One of our main current tasks at FSICLD is research, using Schaeffer's ideas as well as researching his materials, for the purpose to make insights and application for church leaders and pastors to help lead the church into a better more biblical direction.
Jesus' teaching and the New Testament Church make plain that while there is 'the invisible Church', yet the Church is not to be hidden away, in an unseen area, as though it does not matter what men see. What we are called to do upon the basis of the unfinished work of Christ in the power of the Spirit through faith, is to exhibit a substantial healing, individual and then corporate, so that men may observe it. Here too is a portion of the apologetic: a presentation which gives at least some demonstration that these things are neither theoretical nor a new dialectic, but real; not perfect, yet substantial. If we only speak of and exhibit the individual effects of the Gospel, the world, psychologically conditioned as it is today, will explain them away. What the world cannot explain away will be a substantial, corporate exhibition of the logical conclusions of the Christian presuppositions. It is not true that the New Testament presents an individualistic concept of salvation. Individual, yes: we must come one at a time; but it is not individualistic only. First there must be the individual reality, and then the corporate. Neither will be perfect in this life, but they must be real.- Francis A. Schaeffer, (The God Who is There)
- The healthiest churches have an active supportive and trained leadership-spiritual, growing and contented members who are excited about the Gospel.
- The healthiest churches have a high reverence for the Bible and are involved in discipleship and the multiplication of it.
- There is a direct correlation between the decline of small groups, those who actually study the Bible, or a decline of quality small group Bible-based curricula (versus a mere book study) and the decline of evangelism, stewardship, spiritual growth, and leadership participation!
- There is a direct correlation between the decline of personal devotions and personal prayer and Bible study amongst leaders and pastors and the decline of church health, evangelism, stewardship, spiritual growth, and leadership participation!
- American Christians increasingly tend to be more and more isolated from their non-Christian counterparts, in one's family, workplace, and secular society in general. The more one is involved as a Christian, the less influence they have to others in the world for the Gospel.
- Non-Christians, academia, and the media are more and more openly hostile to the Gospel. At the same time, many younger non-Christians (ages 14 to 30) are more receptive to the Gospel message.
- Less than 10% of Reformed and Evangelical churches (not mainline or Catholic) have an evangelism program or plans for one.
- The churches that are growing both numerically and spiritually in fruit and maturity have an active missions program and local outreach.
- The churches that are growing both numerically and spiritually in fruit and maturity have preaching and small groups doing active teaching or expository or exegetical Bible sermons and not simple messages.
- Younger people, 14 to 30-year-olds are seeking a deeper relationship in churches than previous generations. They want relevant worship, deeper Bible studies, preaching that is centered on the Bible and the glorification of Christ, and practical life-relational helps. The dropout rate of 14 to 30 year olds is at an all-time high-50% to 70%. The primary reason is that they want more and the churches they visit do not offer it! The other 30% to 50% drop out because of apathy and indifference, a loss of hope, and the Church cannot fulfill them anymore.
- Why Churches Fail, 1994-1996, 1998- 2006, ongoing
- Pastors Personal Lives, 1992-2007, 2016, ongoing
- Bible Literacy, 1978-1987, 1997-1999, 2004-present
Church Trends, 1978-1982, 1990-2000, ongoing
Why People in Church Fight? 1980-1985, 1995-1998, ongoing
Relevance and of Leadership Training as Compared to Actuality of practice, 1986-1998
- Biblical Stewardship versus Postmodern Thinking, 2001-2004
- Fruit of the Spirit as a Biblical Mandate verses Practice in American Churches 2008- ongoing
Our Main Research Insights for Leading your Church
Research on the Happenings in Pastors' Personal and Church Lives.
So, what is going on with today's servants of the Church?
Since first studying pastors in the late 80's, we are seeing significant shifts in the last 20 years on how pastors view their calling and how churches treat them.
PDF Report with graphs and insights:
Are you willing to take an honest look at some of the reasons why people are not coming to your church?
God's marvelous Church has become culturally irrelevant and even distant from is prime purpose of knowing Him, growing in Him, and worshipping Him by making disciples! This is evidenced by what is going on in our culture and in our church. Most of the statistics tell us that...
Statistics on Pastors (1989-2000 Research)
After over 18 years of researching pastoral trends and many of us being a pastor, we have found (this data is backed up by other studies) that pastors are in a dangerous but needed occupation!
We compared over 1,103 churches for 15 years to what constitutes a healthy church from our other research. The churches surveyed and tracked include reports from 23 denominations. Said earlier research pointed to 44 significant growth factors. We then complied and compared growth and failure rates:
· The Real Issues!
· Patterns that are Visible!
· Opportunities for Growth!