This morning I'm reading Planting Missional Churches by Ed Stetzer. Ed provides a list of statistics about churches in North America, which is startling. If you've ever wondered why you should be a part of a new church plant, consider the following:
- Churches are closing at a phenomenal rate. Eighty to 85% of American churches are on the downside of their life cycle. 3500 to 4000 churches close each year.
- The percentage of Christians in the U.S. population dropped 9 percent from 1990 to 2001.
- The number of unchurched people has almost doubled from 1991 to 2004.
- There are 120 million secular undiscipled people in the United States. The U.S. is the largest mission field in the Western Hemisphere and the 5th largest mission field on earth!
- In 1900, there were 28 churches for every 10,000 Americans. In 2004, there were 11 churches for every 10,000 Americans.
- Churches over 15 years of age win an average of 3 people to Christ per year for every hundred church members. Churches under 3 years of age, on the other hand, win an average of 10 people to Christ per year for every hundred church members.