Gallup Poll: Membership in USA Churches Lowest in Decades
A recent set of polling data of the United States found that church membership (and other religious groups) is at the lowest it has been in decades. A significant drop in membership occurred from the 1998-2000 range to today. Over two decades a supermajority (around 70-73%) claiming membership in a church, synagogue, etc., went to less than half the article reports (47%).
Now the research is more broad than say a George Barna poll that is more focused on evangelical churches. However, the hard work of the people at Gallup is still useful to gauge what is happening in our culture and our time. Most of us in sharing the Gospel individually and in church life, are not completely surprised by the following poll data:
The article may be found at: https://news.gallup.com/poll/341963/church-membership-falls-below-majority-first-time.aspx
This speaks to several factors as Gallup also reports. They mention the rise of the "Nones," persons who claim no religious membership or preference. There are also people with a religious preference, but who are not connected to any membership. As the article briefly touches on, the Nones do cross age demographics, they are not all Millennials as some might guess even if many are.
If you take out the obvious false religious groups from the 2020 47% number, you might get a number of around 44% (doing some of my own math, utilizing article top percent) of Americans belong to a church of any type (using that very generously, too generously, but trying to make sense of their data set).
Most evangelical Christians would admit that another large percent of that 44% lower number after removing alternate religions still includes many who have not trusted in Jesus as their Savior and Lord yet.
This confirms that North America (as NAMB missions group has long claimed) is a missions field. This reminds us that we are on the mission field as North American believers. We must share our faith. While many of us in churches might imagine some days that the nation has many believers, the fact is this is increasingly not as true each year that passes.
A natural result of people trusting in Jesus as their Savior, is a desire to be with the church (Ephesians chapter five). When someone forgets, gets distracted, or is off track, we remind each other to be in worship for lifting high the name of Jesus together (Hebrews 10:25; 1 Corinthians 16:2; Hebrews 13:16-19).
The good news is that the Lord Jesus never changes, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, Hebrews 13:8. Nothing today is taking the Lord by surprise. The Lord is working a plan and we must join Him in this (Colossians 1).
The Lord is also with us as we proclaim the Gospel in this age, Matthew 28:20b. Jesus is with you, and me, to "the end of the age." We should rest in that so as to press on sharing of Jesus in our times.
Who might you share Jesus with in the coming week or two? Pray about that. See how God might use you to proclaim the wonderful saving work of Jesus to a culture of people that needs the Light (Romans 10).
Resources that might help would be tracts such as "Steps to Peace with God," or related tools. Taking one with you allows a quick way to share. It can be kept in a folder, a Bible, your vehicle, or a purse.