August 2019 – A recent study by Lifeway Research reveals concerns and hopes among Protestant pastors about the future of the church. The study shows that 40% are concerned about reaching the next generation, 16% about a lack of discipleship, and 11% about a decline in interest in matters of faith.
Still, many pastors are optimistic. The study shows that while weekly worship attendance has fluctuated in the past, 79% anticipate that it will increase in the next five years. Concerning young adult (age 18-29) attendance, 72% anticipate their increasing attendance.
When addressing ethnic diversity within the church, 62% of pastors said diversity has remained the same in recent years. However, that same number believe diversity attendance will increase.
The majority of pastors say ministry in their community has grown and is anticipated to grow, and denominational involvement has stayed and is anticipated to stay the same.