Most Churches are Small Churches

January 14, 2008

Les Puryear did some excellent research on church sizes, noting the large number of smaller churches across denominations. Here’s an overview of what he found:

In the Episcopal churches in the USA, 59% of the churches have less than 100 members. 75% of all episcopal churches have less than 150 members. (Source)

73% of all Church of the Nazarene churches have less than 100 members. (Source)

Research Office statistics indicate only 28 United Methodist Churches fall into the megachurch category, with 259 in the very large church slot. 99% of UMC’s have less than 668 in attendance. Less than 5% of all UMC’s have over 350 in worship. To add further perspective, one half of the 36,085 UMC’s (1999 data) have less than 55 in attendance. (Source)

… the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), I asked the good folks at Lifeway to run a report for me to count the churches based on Primary Worship Service(s) Attendance in 2006. They very graciously attended to my request and sent me the following report:

1-99 attendees = 25,217 churches (62.7%)
100-199 attendees = 8,305 churches (20.7%)
200-299 attendees = 2,850 churches (7.1%)
300-499 attendees = 2,126 churches (5.3%)
500-749 attendees = 788 churches (2.0%)
750-999 attendees = 336 churches (0.8%)
1,000-1,999 attendees = 425 churches (1.1%)
2,000+ attendees = 139 churches (0.3%)

Total Churches = 40,186

Read the full post titled, “The Beauty of the Small Church – Chapter 1: Most Churches are Small Churches“. [ht: Chuck Warnock]

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