The Jehovah’s Witnesses up 2.12% from the year before.
According to the 2009 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, only four churches reported an increase in converts for the year 2008. These churches were:
Jehovah’s Witnesses (1,092,169 members, up 2.12 percent )
Church of God of Cleveland (1,053,642 members, up 2.04 percent)
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (5,873,408 members, up 1.63 percent)
Assemblies of God (2,863,265 members, up 0.96 percent)
The LDS church remains the 4th largest denomonation behind the Methodist, Baptist, and Catholic churches but is quickly approaching the number 3 spot and will the Methodist church within the next 2 -3 years. For the past few years the only churches to consistently gain in membership include the LDS and Jehovah’s Witness churches. The LDS church maintains around 1.6% growth whereas the Jehovah’s Witnesses gain over 2% on average and have doubled in size in the last 5 years. (However, I’m not sure how accurate these numbers are because according to the 2006 report the LDS church had 5.9 million members and now only reports 5.5 million but the report stated the growth was maintained each year at 1.5%) For a more detailed statistical analysis of the LDS church check out the post over at Times and Seasons that was postes a few weeks ago.
IF these statistics are even close to being accurate this shows an overall decline in Christianity as a whole in the United States. According to Mormon Metaphysics, there has been a decrease of 10% overall in Christianity. Also, those churches such as the LDS and J.W. churches show significant gain, but they have a very aggressive missionary effort as well. It does raise the question though of why those two particular churches are attractive to people. Even with the missionary efforts if they churches didn’t have something to offer and if there wasn’t a need out there people wouldn’t join their organizations.
So in conclusion I ask the following questions.
1. Why do you think Chrisitanity is on the decline?
2. Why do you feel those religions such as LDS and J.W. see growth each year?
3. What could be done to bring retention and conversion rates up?