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Church Growth

I was sitting in a ministers’ fellowship of Baptists, Anglicans, Methodists, Salvation Army and Pentecostals. It must have been the best part of 40 years ago, but I remember it well. We always tried to be inclusive and welcoming, so we were pleased on this occasion to have a new minister among us. He had, […] Read More

An old adage suggests that the best way to measure church growth is by assessing the “three big Bs”: bodies-in-pews, budgets and buildings. Baptists of all sorts, however, have called this perspective into question. Kevin Ezell of the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board stated that this adage is antiquated and may have to […] Read More

When my family lived in Clemson, S.C., our next-door neighbor was an 85-year-old woman who was the epitome of southern gentility. Mrs. Turner had lived in Clemson for most of her life and in the South all of her life. She was old enough to have some personal memories of the Civil War passed on […] Read More

In going through some files recently, I came across a church newsletter from April 1976. It provided an interesting snapshot of this particular church at that time. This county seat Baptist church in a southern state was averaging more than 650 in Sunday morning worship. What caught my attention was that they had only three full-time […] Read More

BERLIN (RNS) For the first time since membership records have been kept, more Germans departed the Roman Catholic Church than were baptized into it in 2010, according to new data from Germany’s Catholic Conference of Bishops. The new statistics, which were released with little analysis or comment, showed 170,339 baptisms for the year, and 181,193 […] Read More

(RNS) The Episcopal Church is urging congregations to embrace social media websites like Facebook and Twitter in a push to highlight the Internet as a tool for church growth. The church released a 12-page white paper, or instruction guide, last week, (July 20) listing “best practices” for how congregations can make use of social media. […] Read More

The church in Great Britain faces huge challenges over the next few years, but growth is still possible, according to a leading researcher. In “21 Concerns for 21st Century Christians,” Peter Brierley points to the continuing decline in many denominations due to people leaving, deaths outstripping conversions, and churchgoers attending less often. The decision that […] Read More

The church in Great Britain faces huge challenges over the next few years, but growth is still possible, according to a leading researcher. In “21 Concerns for 21st Century Christians,” Peter Brierley points to the continuing decline in many denominations due to people leaving, deaths outstripping conversions, and churchgoers attending less often. The decision that […] Read More

(RNS) Rest on the Sabbath. Heed Old Testament dietary codes. And be ready for Jesus to return at any moment. If these practices sound quaint or antiquated, think again. They’re hallmarks of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the fastest-growing Christian denomination in North America. Newly released data show Seventh-day Adventism growing by 2.5 percent in North […] Read More

(RNS) While mainline Protestant churches in the U.S. continue to experience decades-long decline, the memberships of Pentecostal traditions are on the rise, according to new figures compiled by the National Council of Churches. The Roman Catholic Church (No. 1) and the Southern Baptist Convention (No. 2) are still significantly larger than all other North American […] Read More