Church growth survey reveals struggles, successes

Tuesday, March 19, 2019
 | 
Bill Bumpas (OneNewsNow.com)

empty pews in churchSeen any new faces at church lately? New research shows growth is hard to come by in most U.S. congregations these days.

In its survey of 1,000 Protestant pastors earlier this year, LifeWay Research found that over the last three years, six in ten Protestant churches (61%) have either plateaued or declined in attendance – and more than half (54%) saw fewer than ten people become new Christians in the past 12 months. Eight percent had zero conversions to faith.

Scott McConnell is LifeWay Research's executive director. "Two-thirds of churches are really not seeing a lot of people coming to Christ in a given year," he summarizes. "So as we start to talk about the reproduction conversation, we're not seeing a lot of new growth."

McConnell, Scott (LifeWay Research)But seeing some hope in the study, McConnell points out that 32 percent of churches were involved in some form of planting a new church in 2018.

"Definitely kind of the future of the Protestant church in the U.S. is going to be reaching new people for Christ and opening more church doors in places where the gospel is needed," he emphasizes.

According to the study, most Protestant churches in America (57%) have fewer than 100 people attending services each Sunday, including 21 percent who average less than 50. Around one in ten churches (11%) average 250 or more in worship – and most of them (59%) report their attendance is growing.

The study was commissioned by Exponential, an organization specializing in resources for church planting and multiplication.

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

What would you say is Joe Biden's biggest liability in his quest for the Democratic nomination?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

Parachutists jump over Dutch heath to mark WWII operation
Hong Kong protesters burn flag, police fire pepper spray
Area 51 events mostly peaceful; thousands in Nevada desert
Trump, in call, urged Ukraine to investigate Biden's son
Hurricane Lorena threatens Mexico's resort-studded Baja
US to send troops to Saudi Arabia, hold off on striking Iran
Houston area sees relief, rescues after Imelda leaves 4 dead

LATEST FROM THE WEB

'Almost impossible mission': The 8,000-mile nonstop flight to save a US soldier's life
School cancels football game days after cheerleaders are punished for pro-Trump banner
Trey Gowdy rips 'deeply partisan' Adam Schiff
How Elizabeth Warren used fake Native American identity to get ahead
New details reported on Trump-Ukraine call as Dems clash with White House on complaint

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
NEXT STORY
Report: 400 Ill. Catholic clergy sexually abused children

Catholic bishopsA law firm specializing in childhood sexual abuse has compiled a report on victims of Catholic clergy in Illinois and found nearly 400 clergy members were credibly accused or actually convicted over several decades.