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Company LOGO America and the Need for Church Revitalization By Dr. Tom Cheyney.

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1 Company LOGO America and the Need for Church Revitalization By Dr. Tom Cheyney

2 America and the Need for Church Revitalization The Lost Population of North America The estimated population of the United States and Canada was over 341 million in November Of these, an estimated 255 million are considered unsaved. This means that nearly 75 percent of the North American population is without a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. These are conservative estimates. Source: and

3 America and the Need for Church Revitalization North American Culture Statistics Describing the cultures of North America is best understood as an art rather than a science. Demographics and statistics are helpful but do not provide 100 percent accuracy. Quantifying the spiritual condition of nearly 340 million people is beyond the scope of Western science. Nevertheless, research does give us starting points to begin identifying needs and opportunities among peoples and places to plant the gospel.

4 Percentages of Southern Baptist Church Membership to U.S. Population Segments Population Population SBC Church Membership Segment in U. S. Membership Percent of Segment Population Anglo American million 14.9 million 7.36% Hispanic American 44 million 202, % African American 37 million 834, % Asian American 13 million 147, % American Indian 2.4 million 41, % Source for SBC Church Membership Numbers: 2008 ACP

5 America and the Need for Church Revitalization Within my denomination we have 16,160,088 as our total membership* and yet the need within our own denomination for Church Revitalization has never been greater! Even the Top 100 Largest and Fastest Growing Mega Churches report by Virgo Publishing reports that they have faced decline as well**. *Source: Executive Communications & Relations Division LifeWay Christian Resources, May 13, **Source: Accessed 9/29/2008http://www.churchsolutionsmag.com

6 America and the Need for Church Revitalization George Barna says: A church cannot be turned around until a contingent of people are so firmly committed to the ministry of the church that they will sacrifice almost anything for the good of the church, to the glory of God! (GeorgeBarna.com) America So Desperately Needs the Revitalization of its Churches and this Effort Needs to Be Launched Today! (Tom Cheyney, Speaker Church Revitalization Workshop)

7 America and the Need for Church Revitalization An estimated 177,000 Protestant churches in America have an average attendance of less than 100 in weekly services! Research Source: Hartford Institute for Religious Research (hirr.hartsem.edu/research)

8 What do the writers tell us? Fifty percent of our churches in the U.S. have fewer than 100 regular adults participating weekly. These authors also single out our Southern Baptist Convention as they report that 26,000 of our churches have an average attendance of fewer than 125 people! McMullen, Shawn and Mary Elizabeth Hopkins. “Common Size, Uncommon Impact” Outreach, July/August, 2006.

9 What do the writers tell us? Churches sometimes lose their sense of direction. Many churches never realize they are in trouble until it is almost too late. Ronald Keener says that eight out of ten of the approximately 400,000 churches in the United States are declining or have plateaued. Hurting churches must come to terms with their past and genuinely repent or there will be not future. Keener, Ronald E. “Pulling Back from the Brink” Church Executive, November, 2008.

10 What do the writers tell us? Bill Hendricks declares that 53,000 individuals leave the church each and every year! He further states that most of them never come back. Hendricks, William D. Exit Interviews: Revealing Stories of Why People Are Leaving the Church. Chicago: Moody Press, 1993.

11 What do the writers tell us? Many people wonder where the original quote “85% of America’s Protestant churches have pleateaued or are declining in membership!” Anderson, Leith. Dying for Change: An Arresting Look at the New Realities Confronting Churches and Para-Church Ministries. Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 1998.

12 What do the writers tell us? Alan Hirsch discussing small churches stated recently that “it is a fact that we have had church growth and mega churches for well over 30 years now, and the overwhelming majority of the 485,000 churches in the United States remain under 85 per congregation, while laboring under the guilt of failure to perform like the bigger churches.” Hirsch, Alan. Outreach, July/August 2010, 68.

13 What do the writers tell us? To illustrate the pervasive nature of the current decline among U.S. churches, Ed Stetzer cited a 2004 study by the Leavell Center for Evangelism that found only 11 percent of Southern Baptist Churches could be considered “healthy, growing churches.” Myers, Gary. “Stetzer Highlights Keys to Church Revitalization” (assessed October 10, 2010).

14 America and the Need for Church Revitalization Research data tells us that in the U.S. more than 80% of the churches have pleateaued or are declining churches close their doors every week. Research Source: Stats listed online at: (accessed 2/23/2006).

15 America and the Need for Church Revitalization 70% Young Adults (18-22 years of age) are dropping out of church for at least a year. Around years of age 35% of them are returning to worship at least twice a month. Source: lifewayresearch.com

16 America and the Need for Church Revitalization The percentage of the population attending a Christian church on any given weekend will decline from 17.5 % in 2005 to 14.7% in Roughly 55,000 churches will close their doors between 2005 and Roughly 60,000 churches will open their doors between 2005 and Yet 48,000 additional churches will be needed to keep up with population growth. Source: The American Church in Crisis: David T. Olson

17 America and the Need for Church Revitalization Since 1930 through 2009 the Southern Baptist Convention net change by year has ebbed and flowed with a littler over 48,000 churches currently. The net change has floated between 25 new editions for the year and 1,635 new editions in (HBM/NAMB research) With an average of 500 – 700 churches being dropped from our roles each year, the need for revitalization has never been greater!

