Church Tiers in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference

D. Church Tiers in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference: Average attendance in all United Methodist Churches in the United States is ninety-seven; half have an average worship attendance of fifty-one or less.[1] Churches in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference can be grouped into three tiers based on size measured by average worship attendance:

Illinois Great Rivers Conference Churches: 899 reporting attendance >0 in 2006.

Large churches >300  = 39 churches/4.3% w/20,161 in worship     611 baptisms (1/33).

Mid-size tier 100-200  = 171 churches/19% w/27,229 in worship    941 baptisms (1/29).

Small church tier <100 = 708 churches/77% w/27,041 in worship   810 baptisms (1/33).[2]





[1] The quote is a selection from David O. Kueker’s Fuller Seminary Doctor of Ministry project submitted in September, 2007, entitled Diagnosis, Dialogue, and Decision: A Threefold Process of Revitalization For the Illinois Great Rivers Conference.
It is shared here in recognition of its 12th Anniversary along with comments to update and provide perspective on the material. The original project was a Training Manual/Study Guide of three Seminars supported by three chapters of research and an Introduction. The material is available for download at In 2009 it was provided for purchase as a softcover book entitled Designing Discipleship Systems: Christian Disciple Making For Any Size Church, Any Theology through

[2][3] [4][5] [6][7] [8]

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Please review the page How and Why We Use Quotes.

[1]The United Methodist Newscope 33, no. 7 (18 February 2005).

[2]Illinois Great Rivers Conference, Official Journal-Yearbook 2007 (Springfield, IL: Illinois Great Rivers Conference, forthcoming).

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