Central Texas Conference Churches Approach Two Consecutive Years of Growth
February 26, 2020
EZRA Checkout numbers confirm monthly VitalSigns growth data
The mission and Wildly Important Goal (WIG) of the Central Texas Conference (CTC) is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. As a conference, we believe that the best way to accomplish that Wildly Important Goal is through the local churches of the CTC. And thanks to the local churches’ dedication to our mission, some risk-taking/out-of-the-norm ideas to open up new ways for new people to meet Jesus and, in no small part, the leading of the Holy Spirit, the Central Texas Conference continues its trajectory of growth. For the 23rd consecutive month, the conference has grown its average worship attendance numbers year-over-year
According to data provided via the EZRA checkout reports (typically average worship attendance and profession of faith data is pulled from month VitalSigns reporting), CTC churches grew their average worship attendance just a tick less than 1 percent in 2019. While the rate of growth slowed from 2018’s blistering pace of 4 percent, more churches reported year-over-year growth than in 2018 – 47 percent of churches in 2019 vs 2018’s 44 percent.
Churches with New Faith Communities again proved to be a primary driver of the growth in average worship attendance. Sixty percent of NFC’s posted year-over-year growth, with many having double digit growth numbers – some as high as 40 percent. This data continues to reinforce the idea that creating new places for new people is vital to achieving our mission.
Growing average worship attendance is exciting in any climate; however, it is particularly outstanding in light of the denominational challenges that have faced the church since the called 2019 General Conference.
The EZRA “checkout” report also identified a significant area of focus going forward in that the data showed that Professions of Faith were down in 2019. While every single profession of faith is cause for celebration, the 1,989 professions last year did fall short of our conference goal of 2,326 – totals that indicate a need to continue and even ratchet up our conference-wide emphasis on professions of faith in 2020 and beyond.
“We see and hear stories nearly every day of how lives are being transformed all across the conference by the ministries of our local churches – especially those churches with New Faith Communities,” said Bishop Mike Lowry. “Our WIG is working. Disciples of Jesus Christ are being made throughout the conference. Now is not the time to pause. Now, more than ever, our communities need vital, vibrant, growing congregations who are committed to our mission.”