18 America and the Need for Church Revitalization 25 % of our Churches struggle with no Baptisms each year within the SBC and we are not alone. 50% of our SBC Churches baptize 3 or less each year. 1.6 Billion have not heard the gospel proclaimed and received Christ Jesus as savior and Lord. We (U.S.) are presently the third largest lost nation in the world.

19 America and the Need for Church Revitalization Lyle Schaller, (Church Growth Consultant) reports that 65 – 85 percent of all churches over ten years old are shrinking in membership or pleateaued. Source: Schaller, Lyle. 44 Steps Up Off the Plateau (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1993) pg. 23.

20 America and the Need for Church Revitalization 71% of our churches are plateaued or declining, so there is a great need to focus on strengthening our churches. Out convention vitally needs a spiritual renewal in our land as evidenced by 24.7% of our churches baptizing no one in Source: Dr. Richard H. Harris Interim President NAMB speaking to the GCR Task Force

21 America and the Need for Church Revitalization 61.5% of churches baptized five or less, while 78.5% of churches baptized ten or less. Only 251 churches baptized 100 or more people in Source: Dr. Richard H. Harris Interim President NAMB speaking to the GCR Task Force

22 America and the Need for Church Revitalization We have gone from 18.4% of churches (6,918) baptizing no one in 1999, to 24.7% (9,169) churches baptizing no one in The number of churches baptizing no year olds has been increasing over the last ten years and was over 20,000 in Source: Richard H. Harris Interim President NAMB speaking to the GCR Task Force

23 America and the Need for Church Revitalization State of Mainline Protestant Churches When Baby Boomers were born, the Protestant landscape of America was dominated by the six major mainline denominations. (Those bodies are typically considered to be the American Baptist Churches in the USA; the Episcopal Church; the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; the Presbyterian Church (USA); the United Church of Christ; and the United Methodist Church.) State of Mainline Protestant Churches (Source: The Barna Group, December 7, 2009)

24 America and the Need for Church Revitalization State of Mainline Protestant Churches Since the 1950s, however, mainline churches have fallen on hard times, declining from more than 80,000 churches to about 72,000 today. The growth among evangelical and Pentecostal churches since the 1950s, combined with the shrinking of the mainline sector, has diminished mainline churches to just one-fifth of all Protestant congregations today. Source: The Barna Group, December 7, 2009

25 America and the Need for Church Revitalization State of Mainline Protestant Churches In the past fifty years, mainline church membership dropped by more than one- quarter to roughly 20 million people. Adult church attendance indicates that only 15% of all American adults associate with a mainline church these days. Source: The Barna Group, December 7, 2009

26 America and the Need for Church Revitalization Over the course of the past decade, the number of adults who attend a mainline church on any given weekend has remained relatively stable, ranging from 89 to 100. The current median is 99 adults. One reason why that average has remained steady has been the population growth of the United States, with the mainline churches attracting just enough newcomers to maintain attendance levels that are similar to the years when the nation’s population was considerably smaller.

27 America and the Need for Church Revitalization The current attendance figure is lower than the norm during the heyday of the mainline bodies. Demographics suggest that the mainline churches may be on the precipice of a period of decline unless remedial steps are taken.

28 America and the Need for Church Revitalization For instance, in the past decade there has been a 22% drop in the percentage of adults attending mainline congregations who have children under the age of 18 living in their home. Also, the proportion of single adults has risen, now representing 39% of all adult attenders. That has been driven higher by a rise in the number of divorced and widowed adherents.

29 America and the Need for Church Revitalization The numerical decline is also related to the relative difficulty that mainline churches have experienced in attracting young adults. For instance, young adults (25 or younger) are 6% of the national population, they are just one-third as many (2%) of all adults attending mainline churches. At the other end of the age continuum, the statistics show that about one- quarter (27%) of American adults are 60 or older, but more than one-third of mainline attenders (35%) are 60-plus.

30 America and the Need for Church Revitalization Another hurdle for the mainline bodies has been attracting minorities – These churches struggle in reaching Hispanics and Asians. While Hispanics make up 16% of the US population, they are only 6% of the mainline population.

31 America and the Need for Church Revitalization The failure to add substantial numbers of Hispanics is especially significant, given both the rapid increase of the Hispanic population as well as the outflow of Hispanics from Catholicism to Protestant churches in the past decade. Most of the Hispanics leaving Catholicism for another faith community are settling into evangelical or Pentecostal Protestant churches.

32 America and the Need for Church Revitalization Another hurdle for the mainline bodies has been attracting minorities – Asians represent 4% of the American public, but only half that proportion among mainline congregants.

