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United Methodist Members Dying Faster than Americans
Christian Post ^ | 7/5/2009 | Audrey Barrick

Posted on 07/05/2009 7:18:08 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

Offering a new perspective on the reality of aging denominations, The United Methodist Church studied the death rates of Methodists and the general American population and found that the church is dying faster.

The death rates for members of the nearly 8 million-member denomination are about a third higher than the national average, according to the "Pockets of 'Youthfulness' in an Aging Denomination" report.

In 2005, the United Methodist death rate was 134 percent of the U.S. death rate among those 15 years and older.

Among UMC's 62 annual conferences, or regional bodies, in the United States, 34 of them (representing 41 percent of UMC membership) reported death rates 20 percent or higher than their general population.

"There is no future for The United Methodist Church in the United States unless we can learn to reach more people, younger people and more diverse people,” said the Rev. Lovett Weems, director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership, which compiled the report, as reported by the United Methodist News Service.

The graying and declining membership has led to numerous multi-million dollar ad campaigns in an effort to reach more people, particularly young ones.

"Rethink Church" is the United Methodist Church's newest campaign targeting 19- to 34-year-olds who may not be familiar with the church or who are seeking to make their lives more meaningful.

More than $20 million in ads are being launched over the next four years.

"Reaching new populations – which tend to be younger and more diverse than traditional United Methodist constituents – needs to be a high priority," Weems told UMNS.

According to the Lewis Center for Church Leadership, members in mainline denominations were younger than the general U.S. population in the 1960s. But over the last several decades, membership has continuously grown older.

While death rates may not be exact indicators of age, the Center – which set out to examine age trends in the United Methodist Church – pointed out that they do help show patterns that should correspond generally to age, considering that 75 percent of deaths in recent years occurred among people aged 65 and older.

The Lewis Center recommends that United Methodist churches not only reach new populations, but also begin new congregations as they tend to reach younger people at a higher rate than existing churches.


TOPICS: Mainline Protestant; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: elderly; religiousleft; umc; unitedmethodist

1 posted on 07/05/2009 7:18:08 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

When you avg in a homo’s 20 yr short lifespan it tends to lower the overall avg.

Pray for America


2 posted on 07/05/2009 7:19:38 PM PDT by bray (Rope & Chains)
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To: SeekAndFind

My neighbors used to be members of a Methodist church, but they quit - saying they had become too liberal.


3 posted on 07/05/2009 7:21:49 PM PDT by alicewonders (Sarah Palin is the face of America's future.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Seems like the same response as the R’s - - become more “diverse” instead of getting back to basics.

That’s the death knell for both.


4 posted on 07/05/2009 7:30:10 PM PDT by iceskater (Michelle Obama to America - "Let them wear Keds!")
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To: xzins

Pinging to you.


5 posted on 07/05/2009 7:31:28 PM PDT by iceskater (Michelle Obama to America - "Let them wear Keds!")
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To: iceskater

In a pinch, maybe the UMC could try a little Christianity.


6 posted on 07/05/2009 7:32:10 PM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: SeekAndFind

Notice they left out Jesus. Going big tent is turning them into a pup tent.


7 posted on 07/05/2009 7:32:41 PM PDT by armymarinemom (My sons freed Iraqi and Afghan Honor Roll students.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I notice that the tactic to grow the church was “new and diverse” members... instead of, oh, I don’t know, preaching the Bible?


8 posted on 07/05/2009 7:34:07 PM PDT by DesScorp
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To: armymarinemom

They went “big tent” back in the 50’s and 60’s...of cours,e that lead to disaster, because, why are people going to go to church to lap up the liberalism they can get for much less aggravation, cost and time?


9 posted on 07/05/2009 7:43:41 PM PDT by Boiling Pots (B. Hussein Obama: The final turd George W. Bush laid on America)
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To: SeekAndFind
Growing up Methodist in North Dakota a good experience.
I loved Sunday School. The Methodist ministers were great and did all the things good minister do: gave good sermons (not political speeches), visited the sick, participated in community service projects, ran Sunday school. I remember two things about the Methodist Church-they had women ministers-ours was a missionary to the Philippines and they did not drink.
But at least it was okay to dance.

