Knowing who you are
Sat May 25, 2013
by Jeremy Pace
Resurgence roundup, 5/24/13
Fri May 24, 2013
The places grace empowers us
Thu May 23, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
‘Each next risk is the biggest one’: James MacDonald talks with Mark Driscoll
Wed May 22, 2013
by Mark Driscoll
Tue May 21, 2013
by Amanda Edmondson
American Church Life: Part 1
This past year, Mars Hill Church participated in the Notre Dame Congregational Study (NDCS). I recently received the summary findings of their survey and felt the information would be helpful to other pastors and ministry leaders. The NDCS summary report said, "Religious congregations are the most basic and important unit of American religious life. They account for half of the volunteer sector in the U.S.—a fact that is not widely known or appreciated. The NDCS continues to educate American leaders and the public about what congregations do and how they fulfill their missions…In the first round of the NDCS, we collected information from a total of 531 congregations." In the following days I will be posting the NDCS summary findings on church leadership, membership, staff, pastors' commitments, worship, and outreach and service, along with other significant findings.
- 95 percent of congregations are led by a head minister, while about 4 percent by an assembly of congregational members.
- About 80 percent of head ministers are male, and 20 percent are female.
- Head ministers have held their positions for an average of 8 years. Of course, some ministers have been at their congregation for a significantly longer number of years (the highest is just over 50 years), which may make the average number of years misleading. The median number of years at the congregation is 5, which essentially means that half of pastors have been at their congregation for less than 5 years and half have been at their congregation for more than 5 years. The average age of head ministers is about 52 years.
- 207 people regularly participate in the life of the average congregation. However, several very large congregations pull up the overall average. Interestingly, the median congregation has 77 people who regularly participate in the life of the congregation. That is, about half of congregations have less than 77 regular participants, and half have more than 77 participants.
- Of course, many more people are associated with the congregation than regularly participate. On average, 522 people are associated with the congregation. Again, this is high due to a few extremely large congregations. The median congregation has 150 people who are associated with the congregation in some way.
To be continued.