33 America and the Need for Church Revitalization Behavioral Reasons - There is a behavioral reason for the decline of mainline churches, too: just one-third (31%) of mainline adults believe they have a personal responsibility to discuss their faith with people who have different beliefs.

34 America and the Need for Church Revitalization Volunteerism in these churches is down by an alarming 21% since Adult Sunday school involvement has also declined, by 17% since 1998.

35 America and the Need for Church Revitalization The tenuous ties that millions of mainline adults have with their church are exemplified by their willingness to consider other spiritual options. Just half (49%) describe themselves as “absolutely committed to Christianity.” Slightly more (51%) are willing to try a new church. Two-thirds (67%) are open to pursuing faith in environments or structures that are different from those of a typical church.

36 America and the Need for Church Revitalization Almost three-quarters (72%) say they are more likely to develop own religious beliefs than to adopt those taught by their church. And nine out of ten (86%) sense that God is motivating people to stay connected to Him through different means and experiences than in the past.

37 America and the Need for Church Revitalization Evidence of waffling commitment is found Less than half contend that the Bible is accurate in the life principles it teaches. Only half of all mainline adults say that they are on a personal quest for spiritual truth. And when asked to identify their highest priority in life, less than one out of every ten mainline adults (9%) says some aspect of faith constitutes their top priority.

38 America and the Need for Church Revitalization Aging Pastoral Pool - The nature of those who lead mainline congregations has been rapidly changing, too. One of the most telling findings from the Barna Group was the aging of mainline pastors. A decade ago the median age of mainline Senior Pastors was 48; today it is 55!

39 America and the Need for Church Revitalization Education of Mainline Pastors Drops - While the education level of mainline pastors has dropped a bit – 82% have a seminary degree, down from 90% in 1998 – compensation levels have jumped substantially, rising by 40% in the last decade. Currently, senior pastor compensation packages represent one- third (33%) of the typical mainline congregation’s budget.

40 America and the Need for Church Revitalization Brief Tenure - One of the enduring idiosyncrasies of mainline churches is the brief tenure of pastors in a church. On average, these pastors last four years before moving to another congregation. That is about half the average among Protestant pastors in non-mainline churches.

41 America and the Need for Church Revitalization Spiritual Leadership Quandary - Equally significant is the fact that 93% of mainline senior pastors consider themselves to be a leader, yet only 12% claim to have the spiritual gift of leadership.

42 America and the Need for Church Revitalization Fast Facts about Church Planting North America is made up of more than 341 million people with conservative estimates showing 255 million are lost – without Christ. The population of North America is made up of nearly 600 ethno-linguistic groups. The U. S. Hispanic population in 2000 was 35.3 million and was made up of groups from more than 18 countries.

43 America and the Need for Church Revitalization Fast Facts about Church Planting The population of the United States in 2000 was made up of: 66 percent White, 12.7percent Black, 15 percent Hispanic, 3.8 percent Asian, and 2.5 percent other. The population of the United States in 2050 will be made up of: 47 percent White, 13.4percent Black, 29 percent Hispanic, 9 percent Asian, and 1.6 percent all others.

44 America and the Need for Church Revitalization Fast Facts about Church Planting The population of the United States will dip below 50 percent white in Of the 5,221 new congregations which were added to the ACP since 1998, 66 percent were ethnic. New churches are more focused on evangelism.

45 America and the Need for Church Revitalization Fast Facts about Church Planting New congregations reported gifts of almost one million dollars to the Cooperative Program in In the period from 1999 to 2008, 35 percent of all new churches and new affiliations were in new work states, and sixty-five percent were in old line states.

46 America and the Need for Church Revitalization Fast Facts about Church Planting Without the addition of new SBC congregations from 1999 to 2008, there would have been a net loss of SBC churches each of those years. 229 million people in the U.S. and 26 million people in Canada are without a personal relationship with Christ. This great lost population of North America is a cultural mosaic of diversity.

47 America and the Need for Church Revitalization Fast Facts about (SBC) Church Planting Around 68 percent of church plants still exist four years after having been started. The annual number of churches started between 1999 and 2008 fluctuated between 1,400 and 1,800 each year. Over 90 percent of both associational and state convention leaders feel that NAMB provided resources that helped them assist partnering churches to start new churches.

48 America and the Need for Church Revitalization George Barna, commented that mainline Protestant churches seem to have weathered the past decade better than many people have assumed, but that the future is raising serious challenges to continued stability.

49 America and the Need for Church Revitalization Barna identified the quality of leadership provided – especially regarding vision, creativity, strategic thinking, and the courage to take risks – as being the most critical element in determining the future health and growth of mainline congregations.

50 America and the Need for Church Revitalization Attracting Younger Generations - One last discovery was where George Barna indicated that the approach that many mainline churches take toward some current social issues – e.g., environmental challenges, poverty, cross-denominational cooperation, developing respectful dialogue, embracing new models for faith expression, and global understanding – position those churches well for attracting younger Americans.

51 Company LOGO America and the Need for Church Revitalization By Dr. Tom Cheyney

52 America and the Need for Church Revitalization


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