(Some of the conservative Lutheran denominations prohibited dancing-the devil's work you know).

Once the Church moved in a different direction, supporting Mugabe for example, I left. I only attended church when I was home and went with my then elderly parents.

10 posted on 07/05/2009 7:44:01 PM PDT by Maine Mariner
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To: DesScorp

This has been going on for decades. The Council of Bishops has received survey after survey explaining that membership is dwindling because Biblical doctrine is dwindling. They cannot imagine and consistently reject such nonsense. Liberalism Must be true, they insist. It just must be true.


11 posted on 07/05/2009 7:44:48 PM PDT by Louis Foxwell (0 is the son of soulless slavers, not the son of soulful slaves.)
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To: bray

A building mostly empty but for post-menopausal women in polyester pants and Mr Rogers sweaters, and a sprinkling of older neutered males sitting passively. Automaton liturgy and a sermonette from a lady pastor about giving Hershey kisses to mother earth so that she’ll have a better self-esteem.

I can’t understand why millions have left for other churches and the remaining ones are dying off. It’s a great mystery.


12 posted on 07/05/2009 7:47:13 PM PDT by lurk
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To: alicewonders

The UMC is dead; they just haven’t buried it yet.


13 posted on 07/05/2009 7:57:15 PM PDT by pankot
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To: Amos the Prophet

It’s not just the membership declining. We have 2 friends who were ministers who have left. Through them I have met 3 others who have also left.
No crisis of faith on their part, plain unhappiness with the governance and direction the church is taking.


14 posted on 07/05/2009 7:57:28 PM PDT by kalee (01/20/13 The end of an error.... Obama even worse than Carter.)
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To: Maine Mariner

I occasionally attend my elderly mother’s Episcopal parish. She is in an orthodox safe parish but under a liberal bishop. She hates what has happened nationally.
My husband and I attend a traditional Anglican parish. We left the Episcopal Church long ago, we saw the handwriting on the wall.


15 posted on 07/05/2009 8:01:30 PM PDT by kalee (01/20/13 The end of an error.... Obama even worse than Carter.)
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To: kalee

I would never want to be a methodist minister, other than my issues with their doctrine they are notorious for having a pastor at a church for a few years, and then just up and moving them with little notice repetatively... just about the time the congregation is used to the minister/pastor they are ordered to move with little to no notice...

It keeps the rank and file in line if they never have a base behind them to challenge the nonsense.


16 posted on 07/05/2009 8:06:21 PM PDT by HamiltonJay
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To: SeekAndFind

The Methodist church has been advertising on television for at least 10 yrs but I have yet to see one featuring God.

The biggest problem with the Methodists is that there are no firm beliefs, there is no real doctrine and little to no theology. It lacks the emotionalism of many denominations, it has no identity because it has no concrete beliefs, I think even the belief in God is optional.

I was raised Methodist, I started calling it the Methodist Social Club. I finally woke up and became a Catholic.


17 posted on 07/05/2009 8:07:23 PM PDT by tiki (True Christians will not deliberately slander or misrepresent others or their beliefs)
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To: Maine Mariner

My sense is that, among mainline Protestants, UMC congregants in the USA especially have been dramatically more traditional than UMC clergy for the last sixty years.


18 posted on 07/05/2009 8:13:17 PM PDT by utahagen
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To: kalee

A traditional Anglican church was started about 2 years ago.

My wife and I were married in the Epsicopal Church about 16 years ago. The priest was retired military and a great guy.

Good sense of humor-growing up Methodist-we called our ministers Rev Jim or Pastor Harry. I was the only non Espiscopalian in a meeting with the priest. I called him Pastor Bob, no one said anything until the priest broke out laughing-he thought it was so funny to be called Pastor Bob-to this day he kids me about it. But then as a Methodist I went to my uncle’s Catholic mass funeral and went up for communion.


19 posted on 07/05/2009 8:16:21 PM PDT by Maine Mariner
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To: SeekAndFind
"Rethink Church" is the United Methodist Church's newest campaign

Man, that's ironic.

