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