INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Bishop Mike Coyner recently released statistical numbers about Indiana United Methodist vitality in one of his E-pistles dated Aug. 18. He said according to a Spiritual Leadership, Inc., report about Indiana United Methodist churches, the numbers include good news:
- 26 percent of our churches are on a five-year growth trajectory in worship attendance.
- This growth is across the board in terms of church size, and in fact 25 percent of our small churches are on a five-year growth trend.
- Our rate of Professions of Faith (new people professing faith in Christ) is out-pacing our death rate (and Indiana is the only conference so far where SLI has found that to be true among the conferences it serves).
- Our congregations involved in our Fruitful Congregation Journey process (visit www.inumc.org/churchdevelopment) have a higher tendency to be growing, which means that when a pastor and congregation enter into a process like FCJ to measure and plan their ministry, they tend to get results.
- There is virtually no correlation between population growth and church growth – which means that a church’s growth in ministry is not limited to being in a growing area. Growth has more to do with the “heart” and outward-focus of the congregation than with the presence of population changes. That is really good news if your congregation does not happen to be in a growing suburban area.
- We have 651 churches in what SLI calls “Slow Decline” – that is good news, they say, because it would only take a small amount of change in focus and direction for those churches to turn around and become growing churches.
For the complete report, visit www.inumc.org/bishop.