Friday, March 09, 2012

People Migration to Larger Churches

One of the most significant trends in American churches the past 25 years has been the migration of people from smaller churches to larger churches. We will be providing more information in the future about this movement. The implications are significant and should not be ignored.

In my own denomination of some 46,000 churches and 16 million members, the concentration of people to larger churches is a clear and present reality. Look at some of these statistics that give evidence to this phenomenon.

•Less than one-half of one percent of these churches report an average worship attendance of 2,000 or more, but 12.6% of the total attendance of the denomination is now concentrated in these relatively few churches.

•Only 1.5% of all these churches have an attendance of 1,000 or more, but 22.2% of the total denominational attendance is in these congregations.

•Only 4.4% of the churches have an attendance of 500 or more, but 35.3% of the attendance of 46,000 churches is concentrated in just those few churches.

We expect to see continued migration of people from smaller to larger churches, and that the concentration of these members in larger churches will be even more pronounced with each progressive year.

The first obvious question is "Why?" Why are people in increasing numbers stating a clear preference for larger churches? At this point most of our evidence is anecdotal, but we believe we can offer some reasons that will likely supported by more objective future research. Keep reading

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