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The American Church Research Project © 2008 by David T. Olson www.TheAmericanChurch.org 1 The Case for Church Planting 2008 Edition.

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Presentation on theme: "The American Church Research Project © 2008 by David T. Olson www.TheAmericanChurch.org 1 The Case for Church Planting 2008 Edition."— Presentation transcript:

1 The American Church Research Project © 2008 by David T. Olson www.TheAmericanChurch.org 1 The Case for Church Planting 2008 Edition

2 The American Church Research Project © 2008 by David T. Olson www.TheAmericanChurch.org 2 They are composed of 68,510,978 babies born here and 22,873,578 new immigrants. 1. There are 91,384,566 new people in the United States today who were not here in 1990.

3 The American Church Research Project © 2008 by David T. Olson www.TheAmericanChurch.org 3 68,510,978 22,873,578 91,384,556 - 39,611,000 51,773,556 BirthsNet ImmigrantsTotal New People Deaths Net Gain in Population 1990 - 2006 Population Growth by Births, Immigration and Death

4 The American Church Research Project © 2008 by David T. Olson www.TheAmericanChurch.org 4 Numbers from actual counts of people in orthodox Christian churches show that 20.4% of the population attended church on any given weekend in 1990. That percentage dropped to 18.7% in 2000, and to 17.0% in 2007. The percentage attending Mainline and Catholic churches declined more quickly from 2000 – 2007 than it did in the 1990s, while the evangelical percentage declined only slightly. The Catholic churchs decline in percentage attendance occurred even though its membership numbers are keeping up with population growth. 2. The Percentage of People Attending a Christian Church each Weekend Decreased Significantly from 1990 - 2007.

5 The American Church Research Project © 2008 by David T. Olson www.TheAmericanChurch.org 5

6 The American Church Research Project © 2008 by David T. Olson www.TheAmericanChurch.org 6 The three slides shows the yearly numeric gain of Evangelical, Mainline and Catholic churches on any given weekend. It shows the yearly gain or decline in attendance in the 1990s, 2000 – 2005, 2005 - 2006 and 2006 - 2007. (Note - these numbers do not factor in population growth.) Evangelical church growth slowed down significantly in the last year – from an average growth throughout this decade of 0.8%, to a gain of only 0.3% in the last year. Mainline churches declined faster than before, while Catholic churches saw the steep decline in the early part of this decade slow down over the past few years. 3.Church attendance has been slowing down in this decade.

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10 The American Church Research Project © 2008 by David T. Olson www.TheAmericanChurch.org 10 4. Which is the only State to Grow in Church Attendance faster than Population Growth during this Decade??

11 The American Church Research Project © 2008 by David T. Olson www.TheAmericanChurch.org 11

12 The American Church Research Project © 2008 by David T. Olson www.TheAmericanChurch.org 12 5. Here is the Evangelical Attendance Percentage map for 2007. Over half of Evangelical attendance is from the South. The second slide shows which states are seeing Evangelical churches growing faster than population growth.

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15 The American Church Research Project © 2008 by David T. Olson www.TheAmericanChurch.org 15 The next slide shows the growth rate of Protestant churches based on the year they were started. Once churches enter their second generation of life (40+ years old), on average they consistently decline. 6. Established Churches are Declining in Attendance by 2 percent each year.

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17 The American Church Research Project © 2008 by David T. Olson www.TheAmericanChurch.org 17 The next slide shows the growth rate of Evangelical churches from 2006 – 2007, sorted by size. 7. The Next Slide Show the Growth Rates of Evangelical Churches Sorted by Size.

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19 The American Church Research Project © 2008 by David T. Olson www.TheAmericanChurch.org 19 Pentecostal, Christian and Other families will be growing, while Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Reformed and Catholic families will decline between now and 2050. 8. Attendance at the 8 Denominational Families Will Differ Greatly in the Future.

