by Thom Rainer, LifeWay, 3/6/19.
…In addition to the categorization of churches as
the study looked at two other supplemental categories.
- declining/subtracting (Level 1),
- plateauing (Level 2), and
- growing/adding (Level 3),
- A Level 4 (reproducing) church places a high value and priority on starting new churches.
- A level 5 (multiplying) church takes church planting to multiple generations of congregations.
… Here are some of the fascinating findings:
- 70% of churches are
- subtracting/declining or plateauing. Only 30% are adding/growing based on Exponential’s categorization of churches which is defined above. This data is largely consistent with other research we have done. The period covered is three years.
- There are relatively few reproducing churches. The research categorized only 7% of the churches as reproducing (Level 4). The numbers of churches considered multiplying (Level 5: multiple generations of church plants) was 0% in the sample, indicating a negligible number in the total U. S. church population.
- The majority of Protestant churches had less than 10 people commit to Jesus Christ as Savior in the past 12 months. That’s fewer than one person per month. That’s not good. That’s not good at all.
- Smaller churches are at severe risk.Among those churches with an average worship attendance under 50, only 20% are growing. That is the lowest of any of the categories of churches and is an indicator that these churches are at the greatest risk of dying.
- Larger churches have a much lower risk of dying. Among the churches with an average worship attendance of 250 and more, 42% are growing. That is, by far, the largest number of growing churches in any category.
Read more at… https://thomrainer.com/2019/03/major-new-research-on-declining-plateaued-and-growing-churches-from-exponential-and-lifeway-research/