1. We are a nation of small churches. Over 61 percent of the churches studied average fewer than 100 in worship attendance.
2. The smaller the church, the greater the rate of decline in attendance. This study found that a declining church with an attendance of 200 or more declines at a rate of 4 percent a year. A declining church with less than 100 in attendance declines at a rate of 7.6 percent.
This is one of the greatest areas of concern from this study. Once a church declines below 100 in worship attendance, it is likely to die within just a few years. The life expectancy for many of these churches is 10 years or less.
3. Growing churches are primarily growing through transfer growth. Only 6 percent to 7.5 percent are growing through conversions. The majority of growing churches are simply recirculating the saints.
4. If a church is growing, it is highly likely to be growing faster than the community in which it is located. In fact, 91 percent of the growing churches are outpacing the growth of their respective communities.
5. Churches growing through conversions are intentionally evangelistic. This was an area of particular interest. How many churches are reaching people who are not believers in Christ? And among those that are, how are they doing it?
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