Church Members Are Getting Much Older (The Real Stat and What It Means)

Episode #795
April 4, 2023
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Most churches are aging. But how much? Is there a looming generational crisis? Thom and Sam tackle this topic in this week’s episode.

Is the median age of a church member higher or lower than the median age in the United States? Much higher! The US population has a median age of 39 years old, while most denominations have a median age of congregants between 50 and 60 years old.

From our longitudinal research, we’ve found over half (54%) of active adult church members are 60 years old or older. What are the implications?

1. An automatic generation gap exists between church and community.

2. Most churches will feel “behind the times” because of the age gap.

3. Older is not worse. Younger is not better. But most churches will grow via younger generations, not older generations.

4. The older the church, the harder it is to reach the next generation.

5. A younger pastor is not a silver bullet.


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