by Bob Whitsel D.Min., Ph.D., 7/25/22.
Generally the church has declined from an average of one 137 attendees, 20 years ago to 65 attendees today. Below is a chart that illustrates that. This means if you were involved in a church 20 years ago, either as a pastor or attendee, you would see the average church drop to 50% smaller than it was! That’s scary for many congregants.
But, it’s important that people understand this is a societal motor (yet something we as leaders must address). However, this drop is not fully the fault of the local church. A church can remain comparatively plateaued, but be declining in attendance because of societal motors.
Here’s the handouts from the seminar, “Growing the Post-pandemic Church” with field-tested solutions. And here is a visual from that seminar on the “average” sized church according to the Hartford Institute’s American Religious Identification Survey (one of the most exhaustive surveys available today).