America’s mainline churches, once a vibrant part of American religion, have been in a state of decline for decades. At least that’s the story that’s often told. But it’s only half-true. Yes, the Protestant establishment churches have seen a drop in membership. But the churches—as institutions—remain strong with more clergy today than ever before.
During the first half of the 20th Century, the mainline was on the rise. In raw numbers, these churches nearly doubled in size from from the 1930s to 1960s. After leveling off during the 1960s, membership in mainline churches began to decline.
– See more at: http://tobingrant.religionnews.com/2015/06/02/mainline-decline-depends-on-what-youre-counting/#sthash.lrcH1rur.dpuf
In todays rapidly changing secular world, we need to hear and digest the Word of God more than ever.
Though this seems like a reasonable argument, based on statistics, I’m not sure that it really is one. My own PCUSA church, which I think is surely in a state of decline from its past glories, is about to take on two co-pastors, in place of one, dividing the one salary between them. And it will have a parish associate, at some low rate of pay, perhaps on an hourly basis. Three pastors, essentially for one salary, which is about all that the church can pay. Does that argue for the health of the denomination? And what of the many PCUSA churches that have too few members to hire clergy at all? I don’t think this statistic means what the blogger thinks it means. I think it just means that people continue going into a field, long after their prospects for success in that field become dim.