Think On This!

Thursday, June 17, 2021

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Dear Pastors

Think On This!

Something a little different today. Here are a few thoughts I ponder on from to time and they usually hurt my brain. I’d like to share them out loud so that they may stimulate (hopefully) a bit of thinking…..and praying……..and conversation. In fact I’d be quite happy if they hurt your brain as well! Please keep in mind when reading this blog, these eight statements of necessity are generalisations. There are always exceptions and in some cases, stunning exceptions. That said, you may like to take a look at where you sit in relation to these thoughts and ideas. As I say, let them hurt your brain.

  1. Giving. The (newer) contemporary churches receive closer to 10% of net income (tithe) from most members/attenders whereas more traditional churches (Anglican, Baptist, Presbyterian and some Pentecostal) are approximately 5% of net income or less.
  2. Salaries and Wages. Most churches spend as a batting average around 55-65% of weekly offering income for all staffing (employment) costs. Smaller churches are usually closer to 65% or even higher.
  3. Youth Groups. Today in NZ we have the smallest ‘regular’ attendance of teenagers at a church youth group since the 80’s and early 90’s. This is both on a per capita basis AND actual attendances.
  4. The Catholics. The largest congregation that meets in your town or city every Sunday (including Saturday nights) are most likely the Catholic congregations.
  5. Church Closures. Somewhere around 10-15% of churches in NZ should close. That’s about 300-450 churches as we speak.
  6. Church size is relative. A church of say 200 regular attenders in a provincial town like Te Awamutu (pop.13,000) has 1.54% of the town’s population in one church. A church of 200 regular attenders in a city like Hamilton (pop.165,000) has 0.12% of the city’s population in one church. Big difference! You would need a church of 2500 in Hamilton if you were going to match the Te Awamutu example. Many small-medium churches in coastal and rural NZ ‘punch’ well above their weight on a comparative basis. Most residents in these town’s know the church exists and where they are located. Not so in the city.
  7. Largest Churches. The four largest churches (counting all their campuses) in NZ are independent (no denominational affiliation) and are in excess of 5000 people in attendance. They are Life, Arise, City Impact and Church Unlimited.
  8. Strange Utterances. Every arena of life has it’s specific and peculiar language often referred to as jargon. That’s quite normal. However in the contemporary church we have come up with some interesting phrases. Here we go. God is in the house, Next level living, Step into your destiny, [name] is the mother in the house, [name] is the father in the nation, Positioned and purposed, Love on people. Some insiders may get it, but for outsiders it is a total mystery.

And that’s enough for one day. More to come later on.


Dr Elisabeth Taylor is speaking at two mini-seminars titled ‘Sexuality and Gender’ in Hamilton and Tauranga on Thursday 8th July. Information and Registration details here.

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