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Big Questions: About this series

In the United States, Churches of Christ are declining.

Every three years, 21st Century Christian publishes the directory “Churches of Christ in the United States.” Since 2006, these directories have shown a diminishing number of congregations and adherents (baptized believers and their families). The 2018 edition lists 11,965 Churches of Christ with combined adherents of 1,447,271 and notes an average annual change of -1.61 percent.

As the fellowship faces an uncertain future, The Christian Chronicle sought input from our readers through an online survey. Questions included:

  • In 2018, what is a Church of Christ?
  • Why do you think churches are declining in the U.S.?
  • What are the fellowship’s strengths? What excites you about your congregation?
  • What are your concerns for the future of the fellowship.

In this series, we explore responses to the survey and seek input from ministers, ministry leaders, Bible professors and church scholars. We pray that these stories will help readers understand the current status of Churches of Christ in the U.S. We pray that they will inspire congregations toward greater unity and spark ideas about how we may work together and encourage each other to be the church God calls us to be.

Please join in the conversation in the comments section on any of these stories and send feedback to [email protected].

Following is a list of stories in this series.

Big Question 1: What is a Church of Christ?

  1. As numbers decline, Christians ponder a fellowship’s identity
  2. Survey results: Believers under 30 question nondenominational claim
  3. Survey results: Christians ages 31 to 40 focus on worship, not labels
  4. Survey results: Generation X seeks compassion, not politics
  5. Survey results: Baby boomers see fading sense of family in churches
  6. Survey results: Readers over 60 say we don’t define Churches of Christ; God does
  7. Beyond the numbers, an identity crisis?
  8. A fellowship’s true founder: Jesus

Expanded interviews:

More features:

Big Question 2: Big C or little c? Are Churches of Christ a denomination?

  1. Church members discuss definitions and implications
  2. To speak with ‘a biblical vocabulary’ — minister questions Chronicle’s use of term ‘Church of Christ.’
  3. Defining ‘denomination’ — in many ways, Churches of Christ fit the definition, minister says
  4. Church should be a way of living, not a place to go, minister says
  5. ‘Maybe we have all lost our focus,’ church data compiler says

More features:

Big Question 3: Can Churches of Christ be saved?

More features:

Big Question 4: Can Churches of Christ reach millennials?

Filed under: Big Questions National Top Stories

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