They had to look at Canada, but researchers compared liberal churches and conservative ones to compare growth.
Sorry, liberals, but you're not on the growth side.
For example, because of their conservative outlook, the growing church clergy members in our study took Jesus’ command to “Go make disciples” literally. Thus, they all held the conviction it’s “very important to encourage non-Christians to become Christians,” and thus likely put effort into converting non-Christians. Conversely, because of their liberal leanings, half the clergy members at the declining churches held the opposite conviction, believing it is not desirable to convert non-Christians. Some of them felt, for instance, that peddling their religion outside of their immediate faith community is culturally insensitive.
It should be obvious which of these two convictions is more likely to generate church growth.
DaTech Guy adds his insight.
The really funny part of this story? The fact that discovering believing in something vs believing in nothing tends to attract more people was “counterintuitive”.