Skip to main content
Login | Suomeksi | På svenska | In English

Browsing by Author "Friman, Ralf-Eerik"

Sort by: Order: Results:

  • Friman, Ralf-Eerik (2015)
    The subject matter of this thesis were four church services that had experienced growth in attendance. Under study were particularly the reasons that attracted people to the services in question. The research question, which is the title of the thesis, was looked at from two angles: the attenders were asked about their reasons to come and the overseer of each service was interviewed about the reasons that they saw the attenders having for their attendance. These four services were all regular services organised by a local church. These four churches were The Evangelical Free Church of Turku (also known as Hope Church), The Pentecostal Church of Seinäjoki, The Evangelican Lutheran Parish of Haapajärvi and Suhe Church from Helsinki. The study was conducted as a qualitative, data-driven study. The data itself consisted of 39 questionnaires and four interviews. The questionnaires formed one body of data in spite of having been collected in different cities; one interview per church was conducted. The data was analysed through content analysis. The main reasons for attending the service for the first time were spiritual seeking, an invitation from friends and family, finding a community, curiosity or other random reasons. When the attenders were asked about the main reasons for current attendance, a change could be seen in the reasons: the majority of the attenders said their main reason now is a spiritual one. This included themes like spiritual growth, the love of God and receiving strength and power for everyday life. Other significant reasons for current attendance included community and serving. Almost everyone of the questioned attenders believed they would still be attending in a year or two's time. The biggest reasons for continued attendance were community, spiritual growth, the love of God, attending a service as a part of Christian living, and attending the service as a habit. The attenders received especially power and friends to their everyday life from the service. Worshiping God together and the sermon were seen to be the main ways God was encountered in the service itself. The community was not mainly seen as a primary reason to attend but the attenders described their community with significant words such as 'home', 'family', and 'safety net'. The overseers of the service saw invitations as an important reason for the first-time attenders. On the other hand they saw, that to continue coming people need to find meaningful relationships and spiritual content. All of the churches part-taking in this study had tried to develop and bring life to their services, though the particularities, structure and context of the churches are somewhat different. An important common aspect was a theologically grounded thought to follow the call of God and to see this call become concrete in different ways through the service.