by Carmen Holland

An article in the religion section of USA Today has drawn much attention to North-American Adventism, calling it the "fastest-growing Christian denomination in North America." From the article:

Rest on the Sabbath. Heed Old Testament dietary codes. And be ready for Jesus to return at any moment. If these practices sound quaint or antiquated, think again. They're hallmarks of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the fastest-growing Christian denomination in North America.

Newly released data show Seventh-day Adventism growing by 2.5% in North America, a rapid clip for this part of the world, where Southern Baptists and mainline denominations, as well as other church groups are declining. Adventists are even growing 75% faster than Mormons (1.4 percent), who prioritize numeric growth.

For observers outside the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the growth rate in North America is perplexing.

Read more at USA Today.

Comments


Re: News Alert: Adventists' back-to-basics faith is fastest …
On March 20th, 2011 wfnoel says:

Only 2.5% growth? That's nothing to celebrate when the general population is growing at more than 3%, we're losing 80% of our youth and every time we add one member the general population in the US and Canada grows by 43. Our impact on our communities has become so insignificant that the most likely answers to surveys asking people about us are "Who?" and "Never heard of them."


Re: News Alert: Adventists' back-to-basics faith is fastest …
On March 20th, 2011 JohnB says:

I would be more impressed if there was a breakdown of the background of the accessions to the church. I suspect that it will be found that it is largely from peoples moving into the USA (SDA or those with SDA backgrounds).

This is the pattern in the UK. Indiginous white membership still dropping (10% or less), increase in Carribean membership reducing (high proportion of their children leave the church), whereas the increase in those recently arrived from Eastern Europe, parts of Asia and especially Africa is rocketing. As an example, in one city the number attending went from 30 to 150 in 5 or 7 years!!

Real growth is not relying on importing members from other parts of the world as welcome as they are!

Can anyone prove me wrong? I would like to think so.


Re: News Alert: Adventists' back-to-basics faith is fastest …
On March 20th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

What percentage of new members were already Christians? My bet is that the larger number were already either Catholics or another Christian religion. Which would mean that they were simply changing church affiliation because of SDA doctrines which had little to do with changing major religious affiliation.

When Adventists can begin to show rapid growth in the Muslim or Buddhist or Hindu world, that WILL be big news. Sheep stealing is rapid growth without much radical change.


Re: News Alert: Adventists' back-to-basics faith is fastest …
On March 20th, 2011 wfnoel says:

JohnB,

Everything I've seen says you are correct about most of our church growth being from immigrant groups.


Re: News Alert: Adventists' back-to-basics faith is fastest …
On March 20th, 2011 wfnoel says:

Elaine,

You're touching the real heart of the matter. Growth rates don't matter unless we're expanding the kingdom.

Over the last decade I've noticed a large number of Christian books and magazine articles that basically are expressing fear about Islam. Such expressions of fear reveal a great lack of confidence and an absence of empowerment in Christianity. If we're connected with God, we're supposed to be bold and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Such attitudes of fear are totally the opposite and proof of the absence of the Holy Spirit in our ministries. How can we imagine that our ministries will create new believers if we lack that power. If we want to see growth, we need to be seeking the power that God promises.

Have you read the book "Unchristian?" If not, I hope you will soon because it will really open your eyes to see why America is becoming the greatest mission field in the world.


Re: News Alert: Adventists' back-to-basics faith is fastest …
On March 20th, 2011 amed soliz says:

I personally celebrate any growth. For me this is a stimulus to continue to share with others the “good news”. In our small church we have new members from Miami as well as from other regions (not only immigrants). Some of them came from others faiths including some Jews. Let keep the good job reaching whoever want to hear the “Eternal Gospel”


Re: News Alert: Adventists' back-to-basics faith is fastest …
On April 26th, 2011 hflynn says:

2.5 percent is not good? Because the world is growing at 3 percent? I think 2.5 is pretty good. We are beating most of the other churches in NA. Remember that whatever the 144,000 may mean, it certainly is a minority.

80 percent of our young people leave the church? Could you furnish some data to back up that statement. I say that because anecdotal evidence sometimes is not reliable.

Thank you


Re: News Alert: Adventists' back-to-basics faith is fastest ...
On April 26th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

From the Valuegenesis study:

Dr. Roger Dudley of the Institute of Church Ministries at Andrews University has conducted a ten year study of 1523 young Adventists. In the tenth year the best estimate is that 49% had left the church. These were baptized, committed youth at the start of the study. Of those who remained in the church only 55% attend regularly!

study has shown that 28% are not planning to be in the church when they are 40.

. Reasons Youth Give for Leaving the Church . . .
Misplaced emphasis with non-essentials too important

Academy (church school) disciplinary methods

Preoccupation with organization on the part of leaders

Quality of sermons


Re: News Alert: Adventists' back-to-basics faith is fastest …
On April 26th, 2011 Con says:

Since when has SDA encouraged Old Testament dietary codes?