Friday, June 22, 2012

PC(USA) Membership Declines Again !!!

The PC(USA) released on Friday, latest tally of denominational statistics.  For those who have been following the numbers of evangelicals leaving the PC(USA) its not a surprise.

From the article on the PC(USA) website:
The total membership of the PC(USA) at the end of 2011 was 1,952,287, compared to 2,016,091 in 2010, which is a decline of 63,804 members.  

The rest of the report is also discouraging: 

Eighteen new churches were organized in 2011. Seventy-five were dissolved, compared to 77 in 2010. Twenty-one congregations were dismissed to other denominations, five fewer than the previous year.
75 churches dissolved, probably due to lack of new members.  Why is that, is the PC(USA) becoming even less relevant than before??   21 dismissed .. only 21 ??  What about those who just said we're outa here.     Based on the survey of EPs done by the Presbyterian Outlook, there are over 800 more churches that are either in the process of dismissal, or are in a period of discernment.
Slightly fewer than 55,000 individuals joined by profession or reaffirmation of faith, nearly one-third of who were 17 years old or younger. Adult baptisms totaled 5,740, a decrease of 408, and the number of child baptisms declined by 1,038 to 21,422.
Fewer baptisms, fewer new members, fewer child baptisms.   Where are all the people going?  Well some are going to other reformed denominations.    The Redeemer Presbyterian Church (and its satellites) in NYC is growing every year .. this is a PCA church.    A complementarian  church with no female TEs or REs, which holds to the WCF.  Why would families join such a church??   Perhaps right teaching ??

Membership loss came through certificate of transfer (23,082, compared to 29,835 in 2010); death (31,754, which was 717 fewer than 2010); and “other” (95,613, compared to 88,731 the previous year). The “other” category includes those who were members of churches that were dissolved or dismissed to other denominations. Two-thirds of the “other” category encompasses the removal of members from the rolls who are no longer active and have not become involved in another community of faith.
Seems the 2/3s that have  been removed are those that were formerly on the inactive lists which is no longer required by the PC(USA).     So, no more padding the books any longer.

So what does the Stated Clerk see as good news:

“The loss of membership through certificate-of-transfer is the lowest number it has been in at least four years, which is encouraging,” he said, “and per-person giving rose in 2011, reversing a downward trend in 2010.”
So we're seeing less people leaving through Certificate of Transfers,  what about those who just walked?  All a certificate means is that the denomination they moved to (or the member) asked for one.      Per person giving rose .. well it would have to in order to cover those members who have left, or are withholding money due to PC(USA) polity and doctrine changes.

I said last year in another venue, that the membership drop would bring the PC(USA) under 2 million.  I fully suspect that this time next year will find a membership have drop from 1,952,000 to 1,880,000.

1 comment:

  1. Another reason for the for the "other" drops may be congregations getting ready to leave and lowering the basis for any ransom payments.

    And I will bet that congregations that are just walking in order to "plant" themselves as a new congregation will not be asking for letters of transfer.onsortuf


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