Religious Resources and Church Growth

Iannaccone, Laurence, Daniel Olson , and Rodney Stark. "Religious Resources and Church Growth." Social Forces, 74, no. 2 (December), 705-731.

The authors offer a model for the growth of religious organizations as a "product" derived from inputs of time and money. Using measures of church attendance and contributions as proxies for resources of time and money, the authors predict membership growth at the levels of both individual congregations and entire denominations. Their data also highlight great variation in rates of resource mobilization across different denominations. The authors argue that, in each of the past two decades, the decline of liberal/mainline denominations and the growth of their more strict/conservative counterparts can be modeled largely in terms of the radically different amounts of time and money that they demand and receive from members.(SM)