Shifting Stats

Yes, I’m still using this blog!  Sometimes I lament not using it more, but then I realize, Redeem the Commute is technically a blog, and I’m writing, podcasting and video blogging there every day, so no wonder I have little motivation to write on the side!

That said, I do want to use this site more regularly to post ideas on missional ministry.  Here goes!

I attended a workshop last week, put on by World Vision Canada, called Shifting Stats: Shaking the Church.  In the first half of the afternoon they presented some new Canadian stats of interest to church leaders, and in the second half Bruxy Cavey spoke about how The Meeting House is trying to address our changing culture.

Without any commentary, here are some of the stats I found most interesting.  I will note some of them were presented without enough context – I’d regularly find myself questioning what population was sampled.  They provided us with a booklet outlining their sources, but it would be a lot of work to track down an individual stat’s source!

  • 88% of Canadians profess belief in God
  • 32% attended a Christian church at Christmas
  • Average Sunday attendance at Christian Churches is about half that number
  • ~25% of Canadians claim No Religious Affiliation.  That is up from 16.5% in the previous census.
  • Stats Canada measures with a Religiosity index that includes:* Affiliation
    * Attendance
    * Personal Practice
    * How Important They Consider Religion
  • 40% of Canadians score low on the Religiosity Index
  • 31% score moderately
  • 29% score highly
  • The lowest scores are held by young people
  • 43% of immigrants attend religious services monthly versus 22% of native born Canadians
  • There has been a 25% drop in married families, from 92% to 67% in the last few decades
  • Those who claim No Religious Affiliation:29% of those born between 1967 to 1986
    20% of baby boomers
    12% pre 1946
  • 1/3 of those aged 15-24 have never visited a religious service
    Many teens have parents who have never been in church, have only a vague idea of church meaning
  • Canadians spent 1.5 Billion on Christmas in 2011
    Canadians gave an average of $123 in charitable gifts in 2010
  • Median net worth of a family headed by a single female parent is $14,000 – lowest of any family type

There is obviously lots to ponder here, and I’m doing that actively.  I’m just sharing the numbers for now so you can consider it yourself.

Here is a friend of mine, Connie den Bok, discussing with others some of the stats:

What are the implications for the church here?  Good, bad, or neutral?

Signs to Look For

The Google Street View Car

I developed this list for a workshop at VCP 2012.  They’re signs to listen and watch for in the listening stages of mission:

  • Signs of care or neglect
  • Signs of permanence or transience
  • Signs of community or isolation
  • Signs of faith or hopelessness
  • Signs of poverty or affluence
  • Signs of safety or danger
  • Signs of beauty or despair

Any others?