Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Go figure!

Most of us are pretty average.

And if you don’t believe me, check out Al Reimche’s section in your Statistical Report to the Delegates for this year’s constituency meeting. While I’m no expert on statistics, I did manage to figure out that:

There are no Adventist mega-churches in Oregon.
Our three biggest churches (Meadow Glade, Pleasant Valley, and Sunnyside) all average 450 to 500 people in attendance every Sabbath. That’s wonderful – but it ain’t Willow Creek.

You don’t have to be very big to be big.
Roughly 80% of the churches in this Conference have an average attendance of 150 or less.

To them who have, more shall be given.
Half the people who actually attend church in this Conference do so in a church where the average attendance is 150 or more.

Most of us aren’t seeing much growth.
In fact, overall attendance has been pretty much flat for the past five years. The exceptions: Beaverton, Hillsboro Spanish, Kelso-Longview, Medford, Pleasant Valley, Riverside, Roseburg, Salem Spanish, Tabernacle, Woodburn Spanish . . . and maybe Forest Grove, University Park, Vancouver, and Your Bible Speaks.

Our new church plants aren’t doing much.
The big exception here is church plants that target a specific ethnic group – all in all, they seem to be doing fine. But when it comes to attendance, the rest of them have pretty much hit a plateau . . . and some of them are even in decline.

So what does it all mean? Hard to say – but if you don’t speak Spanish, it looks as though your best shot at church growth is to pastor a church that's located in:
*a growing suburb of Portland (viz. Beaverton or Pleasant Valley).
*a major retirement community (viz. Medford or Roseburg).
*a town with a pulp mill (viz. Kelso-Longview or Riverside).

Pastor Greg

And remember: “Professionals are predictable, but the world is full of amateurs” – from Murphy’s Laws of Combat, collected by James F. Dunnigan.

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