Here is the bad news:
- Between 1990 and 2000 there was a net gain of 4600 churches in the US; however, to simply maintain the pace with population growth a gain
of 38,800 was needed.
- Between 80-85% of churches in the US are in numeric decline.
- From 1990-2001 the percentage of Americans identifying themselves as "Christian" dropped nearly 10%. At that rate, non-Christians will outnumber Christians of any denomination by 2042.
- Many churches struggle with our changing society and increasingly post-modern culture. Perhaps out of fear, many turn inward and are unable to reach their community with the good news.
- The US population is expected to reach 392 million by 2050, up from 300 million in 2006. Most of the increase will be in metropolitan areas. This represents a 31% increase in 42 years.
- 10 US metro areas grew in excess of 40% in the past decade: metro areas as divergent as Naples, FL., Yuma, AZ, Fayetteville, AR, and Boise, ID.
- Estimates are that 60% of the population increase in the US in the next 50 years will be among immigrant peoples.
- By 2050, less than 53 percent will be non-Hispanic White, 16 percent will be Black; 23 percent will be Hispanic; 10 percent will be Asian and Pacific Islander.
- American suburban life is changing to be characterized by isolation, individualism, and consumerism, providing both challenges and entree points for the gospel.
- New churches tend to grow faster than existing churches, have a greater percentage of young people and incorporate people faster than existing churches.
- Churches less than 15 years old gain 60%-80% of their members from people not attending any worshiping body, while in churches more than 15 years old 80%-90% of new members transfer from other churches.
It is also clear that predominantly white churches and established churches of all ethnicities are needed to plant churches. The sad fact is, very few churches are growing at all, and those that are are growing through transfer growth. Unfortunately, most churches are satisfied if they merely meet the budget and gain members through transfer growth.
We need to plant many, many new churches, as this is one of the best evangelistic methods there is.
What stands out to you about these statistics?