Today it is widely believed “conservative” churches are thriving and liberal ones are not. According to this link, that is not true. So called conservative churches are suffering declines as well.
There is a catagory of U. S. Christianity that is growing, it is called Pentecostalism. Broadly defined, it is a belief each person has his own relationship with God and Jesus.
But, Pentecostalism taps into a notion that has been in all of Christianity since the beginning, empowerment. If you make people believe they are important and your faith can further success in their lives, you have the makings of a growing church. This is Pentecostalism.
One might take note, the successful message is not about peoples’ sins or that there is some super natural person being providing a pass on sins. That is not important in this branch.
The irony is pentecostalism is closer to the liberal branch than the conservative. In liberal Christianity, there is less emphasis on dogma passed down from the church hierarchy and more on the individual’s efforts to plot their own path to faith. This is a form of empowerment that might bode well for its future.
Empowerment can be seen in the long pattern of church support. People in occupations that have uncertainty, like agriculture in rural communities, has always been more attracted to the empowerment message of religion than their urban counterparts.
The question, “What’s in it for me?”, decides what and how much religion people choose.