Thursday, 12 November 2015

Where have all the members gone

This video has a brief analysis of the theological conundrum John Wesley bequeathed to the Methodists as he failed to really distinguish between institutional church and movement within a church. As I indicate in the video there is a disconnect between society, people who self-identify as Methodists and actual church m,embership.
"Because of rapidly rising land values during the last few years, the institution called church has become quite wealthy.
The estimates vary between a half a billion and a billion dollars, although to date the Connexional leaders haven't released the adjusted values for the last year.

Even at the bottom estimate that's a lot of money.

So let's compare it to recent membership data.

The 2013 census says the number of people in the New Zealand population who self declared as Methodists was 97,320.

And for the last decade we have been losing at a rate 2.36% per annum.

But most who claim the name Methodist actually have little to do with the church at all.

How many people go to church and claim membership?

The World Methodist Council lists our total membership as 14736 members, while the Wesleyan Church has 794 members.

Something's going on here.

Somehow or other church has become disconnected with the lives of ordinary people, including the people who claim a Methodist heritage."

There are no obvious answers but the church needs to begin a better analysis of what to do in contemporary society or risk even greater irrelevance.