Over the last number of months, I’ve heard church leaders make statements that didn’t seem to jive with my experience and observations working with churches. In fact, the recent report from Leadership Network seems to dispel those myths.
For example, these are actual statements from actual church leaders:
“Because people aren’t attending services as regularly, our attendance is declining.”
That might be the situation at your church, but large churches continue to experience growth in attendance. In fact, the median growth rate was 26% over the last five years.
“Multisite isn’t working. Churches that launch new campuses aren’t growing.”
The numbers don’t add up. Not only are churches growing, but the number of churches engaging in multisite strategy has increased from 46% to 62% since 2010. According to the research, multisite churches are growing larger and faster than single-site churches.
“Young adults prefer more traditional styles of worship, so we need to keep the organ and the choir.”
Some young adults may prefer traditional worship, but the trends tell a different story. Megachurches are much more effective reaching younger adults and they continue to shift away from traditional forms of worship.
“If we’re going to continue to grow, we’ll need to expand our sanctuary.”
That’s not necessarily the case. In fact, the median size of the main sanctuary of larger churches has decrease from 1,500 seats to 1,200. They’re able to do this by opening additional campuses rather than building bigger sanctuaries.
“People are more likely to attend a Sunday School class on Sunday morning than they are a home group during the week.”
In theory, that makes sense. Because people are already attending worship on Sunday and children’s environments are available, you’d think people would prefer the Sunday School option. The data indicates, though, that churches with home groups engage 40% of the adults while churches with Sunday School engage 34%.
“We need to focus on married young adults with kids rather than the singles.”
You can choose do that that, but two-thirds of the adults between the ages of 18 and 34 are single. In other words, you’re probably going to miss the Millennial generation if you only try to connect with married couples and parents.You will probably miss the Millennial generation if you only try to connect w/ marrieds & young parents. Click To Tweet
“Our services have become predictable and very routine.”
Okay, this statement is actually true. Megachurch pastors admitted it. The research indicates fewer churches would describe their worship as innovative and fewer churches are willing to change to meet the new challenges they’re facing. That sounds like megachurches are starting to become the “new traditional” churches.
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