Thursday, January 31, 2008

I'm back....with staggering statistics



I'm back from the incredible church planting conference---and is it just me or is church planting/relaunching just one of the most exciting subjects in the world?!? Surely someone out there (please say there is) is as excited as me when it comes to learning about the inner workings of this crucial topic. Not only did I come home from a two day conference jam packed with a wealth of information and experience, but then had to stay up to midnight reading several exciting books about it! My darling husband had a wonderful time as well---you would have thought he was a child at Disneyland---he finally got to meet his mentor of 10 years, Mark Driscoll and took great pleasure in meeting (and tackling) many other church planters. Here are some staggering statistics regarding churches in America:

-Nationally, roughly 3500 churches close each year.

-An estimated 2 out of 10 Americans attend church on any given Sunday.

-There are only enough church plants to keep up with 1/8 of the U.S population growth.

-Nationally there are only 100 churches planted for every 1 million people and with an average attendance of 80-90 people, house a mere total of 8000-9000 people.

-The church planting rate has been declining throughout the history of our country.

-The American population is now more than 300 million. This means there are 240 million unchurched Americans. This makes America one of the largest mission fields on planet Earth.

Christians, can we sit idly by knowing these numbers? No! We can't. My greatest question to ask is------are you on mission? I'll be writing more about this later and sharing tidbits to challenge us in our walk. Until then....



(Statistics from George Barna, "Church Attendance" and David Olsen, "Ten Fascinating Facts about the American Church")

Artwork by Kathryn Fincher, Feed My Sheep

10 comments:

  1. WONDERFUL! So glad you had a good time. We missed you here but I have been gleaning wisdom from all your past posts. :)

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  2. Your blog has given this 'career woman' much to think about. I have referenced you in my own new blog below:

    http://femininityrevisited.blogspot.com/

    I hope to journal my transition from a 'career woman' to that most glorious title of 'homemaker'. Your blog helped me to realize this is God's plan and that perhaps that is why I have been so unfulfilled. Thank you so much. I visit your blog at least once a day.

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  3. You might enjoy this article (http://www.sermonsfromseattle.com/series_a_before_you_were_born.htm), in which the author begins by giving some enlightening statistics on the unchurched people of America. We live on the West Coast where none of our neighbors go to church.

    People we talk to are "nice people" and such, but their lives are far too comfortable to even begin to think about spritual matters. They just don't see the point, but are "happy" for us that we go, being "good people" and all.

    Also, it frustrates me to see self-professing Christian friends not attend church either. They feel "burned" by bad experiences and such, so have given up the idea of joining a congregation. They, too, are comfortable with the way things are.

    America is quite the mission field, but I'm afraid as long as we aren't being bombed, suffering drought, or enduring some hardship of some sort, most ears and hearts will stay hard.

    With sadness (but not hopelessness!)
    Keri

    homesteadblogger.com/kerimae

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  4. My mother and brothers attend Mars Hill :) I so agree...I feel called to the area that I live in, not another country. There have been times when I thought maybe I wasn't a good Christian for feeling that way, but when I did go on a short term missions trip overseas, I was shocked to learn that America was considered a missions destination! I met a group of Koreans from one of the mega churches in Korea, and MOST of them planned to be career missionaries in America!

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  5. Dear Lady-in-the-Making,

    Praise the Lord! I will be praying for you as you transition as that the Lord will guide you and that you will seek wisdom from Him.

    ***********************

    Dear Keri,

    Thanks for the article, I'll definitely check it out. We absolutely need to pray for the Lord to change hearts.

    ***********************

    Dear Mrs. Taft,

    I'm shocked. American Christians need to get our act together. I'll be praying....

    Many blessings to you all...

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  6. Hi! I just wanted you to know that I, too, have linked to your site today from mine (creativehealing.blogspot.com). I always like to know when others to that for me, so I wanted to let you know. Keep up the good work!

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  7. *lol* You're not the only one who finds church-planting exciting!

    We live in the netherlands, but attend a fellowship of American origin (christian fellowship ministries).. our vision is to plant as many churches around the world as possible..

    Once a church is established, the pastor gets some disciples.. if finances and experience permits, he will send them (and their wife) out to somewhere else within a few years.

    Our national conference is coming up next week.. we won't be able to attend all of it (mon to fri), but we WILL definately go on thursday, which is the day new couples are send out (either in holland, or overseas).. it's just so.... exciting! :D

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  8. This is very startling. We are always commenting (okay, complaining) about how MANY church plants are coming into town... The statistics you shared made me want to shut my big mouth and let God do His work here. Thank you for opening my eyes to the truth of the matter. I had no idea.

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  9. I have heard it said that my area of the states is one of the most un-churched ....and also my county ranks as #1......in our area people are VERY self sufficient or so they think......yet we will all meet God face to face...and you are either HIS or you are not (read my Sept 30th post)....simple...but sad ...indeed there is a NEED.
    Deby

    I am Western Washington...close to Seattle

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  10. Have you ever heard of Life Action Ministries?

    Their purpose is to be a catalyst for a revival among God's people in this country.

    My husband works for LAM. :)

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