40% of American Church-Goers in Churches of 500-1,799

This Ministry Briefing story surprised me:

While much continues to be written about megachurches, which average 2,000 attendees or more, mid-sized churches with attendance between 500 and 1,799 make up 40% of all Protestant Churches in America. They tend to be younger, with two thirds of their attendees under the age of 50, and more diverse, with one third of these churches qualifying as bi-racial. Those that are multisite tend to grow the fastest.

Source: Leadership Network

Why does this matter for church leaders?

This surprises me because my hunch is that the number of mid-size churches will shrink over the next few decades as the number of mega-churches and small churches increase. I was surprised that the number is as high as it is. That said, Scott Thumma and Warren Bird did a great job researching these churches, but here is what caught my eye:

  • Over two thirds of these attenders are age 49 or younger
  • Over 75% of these churches use a small groups as part of their spiritual formation strategy
  • Almost 70% of these churches are still led by the senior pastor whose tenure saw the most growth

Does any of this surprise YOU?

Ministry Briefing helps church leaders save time and lead betterMinistry Briefing subscribers receive a weekly curated list of the 40 most important church-related stories of the week, summarized with the original link (like what you see above). We keep church leaders abreast of cultural trends, stocked with new sermon illustrations, and save them time so they can focus on what really matters. 

Readers of my blog can get their first month for $1 by clicking here.


About the Author: Matt Steen

I love Jesus, Theresa (my wife), the Redskins & Capitals, and am currently living in Waco, Texas where I am studying the finer points of BBQ (while working on my MDiv and MBA at Baylor University). When not studying, I serve church leaders through MinistryBriefing.com and am the Director of Connections for Harris Creek Baptist Church's Downtown Campus.