Dispelling the 80 Percent Myth of Declining Churches
Tom Rainer is president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Many should find his analysis of recent research on Southern Baptist churches very encouraging.
Buckle your seat belts. Over the next several posts, I will be sharing with you the results of an incredible research project on 1,000 churches. At the risk of overstatement, I think this data may point us to some exciting and positive opportunities. Indeed, I hope to share a plan for the evangelistic renewal and growth of our churches in the weeks ahead.
… Have you ever heard, “80 percent of churches are either plateaued or declining”? I have. It’s wrong.
Here are the results of our research. 56 percent of churches are declining. 9 percent of churches are plateaued. 35 percent of churches are growing.
So here is the new and correct statement of reality: 65 percent of churches are declining or plateaued. There is a huge statistical difference between 80 percent, the myth, and 65 percent, the reality.
So What? I loathe research projects that ultimately offer only statistics and not solutions. Over the next several weeks, I will be sharing with you some incredible and eye-opening research. But, ultimately, I will offer some solutions based on what God is doing in these growing and evangelistic churches compared to the declining churches.