Statistics are fun. Numbers are interesting. They do not lie. They simply are. The best are sports statistics — batting averages, earned run averages, goals against averages, goals, assists, home runs, runs batted in, points per game, rebounds, touchdowns, completion percentage, etc. The list is endless.
I ran across some interesting statistics about the American religious scene from the Hartford Institute for Religion Research. They have any interesting page entitled “Fast Facts about American Religion” which you can find here. The statistics do not include the Catholic church or the Orthodox church, only Protestant church bodies. Some of the statistical facts that I found interesting are listed below. They do have something to tell us about the church in America today. What do you think that is?
- 59% of all Protestant churchgoers worship in congregations that have an attendance of 7-99 people. That is 9,000,000 people and 177,000 congregations.
- 35% of congregations have an average attendance of 100-499 people. That is 25,000,000 people and 105,000 congregations.
- 4% of congregations have an average attendance of 500 to 999 people. That is 9,000,000 people and 12,000 congregations.
- 2.41% of congregations have an average attendance of 1,000 or more. That is 7,210 congregations worship 12,700,000 people.
- The median church in America has 75 regular participants in Sunday morning services. That means half the churches are larger and half are smaller.
- Of Churches making significant use of technology in the life of the church, 46% saw some growth in membership, while 32% saw some decline in membership. 16% of such congregations merely plateaued.
- 90% of congregations make use of internet technologies.
- Congregational use of websites is in decline, however, with 69% of congregations using websites in 2010, down from a peak of 77% in 2009.