Skip to comments.United Methodist Members Dying Faster than Americans
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.
When you avg in a homo’s 20 yr short lifespan it tends to lower the overall avg.
Pray for America
My neighbors used to be members of a Methodist church, but they quit - saying they had become too liberal.
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.
Pinging to you.
In a pinch, maybe the UMC could try a little Christianity.
Notice they left out Jesus. Going big tent is turning them into a pup tent.
I notice that the tactic to grow the church was “new and diverse” members... instead of, oh, I don’t know, preaching the Bible?
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?
(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.
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.
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.
The UMC is dead; they just haven’t buried it yet.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Man, that's ironic.