and Restorationist movement pastors to do the same.
- Sixty-five percent of younger pastors (ages 18 to 44) said the worship service didn’t need patriotic elements.
- Sixty-seven percent said it’s appropriate to display the American flag in worship services throughout the year.
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Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.