Reflections on Average Worship Attendance

Most American churches have relatively small memberships.  Since the accuracy of membership roles varies widely, average weekly worship attendance is often used to compare congregational size. Median American congregation has 75 attend weekly worship (National Congregations Survey) Average American congregation has 186 attend weekly worship (US Congregational Survey) Half (50%) of all church attendance is accounted for by the largest 10% of congregations - those with 350+ average weekly Read More …

So Many Dwindling Congregations

The cover story of the January 2013 edition of The Lutheran is "Shrinking Church," an article focusing on the pragmatic issues of decline within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).  To substantiate the problem, Nicole Radziszewski notes the following statistics about the ELCA: In 2010, almost 30% of congregations had an average worship attendance of fewer than 50 people. From 2003 to 2011, average weekly worship attendance dropped 26%. From 2009 to 2010, Read More …

Largest & Fastest Growing Churches

Outreach Magazine's new special issue focused on the largest and fastest growing churches in America is packed with information.  While I always look at the lists of the 100 fastest growing and the 100 largest congregations (based on worship attendance), this year I was struck by the classification of the congregations making both lists.  More specifically, both lists are dominated by churches characterized as nondenominational or interdenominational.  They comprise 47 of the 100 largest Read More …