"There's sort of an assumption out there that traditional forms of worship are dying out and that smaller churches are really in danger of dying out," he shares. "And while that may be true of individual smaller churches, still the average church in the United States has around a hundred people attending. You've got a lot of smaller churches that are out there, that are very active, that are very involved and people are involved in them -- and there's no evidence that the smaller churches are giving up a lot of congregants to the mega-churches."
"Theologically, 53% of adults who have changed where they worship say their new place of worship is about the same as their old one. Twenty-eight percent moved to a place they feel is more theologically conservative, including 12% who say it is much more conservative, while 19% moved to one that is more theologically liberal (including 7% who feel it is much more liberal). "Some folks actually prefer to participate in worship rather than be entertained by artists, prefer following Biblical patterns over contemporary fads, and prefer to please God rather than please themselves.
Before one decides that churches must change (to be like the big boys) or die, one should stop and think.
Churches of Christ with 500 and above in attendance only account for 243 of the nearly 13,000 congregations; that's less than two percent and not far off the national average for all religious groups in America. According to the 2006 directory published by 21st Century Christian, the largest 1000 congregations will house 35.4% of the attendance. Only ten percent of the churches will have 200 or more in attendance, but they account for 40.5 percent of the attendees (page 15).
That means that the majority (59.5 percent) of our folks still worship in churches smaller than 200.