Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Bad News About the Good News

Up until now there have been several dioceses that have consistently grown by any measure (SC, Tennessee etc). The big story of 2007 is that no one grew. Atlanta, where I live, has coasted on a rising tide of immigrants from other parts of the country, some percentage of whom were Episcopalians. This resulted in some pretty statistics for a while.

I think, from a membership standpoint, 2007 will be a watershed year for the Episcopal Church. Absent some bold actions, the negatives for growth (aging membership, defections and lack of children) are going to outnumber the positives (defections from other denominations).

Two of the negatives (lack of children and aging) are going to result in an accelerated rate of decline over the years unless something happens to reverse them.

From a purely economic/business point of view, TEC is in almost exactly the same position as Sears. No new customers, existing customers are leaving (whether by going to another store or dying), huge fixed costs, and the goods are perceived as unattractive by potential customers. Further, much as Sears has backed off of or eliminated long standing policies (the Craftsman guarantee springs to mind), the Episcopal Church has rendered whole areas of belief optional.

The bottom line is this, if we want to buy crappy tools or shoddy clothing, we don't have to go to Sears. Wal-Mart is cheaper. Likewise, if I want false teaching, dubious logic or bad music, I have a tv, with satellite no less. No church membership is required.

{H/T Underground Pewster}

1 comment:

.....CLIFFORD said...

Low Expectations. Every Day.

Can't wait for the opening of our local 'Kate's Club'...