The ‘Graying’ of Oldline Churches

by John Dart, Christian Century

Amid their “slow but general retreat” this decade in terms of financial health and membership, the oldline Protestant churches are especially hampered by the aging of their memberships, a new study says.

22 percent of mainline churches surveyed reported that at least half of their members were over 65, whereas only 6 percent of evangelical and Roman Catholic churches reported the same.

“The more seniors, the lower a congregation’s spiritual vitality on average, the poorer its financial health, the less clarity about purpose, the less openness to change and the more conflict,” said David Roozen, director of the Hartford Institute for Religion Research.

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