A congregation's beliefs about work attitudes and practices affect a churchgoer on the job, researchers have suggested. They add that the amount of influence depends on how involved the person is.
Jerry Z. Park, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology in Baylor's College of Arts and Sciences, said they already knew that about 60 percent of American adults are affiliated with congregations, but we wanted to delve into whether that carries over from weekend worship services to the work day.
Park said it turns out it does make some difference in their attitudes at work. That means it has a potential 'payoff' not only for employers, but for employees themselves.
Researchers asked a random sample of full-time employees if they attended a place of worship, and if so, they were then asked whether their congregation emphasized integrating their faith in the workplace through "sacrificial love" to their co-workers, sensing God's presence at work among others. What seemed to make the difference, researchers found, was frequent attendance at a church that stressed a merge of faith and work. Simply being at such a congregation - or just attending any church - did not result in greater work satisfaction or dedication.
Researchers' analysis was based on the National Survey of Work, Entrepreneurship and Religion, a 2010 Web-based survey of 1,022 fulltime workers.
How religion affects job satisfaction, commitment to one's job and entrepreneurship was measured by researchers using a 15-item Congregational Faith at Work Scale, Park said.
That scale includes such items as whether respondents sense God's presence while they work, whether they view their work as having eternal significance, whether they view co-workers as being made in the image of God, whether they believe they should demonstrate "sacrificial love" toward co-workers and whether they believe God wants them to develop their abilities and talents at work.
The analysis of data is published in the journal Sociology of Religion.