1. There are 195 million non-churched people in America, making America one of the top four largest “unchurched” nations in the world.
2. In spite of the rise of mega-churches, no county in America has a greater church population than it did ten years ago.
3. During the last ten years, combined communicant membership of all Protestant denominations declined by 9.5 percent (4,498,242), while the national population increased by 11.4 percent (24,153,000).
4. Each year 3,500 to 4,000 churches close their doors forever; yet only as many as 1,500 new churches are started.
5. There are now nearly 60 percent fewer churches per 10,000 persons than in 1920.
* In 1920 27 churches existed for every 10,000 Americans.
* In 1950 17 churches existed for every 10,000 Americans.
* In 1996 11 churches existed for every 10,000 Americans.
6. “Today, of the approximately 350,000 churches in America, four out of five are either plateaued or declining.”
7. One American denomination recently found that 80% of its converts came to Christ in churches less than two years old.
Last summer I had the pleasure of meeting Steve Childers, President of Global Church Advancement (GCA) and a professor of Practical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando. Among several other ministries, GCA hosts Church Planter Training Conferences throughout the world (including Japan and Africa). Their main U.S.A. training venue is January 28 – Feb 1 at the Sheraton Downtown Hotel in Orlando, Florida. The long list of speakers includes Steve Childers, Randy Pope, and Ed Stetzer. A basic training track will be offered as well as eighteen advanced workshops. If you are in a church plant, or considering supporting church planters, this would be an excellent opportunity to get better equipped. They have posted a preliminary conference schedule and on-line registration is available.