20 posted on 07/05/2009 8:17:21 PM PDT by Minn (Here is a realistic picture of the prophet: ----> ([: {()
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To: SeekAndFind
"Rethink Church" is the United Methodist Church's newest campaign targeting 19- to 34-year-olds who may not be familiar with the church or who are seeking to make their lives more meaningful.

Doomed. Because it's not about making anybody's life "more meaningful". It's about losing it.

Screw the programs and the "rethinking" in the same old new way. Without gimmicks, without powerpoint or movie clips or any other seduction of the culture, preach the law in it's full condemning strength. Then preach the gospel -- Jesus dying for sin and rising on the third day.

21 posted on 07/05/2009 8:26:51 PM PDT by Lee N. Field (2)How many things are necessary for thee to know,..? the first, how great my sins and miseries are;)
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To: SeekAndFind

Big religion is like Big Government.. They want you to be dependent on them for Life.


22 posted on 07/05/2009 8:27:09 PM PDT by divine_moment_of_facts
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To: SeekAndFind
LOL, we got married in a first united methodist church in our community. The big fish in the congregation insulted me at a swim party, then when I brought it up to the minister he insulted me again in front of the minister. We at that point picked up our children and left the church.

Then, at a neighborhood restaurant where my sisters were dining, the booth behind them was seated a man and the new female minister of the church. The minister and her male lunch partner were discussing myself and my family being heathens and how we needed to be spiritually 'saved" My sisters called me up and I in turn called the minister and informed her that gossip is a sin and how dare they discuss myself and my family in a public forum.

23 posted on 07/05/2009 8:32:37 PM PDT by television is just wrong (one bad ass mistake America!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: tiki

I have a friend who recently left the Catholic church for the Methodist....I think for the church socials.


24 posted on 07/05/2009 8:33:38 PM PDT by lonestar (Obama is turning Bush's "mess" into a catastrophe.)
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To: Lee N. Field

Whenever a liberal minister talks about Jesus’ forgiving people’s sins, I remind him(her) that Jesus said “Go ye, and sin no more.”. He did not say “Party on! Dude!”.


25 posted on 07/05/2009 8:36:43 PM PDT by reg45 (Be calm everyone. The idiot children are in charge!)
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To: HamiltonJay

A move about every 3 years is the complaint I have heard from our friends. Just about the time they have sorted out the pastor flock relationship and are functioning well, bam they switch them out. I would not like it either.


26 posted on 07/05/2009 8:40:14 PM PDT by kalee (01/20/13 The end of an error.... Obama even worse than Carter.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Instead of worrrying about age/diversity and other demographic factors, how about UMC looks at how they are appealing to souls? How they are ‘selling’ faith in Christ?

Guess ‘our hearts, our minds, and our doors are always open’ didn’t work? Frankly, I thought it was a smack to traditional Christians and an ‘open’ invitation to building its ‘gay’ community.

We’d go to pre-service discussion groups at our local UMC church/community center; the liberal bent drove me out real fast. There was almost a physical ‘looking down the nose’ at anyone who didn’t go along with the current liberal pap. That particular church was quite conservative until about 10 years ago when it and the ‘hood turned almost on a dime. Sad.


27 posted on 07/05/2009 8:42:50 PM PDT by EDINVA (A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul -- G. B. Shaw)
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To: Maine Mariner

We left the Episcopal Church for a Continuing Traditional Anglican Church when our children were young. They are both adults now. We were members of a cathedral in a large city. Homosexuals were beginning to make their presence known. When we left homosexual behavior during the sign of peace at evening prayer was being referred to as the “grope of peace”. It was just not a place to raise children.
I have been happy where we are, but I miss the music. :)


28 posted on 07/05/2009 8:48:03 PM PDT by kalee (01/20/13 The end of an error.... Obama even worse than Carter.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Are they dying or leaving.

They need to check out the Catholic Church.


29 posted on 07/05/2009 8:56:39 PM PDT by Salvation (With God all things are possible.)
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To: kalee

*8It’s not just the membership declining. We have 2 friends who were ministers who have left. Through them I have met 3 others who have also left.
No crisis of faith on their part, plain unhappiness with the governance and direction the church is taking.**

When the ministers start leaving like this, a denomination is in big trouble.


