Saturday, December 19, 2009

LCMS and PCA in Decline

While Martin Marty can't help but gloat at little (despite saying that he wasn't), the facts do speak for themselves. To quote from his column here:

"The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, fourteenth in size and run by what moderates saw as a quasi-fundamentalist take-over party in the 1970s, always advertised that it was blessed because it was conservative and firm. Last year it lost 45,735 members, or 1.44 percent of the formerly faithful. More disturbing to conscientious chroniclers and planners was the word that average attendance at worship dropped from 165 to 155 in one year! Similarly, the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) 'lost numbers for the last year for the first time in its 37-year history,' despite its reliance on strategies chosen when its congregations seceded from a parent body."

Southern Baptists declined as well, and Roman Catholic membership would have declined as well, but for the significant influx of mainly Hispanic immigrants.

I'm unsure what to make of it all. Whether LCMS numbers decline or not year to year, my impression is that there is a lot of gray hair in LCMS churches relative to non-gray hair. (Not so much in my local church, but in many chuches I've visited.) That would suggest a precipitant decline in active members over, say, the next ten or twenty years.


Blogger Unknown said...

Yep! And as a gay who suffered much at the hands of heartless (but theologically correct, and that's all that matters!) LCMS clergy, I will be absolutely thrilled when they get under 2 million. Then 1.5. Then they close all the smaller churches. Then under a million. Then to just over 1,000 congregations left.

These arrogant people running the church were prepared for every scenario...except people having freedom of information and two legs to walk away.

July 10, 2012 5:28 PM  
Blogger Brad Evans said...

The decline of the United Church of Christ and the Unitarians and the Episcopalians and Presbyterians who are now "gay positive"-do they give you the same level of happiness?
Ever think that religion itself is a little bit gay? Ever notice how many more clergy are gay than the general population? Do you think a disproportionately gay group has a chance to be treated seriously? Or will clergy and churches be dismissed like choral groups and window dressers?

April 19, 2013 12:33 PM  

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