Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Some Statistics from Malphurs

During our session with Aubrey Malphurs on Sunday and Monday, he shared some discouraging statistics about today’s culture that deserves our attention.
  • Churches all across America are struggling. Approximately four out of five are at a plateau or declining.
  • The number of people who have any kind of churched experience is declining (churched: meaning have attended a church within 6 months). Gallop said only 40 percent of Americans are churched. Another study said only 20 percent are churched and a more recent study by David Olson said in 2003 only 17.8 percent are churched.
  • 72 percent of people born from 1964-1981 are not involved in a Christian community.
  • The new upcoming generation is the most widely unchurched demographic in our nations history.
  • According to Barna the following is the percentage of people who are churched or have a churched experience:
    • Builders – born pre-1946 – 51 percent
    • Boomers – born 1946-1964 – 51 percent
    • Busters – born 1965-1979 – 34 percent
    • Bridgers – born 1977-1994 – 29 percent
  • As low as 8 percent of those under the age of 24 attend a church.
  • 75-88 percent of students going through youth ministry now, will check out of church during their freshmen year of college.
  • The Mormon church has tripled its population since 1965. Then it had 1,789,175 members and now it has 5,113,409.
  • More Muslims attend a mosque in England than Anglicans attend a church.
  • The Wiccan movement has grown 1,575% in the last decade.
Though I am sure these are verifiable, I am unable to site all the sources because they were delivered in a lecture format. Of course, statistics like this can be overly alarmist and can often be turned to argue any position. Despite this, I believe there is enough verifiable evidence to conclude that we should be concerned about some of the shifts happening within our culture. In response, we should work diligently to reach new generations with the gospel. The church in England and Western Europe is a dismal example of how thriving Christian populations can dwindle to a spiritual wasteland. I pray that this cycle of decline be broken so that the church in North America can continue to effectively reach people for Christ and also participate in a missional movement both locally and around the world.

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