Reasons For Church Growth And Decline

Last week the Church of England published an excellent short report on the reasons churches grow and decline (mainly in numerical terms). You can read or download the report here, and here is a video about it from the Church Army, especially about Fresh Expressions of Church:

While not all of the research can be translated into the context of another denomination, such as Methodism (we don’t have too many official ‘cathedrals’), there are some clear challenges for us. For example: two inhibiting factors are an inconsistent approach to worship and a minister leading more than one congregation. The system of the Circuit Plan can lead to worship styles changing from week to week, and it is common for ministers to have pastoral charge of more than one church.

What signs of hope and challenge do you find in the report?


2 thoughts on “Reasons For Church Growth And Decline

  1. In part it mirrors a discussion in the Byfleet CLT yesterday evening. The evidence that big churches (of whatever background) attract people seems incontrovertible. It makes the challenge to the small local ones much greater. This is especially true where they have lost contact with their local community. The CofE usually maintains it through their presence in schools. Methodism has little local ‘presence’ other than as a gathered community. It needs to develop what it has. Indifferent worship lead by a variety of people makes integrating new people difficult. Maybe we need to to be mor rigorous in the standards we expect from those leading worship?

  2. Not quite sure what you mean by “indifferent worship” Peter? Is it the worship leader who’s indifferent, or the congregation?

    Though if you are also saying that churches should be able to expect greater continuity and not have worship led by a different preacher each week, I think I would agree with you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s