For many years, Len Wilson, who currently serves as the Creative Director at St. Andrews United Methodist Church in the Frisco area, has pulled together available data to identify the Top 25 Fastest Growing Large United Methodist Churches.
We were pleased to make that list in his 2015 edition of this study. At that time he identified First Methodist Mansfield as the 23rd largest congregation in Methodism.
Len just released his 2017 edition and. This year he added a new category to his research by identifying ten churches that have experienced the highest level of sustained growth over the period of the last ten years. In introducing this data, he notes that when it comes to our larger United Methodist congregations,
Among the top 200 in overall size, the average annual growth rate is under 1%; among the top 100, it is 3%.
First Methodist Mansfield was not on the list of top 25 fastest growing but we were #5 on the list of those churches who have experienced the highest average of sustained growth over the past decade.
Len summarizes his findings with this note.
When analyzed on an annual basis over a 10-year period, it’s clear how incredibly difficult it is to maintain a sustained high annual growth rate. Only 5 churches in American United Methodism have been able to maintain a 10% or higher annual growth rate over the past decade.
I had no idea that our church was one of only five United Methodist churches to have experienced the healthy and sustained growth that we have seen. At the same time, I am not surprised by any trend that would further affirm what I know to be true which is our congregation’s ongoing commitment to our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ who will love God, love others, and serve the world.
You hear me say often that everything we do, we do together.
This is your success and I hope you feel a sense of pride in the vitality of our faith family even as we look towards what God will do in the next decade of our life together.
To read Len’s full post, click here.