These figures show the increase or decline in weekly attendance in Australian churches over a 10 year period (1991-2001). The attendance picture is then compared to the increase or decline of the number of congregations in that denomination. Those that are growing are planting churches – those that are not planting churches have leveled off or are declining:
Anglicans: 7% decline in weekly attendance, 9% decline in number of congregations
Lutherans: 18% decline in weekly attendance, 5% decline in number of congregations
Uniting: 22% decline in weekly attendance, 22% decline in number of congregations
Apostolic: 32% increase in weekly attendance, 67% increase in number of congregations
Assemblies of God: 30% increase in weekly attendance, 37% increase in number of congregations
We need to 'crunch' the numbers for Adventists and others – but even the anecdotal evidence is disturbing and all the the churches put together are not keeping pace with the population growth!
Thank you for this reminder Peter. We need to keep striving to do beter. I think it’s a matter of dying to ourselves, considering others before ourselves – and all too often we get in our comfort zones, surrounded by friends at church and we become unwilling (or too busy) to let others in to those circles.
[B.T.W. Principal of the Baptist Theological College in WA, Brian Harris, is now a contributor at the Ra’ah blog. His latest article, called “Charisma as Disadvantage,” is an excellent comment on leadership and preaching]