COMPARISON OF YEARS: 1988-2000 (EST.)
World population: 5.13 billion-6.16 bil./Urban population: 43% 48% Christians of all churches: 1.69 bil.-2.13 bil./Evangelicals: 400m.-750m./Christian churches: 2.5m.-6.8m. Moslems: 888m.-1084m./Buddhists: 316m.-386m./Han Chinese: 967m.-1180m./Animists: 208m.-253m. (Sources: AD-2000 Research Task; Niyi Gbade; Bob Waymire; Ralph Winter; David Barrett; Patrick Johnstone)
EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANITY HAS EXPLODED in the last 30 years. From 1975 to 1995 alone,...it has increased by 410 million and thereby almost quadrupled in half a generation. The total now stands at 560 million, up from 150 million in 1975. Reliable sources say that around 94,000 people are currently becoming Christians each day. The number of Evangelicals is growing 3 times as fast as the world population The fact that an ever growing percentage of the world population are Evangelical Christians is something which can no longer be overlooked... Conservative estimates made by David Barrett (Atlanta), the leader of the Statistics working group of the Lausanne Movement and publisher of the World Christian Encyclopaedia, show that Evangelical Christians make up around 10 percent of the world population of 5.6 billion.
DEVELOPMENT OF EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANITY: COMPARISON OF THE WEST AND THE TWO-THIRDS WORLD (2/3W) The West includes Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. The Two- Thirds World (2/3W) is everything else.
Year Total West 2/3W (in Millions)
EVANGELICALS AS PERCENTAGE OF POPULATION (1995)
EUROPE: Switzerland 2.1, Germany 1.8, England 6.0, Rumania 9.0, Austria 0.6, France 0.63, Italy 0.6, Spain 0.34
CENTRAL AMERICA: Guatemala 43.0, El Salvador 53.6, Saint Vincent 24.9
SOUTH AMERICA: Brazil 25.0 Argentina, 7.0, Chile 21.6
AFRICA: Central African Republic 28.0, Kenya 26.5, Egypt 0.7, Ethiopia 9.6, Nigeria 14.0, Malawi 8.4, Uganda 24.9, Zaire 17.6
ASIA: China ca. 10, South Korea 25, Brunei 1.17, Singapore 3.6, India 0.8
(Source: AD-2000 Research; David Barrett; Lance Lambert/Dr. Jonathan Chao; DAWN Research.)
EVANGELICALS VS. GREAT COMMISSION CHRISTIANS
From: Jay Gary <firstname.lastname@example.org> > CORRECTION ON LAST WEEK'S EVANGELICAL STATISTICS
> From: <email@example.com> > ...FridayFax; our figures do not relate to "evangelical" believers, > but rather to Evangelicals, a different category. We measure > Evangelicals as a traditional, historical movement (people who call > themselves Evangelical, or who are committed to Evangelical > churches"--WCE, note the big "E", not the little "e"), which is not > the same thing. Instead, we measure Great Commission Christians > defined as...
Barrett is measuring all believers, whether Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, non-white Indigenous, etc. who hold to the priority of evangelism. Three-fourths of these 705 million are Catholic.
The same thing with the often quoted figure ten years ago by Peter Wagner of 78,000 new Christians a day. More than 2/3rds were Catholics, and they included all new babies being born in Christian families worldwide.
FRIDAYFax CHURCH GROWTH SUPPLEMENT: October 27th, 1995 SMALL CHURCHES ARE MORE EFFECTIVE THAN LARGE CHURCHES:
Surprising result of a worldwide church-growth study. The German church-growth researchers Christoph Schalk and Christian A. Schwarz of the Ecumenical Church Institute (Emmelsbull bei Niebull, Germany) have just completed the first phase of what they call "the largest church-growth research project in history". In the 150,000 DM project, which they financed themselves, over 1,000 churches in 32 countries on all five continents must answer 170 questions. The 4.2 million answers enable for the first time empirical statements about worldwide principles and reasons why churches really grow.
The end of church-growth myths
According to Schwarz, many statements and so-called principles about church growth are not scientifically demonstrable, rather "the result of wishful thinking". He says that many much-loved theories and principles are nothing more than the self-protection mechanisms of stagnant churches which have developed their own theology and theories in self-defence. He continues by saying that some of these baseless theories have already attained "untouchable" status in many circles. Anyone who appreciates scientifically sound work can put these myths aside as a result of the study which will soon appear in book form.
Quality is measurable
Decades of church-growth research have brought 8 areas or elements of every local church to light, by which the quality of churches can be readily compared. These so-called "8 basic principles", which interact strongly with each other, should not be viewed singly, are as follows:
1. Goal-oriented leadership
2. Gift-oriented teams
3. Passionate spirituality
4. Functional structures
5. Inspiring services
6. Holistic house groups
7. Needs-oriented evangelism
8. Love-filled relationships
SOME FIRST RESULTS FROM THE STUDY
Small churches are on average better churches. The study shows small churches (less than 100 members) to have a quality factor of 52 (50 is the overall average), whereas large churches (more than 300 members) have an average quality factor of 48.
Small churches are evangelistically 16 times more effective than mega-churches
Small churches with less than 100 members (average in the study: around 50) have won on average 32 new members in the last 5 years (which makes 38% of the total membership), large churches of over 1000 (average of the study: 2,856) have won an average of 112 (4% of their total membership). The studied large churches were on average around 57 times the size of the small churches. Thus statistically, small churches would appear to be 16 times as effective at winning new members as mega-churches. Two 200-member churches generally win twice as many people for Jesus as a single 400-member church.
We need to distance ourselves from our false fixation with the model character of large churches. Large churches are not only evangelistically less effective than small ones, but also hinder long-term initiative ("Just do it like us, and you'll see the same results!") It is much more important to observe the principles which function worldwide and can be locally applied. The study shows that the best evangelistic strategy is the cooperation of large and small churches with the aim of multiplying mostly small churches with a balanced measure of quality and quantity.
Source: Christian A. Schwarz Fax +49-4665-252 and Christoph Schalk Fax/Tel +49-931-29110, CompuServe 100045,1626