I finally got around to tracking down the PC(USA) 2016 membership data, and the results are as I recently predicted — continued precipitous decline.
I’ve updated my Excel file with the 2016 data and generated the associated graphs. Following are a few low-lights.
- Total 2016 membership is 1,482,767, which is now less than half of the 1984 founding value
- 89,893 members were lost in 2016
- This is the fourth-worst total membership loss in PC(USA) history
- The past five consecutive years have the five worst membership losses for all of PC(USA) history, for a total of almost 470,000 lost
- In terms of percent loss for a given year, 2016 was the worst ever, at 5.72% of the 2015 membership
- The PC(USA) extended its consecutive streak (18 years and counting) of bringing in fewer new members each year. Thus, 2016 was, again, the worst ever in this category.
- In terms of ratio between lost to gained members, 2016 was the worst year ever, at 2.63 members lost for every 1 member gained
- in 2016 we have only 57% of the candidates for ministry that we had in 2011
- We gained 17 and lost 196 churches, for a net loss of 179
- Since 2011 the PC(USA) net loss of churches stands at 1015
- For the last five consecutive years the net loss of churches has exceeded 175
- Our Christian education population continues its steep decline
- Approximately 508,000 in 2016
- Approximately 802,000 in 2011
- This is almost a 37% decline between 2011 and 2016
If someone after reviewing this data remains untroubled, then they likely either are in general agreement with the leadership’s destructive direction or are in an impregnable state of denial.
Our leadership will certainly continue down this path of catastrophic decline without the slightest accountability for their utter failure.
The following charts present a representative sample of the above discussed data.