Friday, April 27, 2007

The Church or is it Crutch?

Institutional churches (churches that define themselves by having a pastor and a building) average between 80-125 people. Fewer than 5% of all churches grow beyond the 400 attendance mark. The typical staff to congregation percentage is about 1 staff member per 100 people. The average church has a full time pastor and a part time secretary.

The average church sees very little numerical change year after year. Some churches do experience increase but that usually means that some other church experiences decrease. I called this the “circulation of the saints” in a different blog.

It is estimated that only 1% of all people who have made some form of profession of faith can be found in any church 10 years later.

Churches average about $1,000 per person per year in giving with 80-90% of that amount going to the care of themselves. (salaries, buildings, programs)

For a fuller description of these stats you can go to “The State of the Church: 2006”.

Essentially nothing changes from year to year.

What is incredible to me is that the people in these churches are incredibly gifted. They can raise families, run businesses, acquire degrees, keep a job, excel as entrepreneurs and perform well as high level managers in demanding fields. They are teachers, factory workers, nurses, plumbers, doctors, engineers, lawyers, electricians, researchers, machinists... They are great fathers and mothers and take their roles seriously.

It is amazing to me that we can take this wealth of human experience, put them into a building with a highly trained minister and literally accomplish very little, year after mind numbing year.

Sadly, to suggest, in even the smallest of ways, that these same people could likely do as good a job as is being done, without a pastor and a building, would mean that one is no longer faithful to the teachings of the Bible.

1 comment:

Jamie A. Grant said...

Booyah! Took you all week to post something but it was worth the wait.