The Condition of the Church in America - Key Statistics
Compiled by Andy McAdams Pastor to Pastors Ministry
Part 2 of 2. These stats will help us understand some of the things we are dealing with as ministers. Not every stat will apply, but they will help us pray for wisdom as we minister within our congregations and communities.
Focus on the Family, Ministries Today, Charisma Magazine, Campus Crusade for Christ, and Global Pastors Network have provided these stats in their publications.
17. 71% have heard of spiritual gifts yet only 31% can name one spiritual gift they possess.
18. One in four have a place in the church where they serve.
19. Less then 50% say that the Bible is totally accurate, and 60% of those clam to be born-again.
20. 1/3 of attendees believe they have a responsibility to share their faith.
21. 56% of the population believe salvation can be earned. Shockingly, 26% are among evangelicals.
22. Giving to charities increased in the past decade yet giving to local churches is declining.
23. Out of 100,000 churches in America less then 2% are considered mega-churches, (1,000 or more).
24. In his book, "Who Shall Lead Them", Larry Withham said, "20% Of US Churches Have No Future"
25. 1 out of 4 church attendees are considered church hoppers.
26. On average, just 7% of new church attendees are formally unchurched.
27. Church analysts stress that 80% of US Protestant churches are in a state of plateau and/or decline.
28. The typical U.S. congregation is 61% female, 39% male. This gender gap shows up in all age categories.
29. This Sunday almost 25 percent of married, churchgoing women will worship without their husbands.
30. 90 percent of the boys raised in church will abandon it by 20. Many of these boys will never return.
31. 88% of children from evangelical churches will leave the church after High School.
32. 20 million people in America, who are Christians, don't want to be a part of a local church.
33. Only 4% of America's churches will ever plant a daughter church.
These stats have revealed some serious flaws in modern church life. Then there are the personal issues facing ministers as they have had to deal with moral failure, burnout, discouragement, marriage conflicts, stress over finances, feeling unqualified or not appreciated, being unprepared out of bible school for the conflicts in church life, overworked, depressed, and the negative effects church schedules have on the marriages and children. These flaws tell a story, but not the whole story.
God's intention is that ministry will be a blessing not a curse. From my own experience and the majority of pastors I've spoken to, they have had wonderful ministries, healthy churches, and their lives have been filled with joy, purpose and satisfaction. A healthy minister will always produce a healthy ministry.
What has been your experience with the above statistics?
Here are some points that can help us be more emotionally and spiritually healthy in ministry.
- Fall in love with God's Word. Let the written Word do it's job of revealing Jesus, the living Word.
- Spend personal time listening to intimate worship and express your worship to Him.
- Enjoy the Great Commandment relationship of sonship in the Presence of a loving Father.
- Develop healthy relationships with pastors who can become your trusted friends.
- Find a gifted mentor. We all need help along the journey. We are disciples before we are shepherds.
- Associate with leaders who exhibit wisdom, experience and inspire you to spiritual maturity.
- Build in needed sabbatical times to rest, renew and refresh yourself in ministerial life.
May God bless Isaiah 30:21 to your life in 2008. It reads, "Whether you turn to the right or the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it."
At Mission O, Ministers Matter!