We're Number 10

Just noticed that the National Council of Church’s 2009 Yearbook was recently published (found via MMI). Here are the stats on the 10 largest religious groups in America.

  1. The Roman Catholic Church, 67,117,06 members, down 0.59 percent.
  2. The Southern Baptist Convention, 16,266,920 members, down 0.24 percent.
  3. The United Methodist Church, 7,931,733 members, down 0.80 percent.
  4. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 5,873,408 members, up 1.63 percent.
  5. The Church of God in Christ, 5,499,875 members, no change reported.
  6. National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc., 5,000,000 members, no change reported.
  7. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 4,709,956 members, down 1.35 percent.
  8. National Baptist Convention of America, Inc., 3,500,000 members, no change reported.
  9. Presbyterian Church (USA), 2,941,412 members, down 2.79 percent
  10. Assemblies of God, 2,863,265 members, up 0.96 percent. dangerous beauty divx online bluetoes the christmas elf movie download download homeward bound ii lost in san francisco online

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So.… yeah. We’re number 10, we’re number 10, we’re number 10! Maybe we can chant that at General Council.

Sadly, we’re the only Christian group (in the top 10) that is growing. And even sadder, when you get into our internal numbers you realize that a few parts of our movement are growing rapidly but that there are huge swaths undergoing slow decline. For now, the explosive growth is offsetting the decay.

I’m grateful that I’m on a winning team and that our movement is growing when so many are stagnating, but I must confess that a 0.96% growth rate is not exactly the sort of thing that stirs the pulse.

We need divinely-sparked revival to which we must respond with organizational renewal, or else we’ll soon be celebrating the fact that we shrunk least.

But hey — for now I’ve got a handy fact I can share with people who say, “The Assemblies of God? Never heard of it.” I can now shoot back, “Hey — we’re almost as large as the Presbyterians. Nearly. We’re only off by like 80,000 people. That’s the size of a good South American church. We haven’t quite figured out how to do that in North America, but it can’t be that hard. So we’re basically one missiological insight and then one good church plant away from being number 9. So there.”

2 thoughts on “We're Number 10”

  1. Doesn’t really hit you until you see the Presbyterians are only 800,000 away. Then you start to wonder why no one has heard of your denomination yet.

  2. There are several other Presbyterian groups out there so the total is a bit further away. That The Episcopal Church is #15 at 2,116,749 is a bit more significant as far as name recognition.

    The figures are for 2007 (reported in 2008, published in 2009).

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