*We have an updated version of this post for 2021 you can find here: 17 Church Statistics You Need To Know For 2023
Sometimes it’s hard to see why church attendance is dropping or what things need to change to appeal to those still trying to find their faith.
When you look at church statistics, don’t get discouraged. Yes, the numbers might make you want to throw up your hands and leave it all in God’s hands, but they just prove that the world hasn’t given up on having faith just yet.
As long as millions are attending church, even if it’s not every Sunday, there’s hope. Use these statistics to help breathe life back into your church family and continue engaging members for decades to come.
1. Fewer Youth Attend Church
Sadly, only 28% of younger Americans between 23 and 37 attend church. Other generations range between 43% and 52%. This is a significant drop in generational attendance and a large reason why many churches are seeing a decline in attendance. Basically, new young members are few and far between. The cause is because churches are having a hard time changing with the needs of younger generations.
2. Friendly Invites Are More Effective
Improving church attendance is a fruitless effort. Church statistics show that 47% of unchurched Americans are open to thinking about a new church based on a friend’s invite. This shouldn’t be too surprising considering the social networking age. Consider not only word-of-mouth but social networking as a way to boost attendance.
3. Involvement Doesn’t Start On Sunday
Sunday services are usually the starting point for new members, but now, many people aren’t interested in starting their journey with a church on Sunday morning or evening. Instead, 57% of churchless Americans would prefer a different introduction. Community events are key to drawing in new members and introducing them to your family.
4. Church Isn’t Helpful
Or at least, many Americans don’t think so. While your church may contribute often to the community or charity organizations, unchurched Americans may not realize that. They don’t see churches as having any positive impact on their communities. Nearly half (49%) can’t find a positive impact, but 37% couldn’t find a negative impact.
5. Millennials Are Leaving
Based on our first statistic, you’re probably not surprised to learn that 59% of millennials who grew up in churches are leaving. Today’s society is filled with different viewpoints and information coming from all angles. Millennials often leave because they don’t feel like a church meets their needs. While they might not have given up on church entirely, they’re trying to find a more casual church that fits their lifestyle.
6. Churches Are Plateauing
Look at society now and then think back 30 years. Much has changed since then, but has your church changed at all? A shocking 85% of US churches are either declining or plateauing. A large part of this is the need for churches to adapt to a changing world. Church members might leave one church for one that offers a more modern preaching style or more community involvement. Bringing your church and your church family into not just the present, but the future is vital to overcoming the plateau.
7. Church Goes High Tech
Church doesn’t end inside a building. Today, church leaders and members have the opportunity to reach millions via social media. Even if someone isn’t attending, the word is still being spread. Take Pope Francis’s Twitter account, which has 10.1 million followers. Do all of those followers attend church regularly? Probably not, but at least they’re taking an interest in God.
8. Online Giving Works
If you ever needed a reason to have a church website, these church statistics on online giving might convince you. Many people prefer to donate online and 70% of non-profits offer this option to improve charitable donations. Only 42% of churches offer this option. This is ideal for members who may not attend regularly, but still want to give. It’s also a way for non-members to support causes that are close to their heart, even if they’re not able to attend church due to other obligations.
9. New Churches Increase Growth
Adding more churches when attendance is already declining might seem counter-intuitive. Yet, a study of over 600 southern Baptist churches showed that after planting a new church, attendance grew by 21.5% for at least five years. Part of the reason this works is because unchurched Americans and those unsatisfied with their current church see these new churches as a chance for change. It’s an opportunity to change old methods and modernize how they worship.
Church Statistics Agree
If you notice, there are two common themes among these church statistics – attendance is down and many people are seeking different ways to worship. Change is needed. Listen to your church family. Talk with the community. You’ll quickly see what people think and what changes are necessary.
Ready to start making positive changes and grow your church? Start with our web design services today to get your church in front of more potential members.