The ACC has released its 2009 report. A few observations. . .
Since 1997 there has been an 85% growth in the number of constituents, from 115,912 to 216,203. In the same period the number of churches has grown from 826 to 1108 , a 23% increase. Figures most other denominations can only dream about.
The ACC is growing, but the growth in constituents is considerably greater than the growth in numbers of churches. Therefore ACC churches are on average getting larger.
In the last two years, the growth in the number of constituents has slowed but is still a respectable 10.6%, from 195,488 to 216,203. A net increase of 20,715 people. For the same period there has been a net increase of 31 churches. These figures are interesting as they show that the ACC has grown by a ratio of 710 new people for every one new church.
The trend is clearly towards larger existing churches and a decline in the rate of at which the ACC starts new churches. That trend, if it's not addressed, will lead to a plateau.
1. The ACC continues to grow at a healthy rate, but that rate is slowing.
2. The number of constituents is rising at a faster rate than the number of churches.
3. Average church size is increasing.
If these trends continue the ACC is headed for a plateau. Alternatively the ACC could make an innovative return to tradition. . .