There is a problem in the Church of Jesus Christ in the United States of America. Scientific pollster George Gallup stated that “North America is the only continent where Christianity is not growing.”1 John and Sylvia Ronsvalle discovered clear trends from 1968-1993 in giving and membership data in twenty-nine mainline denominations; if nothing changes, giving will entirely cease by 2032 and church membership “will fall to zero percent of the U.S. population in less than one hundred years.”2 United Methodist church growth expert George Hunter, III, considered America in 1998 to be the fourth largest mission field in the world.3 There is no county within the United States where the percentage of church attendance is higher than ten years ago.4 Some growth in American churches is deceptive, as between 70-90% of new members are received from other churches. This is not church growth, but the accelerated decline of other churches to the benefit of the receptor church.5
The basic problem facing the United Methodist Church today, as well as many historically influential denominations, is a failure of the majority of churches to thrive; a systemic homeostasis of not making disciples has become normative within the traditional church.6
Sources: From the Project Introduction, http://www.disciplewalk.com/Resources.html. Footnotes can be read there.