Editorial: In 2018, who are the Churches of Christ?
“Do you worship with a Church of Christ?” “No, I…
FROM PRINT EDITION: Declining numbers, but signs of hope?
Sunday’s Super Bowl attendance: 68,658.
Decline in the number of men, women and children in the pews of Churches of Christ in the U.S. since 2003: 102,138.
That’s the big number revealed by the latest national survey by 21st Century Christian, the Nashville, Tenn.-based publisher of the directory Churches of Christ in the United States.
The total number of adherents — which includes members and their children — in the nation’s historically a cappella congregations stands at 1,554,579, according to 21st Century Christian’s new statistical data sheet.
That’s down 6.2 percent from the 1,656,717 adherents reported in 2003 — less than a decade ago.
Another striking number: 708 fewer Churches of Christ in the U.S. in the last nine years. The nation’s 12,447 congregations represent a 5.4 percent decline since 2003.
Still, Churches of Christ remain among the 15 largest church groups in America, according to the most recent Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches, published by the National Council of Churches.
The latest stats underscore a trend that The Christian Chronicle has covered in depth. The 2007 “Are We Growing?” project and the 2009 “By the numbers” project both explored possible reasons for the falling numbers as well as potential solutions. A 2010 series examined the impact on Christian universities associated with the fellowship.
Meanwhile, the two-year “Global South” project showcased the growth of Churches of Christ outside the United States — in places such as Africa, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent and Latin America.
Related post: What is the future of non-denominational Christianity in the U.S.?
CHURCHES OF CHRIST IN AMERICA
SOURCE: Churches of Christ in the United States, published by 21st Century Christian.
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