“…there is one other force in the right that is not political, but Godly – it is revival. Growing churches, growing ministries. The church of the left is shrinking…“
Brad makes a point in this posting on his blog that I’ve seen others people make as well. And I’ve seen Susan Russell and folks on the opposite end of the spectrum making a counter-claim that their churches are the ones that are growing.
The problem is that, at this point, all we have is anecdotal evidence. I’ve not seen any hard numbers teased out in a way that makes sense.
If we could extract average-sunday-attendance numbers over maybe 5 years from the parochial reports and then work out some way of identifying which end of the spectrum is represented by which congregation… And then normalize all that against the background population growth of their communities and the size of their naves, we might have something really worth thinking about.
(We’d need to normalize them against population growth because a parish just holding its own in the Pittsburgh region may be actually doing extraordinarily well in a declining community versus a parish in a region where the community is rapidly growing. We should include the size of the nave because once you’ve filled the building, more growth requires more planning and happens more slowly.)
I wonder if Kirk Hadaway in the Church Center would have a way to get such numbers put together? The hardest part would be the figuring out where to put various congregations on the present political spectrum. I don’t think that the aggregate diocesan data is granular enough to be of much use.
Anyhow. I’d be very curious to look at the numbers. I don’t know if you can necessarily draw a conclusion about which side God is on from the results – in fact I rather doubt it – but it would be interesting to see all the same.
Read the rest here: Drell’s Descants » So, What Really Happened To The Episcopal Church