CHURCH SIZE & Separation between smallest and largest churches widens.

by Aaron Earls, Facts & Trends, LifeWay, 3/7/17.

Based on the most recent findings of the National Congregations Study, directed by Mark Chaves of Duke Divinity School.

The average church in America is shrinking, but the average churchgoer is attending a larger church. The average congregation has only 70 regular participants, but the average attendee worships in a congregation with about 400 regular participants.

The largest 7 percent of churches contain about half of all churchgoers. The separation between the shrinking small churches and the growing large churches has only widened since the survey began in 1998.

However, those in smaller churches give more per capita than those in larger churches. A congregation of 100 adults receives about 18 percent more per capita than a congregation with 400 adults.

More churches are claiming no denominational affiliation, which is increasingly common among megachurches. From 1998 to 2012, the percentage of congregations operating outside a denomination grew from 18 to 24 percent.

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