Finding a Passion for Growing America’s Churches

Nearly 2,400 churches nationwide closed their doors last year

Nearly 2,400 churches nationwide closed their doors last year

There is a growing gap between those who attend church on a regular basis and those who do not.  In my community alone, there are over 91,000 people in an 8-mile radius not connected to God,  and I have observed across the country a near epidemic in the lack of church growth and church attendance in the last few years.
The facts prove a need: Nearly 2,400 churches nationwide closed their doors last year, and in 2000, the estimated number of churches in the U.S. was 331,000, with an average attendance of 127 people.  90% of all U.S. churches have an attendance of 300 or less, and last year the average church growth was -1%.

Some Reasons for the lack of growth are:
• Weak or wrong leader
• Unclear purpose
• Unidentifiable process
• Style not matching demographics
• No vision
• Weekend services lacking excellence and relevance
• Lacking strategic plan for both growth and discipleship
• Poor communication skills

What can we do to reverse this trend? Larger and/or growing churches can partner with churches that are struggling and want to grow. By empowering these churches you are helping to reach the lost exponentially across the country.
Smaller, stagnant or shrinking churches can seek out mentors with proven track records and ask for guidance.  Search for the help you need in order to help your church grow and to reach more people for Christ.

It should be each one of our goals to see every church in the country thriving, growing and making an impact in the community around them. “Raising the national average of church attendance” has become my Passion, and I pray it is a passion that is contagious.

Until next Time,

Chris Sonksen

“The religious community is essential, for alone our vision is too narrow to see all that must be seen. Together, our vision widens and strength is renewed.”                                                                              Mark Morrison-Reed

Chris Sonksen is a celebrated Motivational Speaker and Published Author; the Lead Pastor at one of America’s fastest growing churches (South Hills Church in Corona California); and the founding member of Celera Church Strategy Group. Celera offers pastor support, teaching, training and mentoring programs that equip pastors who want to learn how to grow church attendance through evangelism using proven church growth techniques.


About Chris Sonksen

Chris Sonksen is the founder and Lead Pastor of South Hills Church and has an exceptional ability to inspire both secular and non-secular audiences. Under his leadership, South Hills has experienced phenomenal growth and in just a few short years has grown from a handful of people to nearly 3000 in attendance today. Today South Hills has become a thriving, multi-service and multi-site church. Chris has a magnetic, captivating and humorous style for motivating and inspiring all audiences. As a motivational speaker, he has spoken both nationally and internationally in companies such as Verizon, Securitas and Home Depot, and there is no doubt that by applying his teachings, his audience will improve the quality of their lives! Chris is the author of two books In Search of Higher Ground and Handshake. Chris is the founder of Celera Church Strategy Group an organization with an unwavering commitment to excellence in all things, with the goal to “raise the national average of church attendance,” by equipping church leaders with resources and coaching. Chris brings high-energy focus and a passion for vision and leadership to encourage and equip the local Church. Chris is a native Californian, born in Long Beach and currently resides in Corona with his wife, Laura and their two children, Grace and Aidan.

Posted on June 24, 2009, in Developing Healthy Churches, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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