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28 The American Church Research Project © 2008 by David T. Olson www.TheAmericanChurch.org 28 9. The Current Increase In The Number Of Churches Is Only About One Quarter Of What Is Needed To Keep Up With Population Growth. The next slide shows the increase in the number of churches from 2000-2008. The fourth column shows the net gain: 3,937 more churches for these 8 years. The final column shows the number of new churches that would have been needed in that decade to keep up with population growth (2000 – 2008 population growth times the number of churches in 2000 = 24,240). This means that the net gain in churches is about one sixth of what would have been needed to keep up with population growth. Two thousand five hundred additional new churches are needed per year to keep up with population growth.

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30 The American Church Research Project © 2008 by David T. Olson www.TheAmericanChurch.org 30 The final slide shows the projections for the percentage of the population attending a Christian Church from 1990 – 2050. The number of Americans attending church will decline only slightly, but church will not com close to keeping up with population growth, so will decline in attendance percentage every year. 10. The Future of the American Church.

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32 The American Church Research Project © 2008 by David T. Olson www.TheAmericanChurch.org 32 Keys to Planting Mammalian Parenting Assessment Launch Process Coaching

33 The American Church Research Project © 2008 by David T. Olson www.TheAmericanChurch.org 33 Information on the Information The spiritual health of churches is multifaceted, and is obviously much more complex than an attendance trend can portray. However, following the example of St. Luke in the Book of Acts, who used the number of people who showed up at various events as a sign documenting the health and growth of the early church, I would suggest that attendance is the single most helpful indicator of health, growth and decline. Information has been compiled only for orthodox Christian groups – Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox. The Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Unitarian-Universalists and the International Churches of Christ have not been included. In addition, information about non-Christian groups has not been compiled. African American denominations publish very little that is statistical – often not even a list of current churches. This study used data from the 1990 Glenmary study on Black Baptist estimates and AME Zion churches, the average African American worship attendance (from the Barna Research Group), and a statistical model based on the population of African Americans in each county in 1990 and 2000. This was combined with the known attendance at about 10,000 African Americans churches to come up with as accurate an estimate as possible for each county. Independent church data is difficult to obtain. (There are actually many fewer totally independent churches than is assumed. Most are part of some voluntary association, which typically keeps some records.) Data from the 1990 & 2000 Glenmary study on larger Independent churches (limited to over 300 in attendance) was used along with a statistical model to estimate the attendance at smaller independent churches. In Catholic churches, the definition of what constitutes membership varies with diocese and church, making numbers sometimes inconsistent from state to state and county to county. In addition to actual mass counts from 1/3rd of Catholic parishes, membership information has been merged with attendance patterns from similar dioceses based on the size of the diocese and the region in which it is located. Orthodox Churches are included in Totals, but not included as a separate group because of smallness of size nationwide. Division into Evangelical and Mainline categories is based on the division by the Glenmary Study. This study only looks at how many people attend a Christian church on any given Sunday. The term regular attender can be designated to mean someone who attends a Christian church on a consistent basis. Using a simple definition for regular attender (attends at least 3 out of every 8 Sundays), between 21% and 23% of Americans would fit this category. Adding regular attenders of non-orthodox Christian churches and other religions to the totals would increase the percentage to 24% – 26%.

34 The American Church Research Project © 2008 by David T. Olson www.TheAmericanChurch.org 34 This Presentation is based on a nationwide study of American church attendance, as reported by churches and denominations. The database currently has average worship attendances for each of the last 15 years for over 200,000 individual churches. It also uses supplementary information (actual membership numbers correlated with accurate membership to attendance ratios) to project the attendances of all other denominational and independent churches. All told, accurate information is provided for all 305,000 orthodox Christian churches. 1 1 This presentation looks only at people attending orthodox Christian churches. Approximately 3 million people attend non-orthodox Christian churches, and perhaps 3 million attend a religious service of another religion. Those houses of worship would add another 35,000 churches in the United States and increase the 2007 percentage to 19.0%.

35 The American Church Research Project © 2008 by David T. Olson www.TheAmericanChurch.org 35 For More Information... Presentations such as this are available for the largest 90 Metropolitan Areas in the United States, for each State and for the Nation as a whole. Presentations can be downloaded immediately. A Combo Pack for each state is also available, which includes the National, State and any Metro PowerPoints from that state. For ordering information, please go to www.theamericanchurch.org


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