Church Behavior Statistics

As of 2008 over 3,500 people leave the church every day. 10

Why are they leaving?

“The new Revolution differs in that its primary impetus is not salvation among the unrepentant but the personal renewal and recommitment of believers. The dominant catalyst is people’s desperation for a genuine relationship with God. The renewal of that relationship spurs believers to participate in spreading the gospel. Rather than relying on a relative handful of inspired preachers to promote a national revival, the emerging Revolution is truly a grassroots explosion of commitment to God that will refine the Church and result in a natural and widespread immersion in outreach.” 15

Between 2000—2005, 20 million people, of all denominations, left the typical North American local church.15


Church attendance is declining: 3 & 9 Read Article Power Point


“The yearly decline in the percentage of people attending a Christian church was faster from 2000—2005 than it was from 1990—2000.”4 Power Point

Approximately 80% of all churches in North America have reached a plateau or are declining.1 The vast majority of the church’s growth comes from “switchers” – people who move from one church to another. There is precious little conversion growth.2 Researchers suggest somewhere between 1-3%.

Where are they going?

Agreeing with other researchers, George Barna, in his book Revolution, has confirmed that many are going to house churches, in a spiritual quest of a more relevant relationship with God.

Something to ponder.

“Before the final visitation of God’s judgments upon the earth, there will be, among the people of the Lord, such a revival of primitive godliness as has not been witnessed since apostolic times. The Spirit and power of God will be poured out upon His children. At that time many will separate themselves from those churches in which the love of this world has supplanted love for God and His Word. Many, both of ministers and people, will gladly accept those great truths which God has caused to be proclaimed at this time, to prepare a people for the Lord’s second coming.”16

“Everywhere there is a tendency to substitute the work of organizations for individual effort. Human wisdom tends to consolidation, to centralization, to the building up of great churches and institutions. Multitudes leave to institutions and organizations the work of benevolence; they excuse themselves from contact with the world, and their hearts grow cold. They become self-absorbed and unimpressible. Love for God and man dies out of the soul.”25

Other Western cultures like Europe, Australia, New Zealand record church attendance ranging between 2 - 8 percent

Every year, approximately 4000 new churches open their doors. Every year approximately 7000 churches close their doors for the last time.10


The median age of North America is 36 years old. The median age of Adventists in North America is 51 years old.12

Fuller Theological Seminary found that if a church is 10 or more years old, it takes 85 people to lead 1 person to Christ. If a church is less than 3 years old, it takes only 3 people to lead 1 person to Christ. 7 & 8

Between 1990 and 2050 church attendance will grow from 50 million to 60 million. Census estimates forecast a population growth from 248 million to 520 million people. In other words, America would need (as of 2008) 15,000 new churches of any kind every year to keep up with population.9 Read Article

  • 1990 — Americans who attended church on a given weekend 20.4%
  • 2000 — Americans who attended church on a given weekend 18.7%
  • 2005 — Americans who attended church on a given weekend 17.5%
  • 2010 — estimated church attendance 16.2%
  • 2020 — estimated church attendance 14.4%
  • 2050 — estimated church attendance if Jesus has not come. 10.7%

The average church in the United States will spend as much as 64 percent of its budget on staff salaries. Additionally, it will spend as much as 30 percent of its offerings on maintaining its buildings.5 Researchers say that churches spend between 82 – 96 percent of their financial resources on maintaining themselves.6 In 2001 “the total cost of Christian outreach worldwide averages $330,000 for each newly baptized person. The cost per baptism in the United States tops $1.5 million.”20

Where is the mission?

“The greatest English speaking mission field in the world is North America.”
Leonard Sweet.14

Simple Church believes

the Everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ will give them hope, peace, and a purpose for living.17

Simple Church also believes that house churches are the best way to reach this growing number of unchurched people.