Thom Rainer –Where Have All the Churches Gone?

The largest church in the United States is Akron Baptist Temple in Akron, Ohio. Okay, it was the largest church in 1969. I haven’t seen the church on any lists of largest churches for at least two decades.

By the way, the primary metric for measuring church size in 1969 was Sunday school attendance. Today the metric is worship attendance.

A lot of changes in churches take place in just a few years. For many, if not most, American churches, the changes are more negative than positive. Many churches today are shadows of what they were not too many years ago.

Where have all the churches gone?

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

2 comments on “Thom Rainer –Where Have All the Churches Gone?

  1. robroy says:

    This is kind of a screwy metric. It is look at the extreme tail. It is not clear that one is actually comparing similar data from 1969 figures to the present. The largest church in 1969 was the Akron Baptist Temple. I checked and the parish is still doing very well, boasting over 5,000 in attendance each week and having “the largest Sunday school.” But what is happened in the past forty years is the rise of the non-denominationals. These can have multiple locations renting movie theaters, etc. Just because attendance figures of these large non-denominationals surpass the previous leaders, it doesn’t mean the previous leaders, mostly independent Baptists, are doing poorly, let alone disappearing as implied by the title.

    If one wants to write an essay about “Where have all the churches gone?”, one should write about the mainstream denominations. Leadership has been replaced by the most vindictive, power hungry, manipulative, inept, exclusive, intolerant group imaginable – the liberals.

  2. MichaelA says:

    Robroy, amen!

    I think a church with 5,000 ASA is doing just fine! If its off some list because other churches are now bigger, then that is all the more reason to praise the Lord for the increase to his kingdom.