Julia Duin of the Washington Times was linked to by Church and World.com (the old Presbyweb) on Saturday. On her Belief Blog she talks about the 2010 yearbook from the National Council of Churches. In it, the NCC lists all the different denominations in the US and Canada, and their membership totals for 2009.
Its no surprise that the PCUSA again dropped 3.28% of its members, however we also dropped to last place in the top 10 denominations in the yearbook, we were passed by the Assemblies of God, who also gained 1.27%. I fully expect that next year we may drop out of the top 10, joining the UCC which is also down by 2.93% and who went from 22 to 23 on the list, and the Episcopal Church, down 2.81% but maintaining its status as 15th.
So who's gaining?? Of the top 25* on the list, the Catholic Church (not sure if this covers only the Roman Catholic, or all Catholic churches who recognize the Pope), number 1 on the list and up 1.49%. Well, I expected that, with 68 million members, the birth rate would allow for that growth. The Mormons (#4), Jehovah's Witnesses (#22), the Church of God (based in Cleveland TN) #24.
So who shows growth?? Two denominations that affirm the Apostles Creed (I believe the Church of God does), and two that affirm no Trinitarian creeds and could be labeled 'cults' by some. However, in all cases, those showing growth take a traditional view of the hot topics of the day.
And who are losing members?? Denominations that are willing to redefine the Bible in ways to fit the mores of society, rather than trying to teach society that it should redefine its mores to fit what is taught in the Bible.
... and so it goes !!
* these are denominations with over 1 million listed members.