Everyone knows that most churches are in trouble today, with declining attendance, income, participation and community influence. But what to do?
Decisions made now are crucial to the future life of the church and require deep understanding of what's happening in culture and demographics, and knowing how successful churches are adjusting ministry for the new environment.
The purpose of ChurchFacts is to supply Twin Cities pastors and church leaders with strategic data for making better, bolder, faster decisions ... to help overcome fear of change ... to spot opportunities ... to help churches grow in turbulent times ahead.
ChurchFacts is not an organization in the usual sense. It is not incorporated, has no office, no employees, no bank account.
This is a ministry of Lundborg Foundation (Richard Lundborg, email@example.com), which maintains informal relationships with many Twin Cities church leaders who provide information.
ChurchFacts is non-denominational. It is not affiliated in any way with any church, school, business or other organization. It does not track visitors. It makes no endorsements. It does not accept gifts or advertising.
Started originally as ChurchScouts in 2017, the new name and sharper focus of this site beginning January 2019 is ChurchFacts.
In the modern world, data drives decisions. Usually, right decisions become obvious when there's good data.
The need for church leaders to have good data is particularly important today because of profound cultural and demographic changes chipping away at Christian faith and ministry.
By itself, no individual church has the time, money or expertise to do intensive community research and data gathering, or to monitor other churches.
This site helps meet that need by keeping leaders informed about the Twin Cities' rapidly changing spiritual landscape and how local churches are responding to new conditions.
ChurchFacts exists to promote church growth. It serves churches of all denominations, types and sizes.
ChurchFacts gathers relevant facts wherever found and delivers them objectively to whomever interested without regard to theological positions.
The WHOLE CHURCH of the Twin Cities is comprised of more than 3,400 individual congregations.
It's impossible for anyone to know and visit all these individual churches and hold a composite pricture in mind.
The only way anyone can see the WHOLE CHURCH of the Twin Cities is through statistics and reports from observers.
This site is where church leaders can see the WHOLE CHURCH and track movements of all its major components and influences.
ChurchFacts helps facilitate the concept that all believers here are part of the church of the Twin Cities and should know about each other and work together.
See Benefits section for specific uses for this site in planning and decision-making for church growth.
The reason for ChurchFacts is that most Twin Cities churches are under considerable stress: 86% are stalled or declining, only 14% are growing.
This is more than a dip. This is a long-term accelerating trend, a major paradigm shift, requiring better information and new thinking.
Loss of attendance is a leading indicator of other losses that follow: loss of commitment, loss of income, loss of participation and loss of community influence.
Losing disciples faster than making them is the exact opposite of Jesus' instructions to make disciples.
ChurchFacts is based in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, and focused sharply on Minneapolis, St Paul and its suburbs, a metro area of approximately 3,500,000 people. Primary objective is to gather and analyze all important local information relating to church growth, including impediments, opportunities, strategies and results.
In addition, there is a vast amount of over-arching national data also relevant to the Twin Cities – and affectng the Twin cities – so this data is also incorporated into the facts reported on this site.
ChurchFacts gathers data from many different sources, including City Vision, Street Interviews, church annual reports, published studies, surveys, books, articles and conversations with local pastors and church leaders.
Dr. Rev. John A. Mayer and his service organization, City Vision has been collecting data on Twin Cities churches for more than 20 years.
Among Christian research professionals, City Vision is known internationally as having the most complete and comprehensive information on local churches of any city in the world! City Vision maintains an active database of 3,476 known churches in the Twin Cities.
City Vision publishes a 160-page fact book with tables, charts and graphs with amazing statistical detail on the Twin Cities church scene.
Street Interviews the name of a venture between ChurchFacts and Steiger International for tapping into the thinking of Millennials (ages 18-38) and Gen Zs (under 18), together now comprising the new majority of the U.S. population and the future of the church.
Steiger is a Christian organization with deep roots in the Millennial and Gen Z culture. Its staff is able to get Millennnials to open up in candid dialog in ways that is impossible for most research organizations, pastors and Christian leaders.
Listening to each new batch of street interviews can be of great value to church leaders for keeping current with modern culture ... for programming, evaluation, sermon preparation, teaching, evangelism, counseling and personal effectiveness.
Frequent and varied conversations with pastors and board members of Twin Cities churches, local denomination leaders, parachurch leaders, civic leaders, and others, provide rich resources for this site.
ChurchFacts collects a sampling of annual reports from local churches (Balance Sheets. Operating Statements, attendance reports and commentary).
A study of these reports provides additional information to support, refute or modify findings from other sources.
ChurchFacts examines statistics generated by Barna, Gallup, Pew and other researchers at the national level.
Also, relevant materials from various studies, books and articles found in print and online are incorporated or referenced here.
Books which have considerable relevance and influence are summarized in the Books section of this site.
Everything is happening fast, and sometimes data from a particular source gathered a few years ago needs to be extrapolated to the present time consistent with new data from other sources. Sometimes data from many sources are compiled into a single table or chart. Sometimes a single data point in a series is estimated if the raw number appears to be an obvious error.
If no source citation is given, this usually means that ChurchFacts has consolidated information from multiple sources.
ChurchFacts uses best judgment in assembling and presenting data. There are not adequate resources for verifying all data, so reputation, experience and credibility of each source is important criteria.
Statistics reported here should be regarded as best estimations of the situation. Data is not reported unless it fits the general pattern of information being received from all sources.
ChurchFacts makes every effort to be objective and trustworthy. The footings for this ministry are quantified facts, not opinions, wishes or possibilities.