PCUSA Lost Nearly 5 Percent Membership in 2017; Over 800K Decline in 10 Years, Stats Reveal

"General Assembly Stated Clerk J. Herbert Nelson II, head of PCUSA, said in a statement released Monday that he believed it "is clear that Presbyterians are doing poorly at evangelism." CPost

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Bert Perry's picture

If you look at PCUSA data, they went from a bleed rate of ~3%/year to about 5%/year in 2012, about the same time they started considering legitimizing same sex marriage, which they finally did in 2015.  

Given that the PCUSA is at least traditionally a church you get baptized in and die in, the overall bleed rate assuming zero evangelism ought to be no more than 2-3%/year.  So this isn't just a lack of evangelism, but rather they have a lot of people running for the exits.

Our lesson; not that we should pick on the PCUSA, but rather that we also need to check our assumptions to figure out what our real problems are.


Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

G. N. Barkman's picture

When one reads the description of the "evangelism" that is supposedly lacking, according to the above article, one can understand the problem.  The failure to understand the Biblical gospel spawns a failure to understand true evangelism.  If the PCUSA increases the kind of evangelism espoused by this article, they will accelerate, not diminish the rate of decline.

G. N. Barkman

Ron Bean's picture

The United Methodist Church which is already has homosexual pastors and is performing same sex marriages in violation of their stated doctrinal position will be the next to go. They've called for 75 weeks of prayer on the change and bishops are trying to get their people ready for the inevitable while the churches are begging "please don't make us vote on this". 

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Bert Perry's picture

The sources I saw indicate that the bleed rate for Methodists is currently about 1-2%/year, corresponding (if my thinking above is correct) mostly to weak "breeding" and retention of young people, along with a lack of evangelism.  I would agree with Ron that if they, as I anticipate, endorse same sex marriage, the bleed will become a hemorrhage. 

Writing as the grandson of a lady still in the UMC, I can also comment that a lot of rural Methodists are still there mostly because THEIR churches are mostly evangelical in doctrine.  Even in suburban areas, the books read by members tend to be of the evangelical publishing houses as well, with very little from Asbury/UMC sources.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.