If so, this new study from Exponential by LifeWay Research might shed some light on your quest. Reported just last month (March 6, 2019), the study points out that “three in 5 (61 percent) pastors say their churches faced a decline in worship attendance or growth of 5 percent or less in the last three years.” In fact, “fifty-four percent of pastors say fewer than 10 people indicated a new commitment to Jesus Christ as Savior in 2018, including 8 percent who had none.” Interestingly, LifeWay found a bit of a tipping point. “Less than a quarter (23 percent) of churches with an average worship attendance of fewer than 50 say they are growing, while most churches with 250 or more in attendance (59 percent) are growing.” By the way, most Protestant churches have fewer than 100 people attending services each Sunday (57 percent), including 21 percent who average fewer than 50. Around 1 in 10 churches (11 percent) average 250 or more for their worship services.
We feel that many people will seize on the negative parts of this study. They’ll hear that ” three in 5 (61 percent) pastors say their churches faced a decline in worship attendance” and miss out on the news that 39 percent say their congregation has grown by at least 6 percent since the first quarter of 2016. While the media would like for us to believe that the USA has left Christ to follow secularism, reality tells us otherwise. Church growth is still happening. We just need to work at it and rally for it a bit harder. See the full report at…
What surprised you most about this study? Can you spot any encouraging perspectives, or is it mostly dim news for you?
(Thanks to Justin for pointing us to this study originally.)