Friday, August 04, 2006


The American house church movement is growing in North America. According to a recent Barna survey, which places the house church movement about halfway between the Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention (which is the second-largest denomination in the U.S.), the movement is no longer a “fringe” section of American Christianity.

Here are the results stated in five ways:
* In a typical week, 9 percent of U.S. adults attend a house church.

*In absolute numbers, that 9 percent equals roughly 20 million people.

*In a typical month, about 43 million U.S. adults attend a house church.

*All told, 70 million U.S. adults have at least experimented with participation in a house church.

*Focusing only on those who attend some kind of church, 74 percent of them attend only a traditional church, 19 percent attend both a traditional and a house church, and 5 percent are hard-core “house church only” attendees.

The study counted only attendance at house churches, and did not factor in small groups ("cells", “Home Groups”, etc.) that are part of a traditional church.

Barna predicts that within 20 years, Revolutionaries (those who attend house church or simple churches) will comprise 65-70% of U.S. Christianity, leaving only 30 to 35% meeting in the traditional setting.

These are solid numbers. George Barna, the leading U.S. church pollster and perhaps the most widely quoted Christian leader in America, is the author of the figures quoted. They are based on a four-month scientific survey of 5,013 adults.

As with all Barna Research Group studies, this report employed industry-standard, professional safeguards to ensure tight results. In the case of this specific study, a sampling error of +/-1.8 percent was recorded.


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