Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Economist's Analysis of United Methodist Church

Economist Don House, a life-long member of the United Methodist Church (UMC) and chair of that church's Economic Advisory Committee, has projected long-run decline in the UMC in the United States.  His projections help shape denominational budgets, but they are also sparking discussion within the denomination about its future more generally.  This article summarizes some of the issues.  I recommend that you also browse the full report of his analysis here, but do not read it very closely unless you are interested.  Just get a sense of the kind of analysis done.

Some questions for you to think about as you read the article:
  • Why is it useful for churches to have these kinds of projections when planning church operations?
  • What has happened to UMC average worship attendance recently?
  • Why did House say that the UMC is gracefully closing its doors?
  • What does House mean when he said that "the denomination has church buildings that were in the right locations in 1952 but not for today?"

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