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A new Gallup study commissioned by Group Publishing shows that people with close friendships in their church are very satisfied with their congregation, less likely to leave their place of worship, and have a strong friendship with God. Church members who have a best friend at church are 21% more likely to report attending at least once a week and 26% more likely to report having a strong, more active faith in God. 77% of highly satisfied members have eaten a meal with fellow congregants (who are not members of their family) at some point over the last year. Only 56% of somewhat satisfied or dissatisfied members have shared a meal together. Mealtime fellowship appears strongly correlated with high levels of congregational satisfaction. 62% of those who eat meals together report regularly spending time in prayer and worship daily vs. 49% who have not eaten meals with other church members.

(From a sermon by Mark Schaeufele, New Life On Purpose: Welcome, 2/18/2010)

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