I live in Medford Oregon. In Medford there is a ton of churches. More than you’d think we’d need. Seems like there’s a church on every block (a little less than that, actually). So the question arrises, do we need more churches?
It’s surprisingly hard to find statistics for Medford, so let’s move this up to a national scale. I found this great page with tons of church statistics. In the United States, there are about 350,000 religious congregations. 24,000 are Catholic and Orthodox churches, 314,000 are other Christian churches and the rest (12,000) are other religions. So the way I see it, there are around 338,000 Christ following churches in the U.S.
The average church size is 186 attendees (the median is 75 attendees because of the significant number of small churches in the U.S., but for easier math let’s go with the average). We take the average church size and multiply it by number of churches and we get about 62.9 million church goers.
I could be reading the Bible wrong, but as far as I can tell we’re supposed to make everyone into a disciple of Christ. So it’s not hard to make the leap that our goal in America should be to get everyone into a Christ Following church, right?
There were 318.9 million people in the United States in 2014(Google Search). This means that every church in America would have to be 5 times (five-tuppled?) it’s current size to accommodate everyone in the U.S. Wow!
So back to the original question, do we need more churches? I’d say yes.
What we need is for everyone to really take up the great commission and preach the gospel to everyone. When this happens, our churches will start to grow. They will grow significantly. As they grow, more pastors will start stepping up from within our congregations to start new churches.
When we get to 1,690,000 churches with an average of 186 attendees each, (or 338,000 churches with an average of 930 attendees each) then you can say, “there’s no need for more churches in the United States.” Of course if the population increases…