One of the most important trends that surfaced in 2014 was what’s been called “the rise of the nones.” In a continuation of the trendline, one of the most significant trends in 2015 is that churched Americans are attending less frequently.
Let me say that again. The research shows that churched Americans are attending less frequently.
In my mind, the research begs a number of questions:
- How might the trend affect small group ministries?
- Is the trend reversible?
- Do we (small group ministry point people) have a role to play in reversing the trend?
Actually, I think our first responsibility is to learn as much as we can about the trend. Here is the beginning of a collection of books, blog posts, podcasts, and interviews that will help you begin to have an opinion.
- Churchless: Understanding Today’s Unchurched and How to Connect with Them (You can find most of the Barna research in this book)
- Churchless (You’ll find a very good infographic on this page at Barna.org)
- 5 Trends Among the Unchurched (Barna.org)
- 10 Facts about America’s Churchless (Barna.org)
- George Barna and David Kinnaman on the Rise of the Churchless (an very informative interview)
- Churchless: Why and How America is Learning to Live Without the Church: An Interview with David Kinnaman
- 10 Predictions about the Future Church and Shifting Attendance Patterns (Carey Nieuwhof)
- 10 Reasons Even Committed Church Attenders Are Attending Less Frequently (Carey Nieuwhof)
- Why People Are Attending Church Less Often and How to Respond: An Interview with Will Mancini
- The Most Important Trends in 2015 and What to Do about It (Will Mancini)
- What Surveys Say about Worship Attendance and Why Some Stay Home (Pew research)
- #1 Reason for the Decline in Church Attendance and 5 Ways to Address It (Thom Rainer)
- 5 Ways to Embrace Infrequent Church Attenders (Carey Neiuwhof)
I don’t know about you, but I have long believed that the days of “come with me to my church” will be supplanted by “come over to my house.” As that happens, church attendance (and unconnected churchgoers) will be a less important pool than the neighborhood.
What do you think? Want to ask a question? Want to argue? You can click here to jump into the conversation.