30 posted on 07/05/2009 8:58:33 PM PDT by Salvation (With God all things are possible.)
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To: kalee
As I recall it the Methodist church went into steep decline when they absorbed the Fidelity ministerial retirement package and gave them a seat at the table.

Next thing you know the otherwise mamby-pamby, take no strong positions Methodist church had become the "say nothing, be nothing" church.

Yup, they were better off before improved retirement opportunities for the clergy. At least there was turnover.

31 posted on 07/05/2009 9:03:44 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Mr. Lucky

I “re-thought church” by leaving the UMC after actually hearing and believing the gospel and realizing where I hadn’t been hearing it for the previous 27 yrs. That was 17 years ago now.


32 posted on 07/05/2009 9:07:24 PM PDT by Gil4
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To: SeekAndFind
Have attended a UMC for many years. A little over a year ago we got a new [obviously liberal] female pastor. She started off with the "need to reach out to diverse groups" spiel mentioned in the article. She admonished the congregation for being "too white" and held up another local community church as a great example because they were reaching out to gays.

I stuck it out for a little while, but when she admittedly prepared her post New Year's sermon from Time Magazine, that was the last straw. Haven't been back since. Whatever happened to preparing sermons from the Bible? What's next - a sermon prepared from the Communist Manifesto?

RIP UMC

33 posted on 07/05/2009 9:16:02 PM PDT by MCH
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To: SeekAndFind

It’s interesting that those denominations that tried to be more progressive, liberal and ‘relevant’, in order to attract young people, have done exactly the opposite. The young who are yearning for religion are taking a look at the liberal churches and rejecting them for churches with more real religion, which are, ironically, less liberal.


34 posted on 07/05/2009 9:35:28 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: Mr. Lucky

Nah, all they have to do is make God hip and church cool. Yeah, that will do it. Like that isn’t what every other mega-church on every corner is already doing.

God’s truth is what brings people to church; not the rock bands or the puppet shows.


35 posted on 07/05/2009 10:17:11 PM PDT by Pining_4_TX
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To: iceskater; P-Marlowe

Thanks for the ping. It is an aging denomination, but in those areas proclaiming Jesus and making disciples for Jesus Christ there are churches bursting at the seams.

Surprisingly, the majority of the elderly congregations are in small towns and villages around America in places that one would consider the bible belt. It is not denominational shenanigans of our gradually defeated liberals that causes them to age. It is their absolute unwillingness to step out and tell others about Jesus.

A potluck is not an evangelistic campaign.

Where we’re right we’re very, very right, but where we’re wrong we’re in a coma.


36 posted on 07/05/2009 10:55:49 PM PDT by xzins (Chaplain Says: Jesus befriends those who seek His help.)
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To: MCH

“Whatever happened to preparing sermons from the Bible?”

According to the Bible, women are not to be preaching in the first place. - 1 Timothy 2:12


37 posted on 07/06/2009 5:43:36 AM PDT by paulist
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To: alicewonders

Ditto! I go to a Lutheran Church now - that is NOT liberal.


38 posted on 07/06/2009 5:44:58 AM PDT by mathluv ( Conservative first and foremost, republican second - GO SARAHCUDA!!!!)
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Christians YEARN for teaching that is clear about right and wrong, about good and evil, about holiness and reprobation, and about Man’s need for a Savior. The so-called “mainline denominations” have abandoned that for a social gospel. They fail to realize that love without Christ is really no love at all. If you want the youth to return to church, then pray for revival, submit your body of believers to the Holy Spirit and teach correct doctrine no matter the cost.


39 posted on 07/06/2009 7:41:50 AM PDT by Arkansas Toothpick
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To: kalee

Count me among your list of pastors who have left the flock. I was 15 years in the conference as an elder. Opposition to my ministry by homosexuals in position of authority hastened my departure.


40 posted on 07/06/2009 8:19:07 AM PDT by Louis Foxwell (0 is the son of soulless slavers, not the son of soulful slaves.)
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To: Amos the Prophet

All of the Methodist ex-ministers I have met seem like good, Christian men, stable in marriage, family and employment. The Methodist’s lost when they left.


41 posted on 07/06/2009 8:50:10 AM PDT by kalee (01/20/13 The end of an error.... Obama even worse than Carter.)
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