Data Sources

Facts on Twin Cities churches & culture 2019
This site >Mission: Make Disciples >Data Sources


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 ... 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.

City Vision

Dr. Rev. John A. Mayer and his service organization, City Vision, have 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.

City Vision provides the summary statistics appearing in Church Scouts Briefings with respect to church counts, attendance and denominational affiliation. City Vision data is used in Briefing 5 (Denominations), Briefing 6 (Muslims), Briefing 7 (Attendance) and Briefing 8 (Multisites).

Upon request, City Vision also prepares and updates custom reports as needed by churches, church planters and Christian organizations. It also offers consulting services to help with interpretation and application of the data.

Street Interviews

Street Interviews is the name of a new 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 – over 100 young people on staff – with deep roots in the Millennial and Gen Z culture. They are able to get Millennnials to open up in candid dialog in ways that is impossible for most research organizations, pastors and Christian leaders.

The operating entity – Street Interviews – is positioned as a new type of Christian research – at the random, raw, visceral level – as described in The New Piece.

This is the most actionable kind of research because it tells WHY in detail – by words, tone and body language – and gives strong signals regarding HOW to communicate.

The pilot project on the streets of Minneapolis in 2017 is reported in Briefing 10 (What Millennials Believe).

An additional 50 random interviews – about the Bible and Jesus – were conducted on Minneapolis streets in summer 2018. Hundreds more are planned for the future.

Interviews will be available in full on this site in the form of transcripts, audio and video. Also, Briefings here will summarize, analyze and make recommendations based on study of the responses.

Listening to each new batch of street interviews can be of great value to pastors and 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.

Church annual reports

Each year, 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 local sources.

Published materials

ChurchFacts examines statistics generated by Barna, Gallup, Pew and other researchers at the national level and often includes some their findings in the Statistics and Briefings on this site.

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.

Consolidated data

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 the data, so reputation, experience and credibility of each source is important criteria.

Statistics reported here should not be regarded as absolute facts but as best estimations of the situation. Data is not used unless it fits the general pattern of information being received from all sources.

However, when ample data is clear and essentially undeniable, ChurchFacts speaks of the findings as fact, even though some readers might find that some conclusions conflict with personal experiences, perceptions or desires.

ChurchFacts makes every effort to be objective and trustworthy. The footings for this ministry are quantified facts, not opinions, wishes or possibilities.

IDEA: Board/council orientation
New person just added to your governing board ... tell new leader about for quick orientation ... makes job easier and decisions better.
Facts on churches and culture