These may be disturbing words to hear, but its likely you’ve been thinking them for a while now. And you may be becoming increasing worried about the health of the church in America. According to studies by Outreach Magazine, something is indeed amiss in the church as we know it. Read a reprint of the article in Chrstianity Today: Special Report: The American Church in Crisis. Some of the studies findings are a wake-up call!
SEVEN STARTLING FACTS: AN UP CLOSE LOOK AT CHURCH ATTENDANCE IN AMERICA
1. Less than 20% of Americans regularly attend church—half of what the pollsters report.
2. American church attendance is steadily declining.
3. Only in one state (Hawaii) is church attendence outpacing its population growth.
4. Mid-sized churches are shrinking; the smallest and largest churches are growing.
5. Established churches—40 to 190 years old—are, on average, declining.
6. The increase in churches is only 1/4 of what’s needed to keep up with population growth.
7. In 2050, the percentage of the U.S. population attending church will be almost half of what it was in 1990.
But rather than being a doomsday prophet, I think this article offers hope. Yes, attendance statistics are troubling, but these are only some of the trends—good and bad—in the church today. As any student of the Bible (or American history) knows, it is often when things look dark that God shows up! A national call for repentence and reformation needs to be sounded. Perhaps this is happening — see: Stand in the Gap 2007!