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National LifeWay Study

Research Report

The percentage of churches that are growing will surprise you.

A new study from Exponential by LifeWay Research discovered that only 30% of U.S. Churches are "adding" to their numbers. Growing churches are characterized by addition, growth, and expansion of impact. These
churches have a strong growth culture with some combination of increasing attendance, staffing,
income, and baptisms. Leadership development and conquering the next growth barriers are often
key priorities in these churches. 30% of all Protestant churches are growing according to the scoring
protocol utilized in this study. Exponential would consider these level 3 churches.

"The study also discovered the percentage of churches subtracting (level 1 churches) to be 35% and plateaued (level 2 churches) to also be 35%."

Exponential developed a simple framework for helping churches think about multiplication. This
framework integrates mathematical truths into five levels: subtraction (Level 1), plateau (Level 2),
addition (Level 3), reproduction (Level 4), and multiplication (Level 5).

The number of churches reproducing (level 4 and 5) is 7% of Protestant congregations in America. From research conducted by Exponential in previous years, strong estimates showed the rate of churches reproducing and multiplying to only be 4%. This increase to 7% is an encouraging sign that more local churches are embracing a paradigm of multiplication through disciple making leading to church planting. At the same time, Exponential's mission to see this percentage to move to 10%+, and eventually to a tipping point of 16% and beyond.

The primary purpose of the Becoming Five Multiplication Study was to measure the percentage of U.S. Protestant churches that exhibit Level 4 or 5 behaviors.

This study also helps leaders and researchers understand how these Level 4 and 5 behaviors align with the core context of Levels 1, 2 and 3. Along with the new finding of 7% of churches exhibiting Level 4 (Reproduction), you will discover percentages for all five levels. Download the full report today to learn important insights from this national study along with significant insights  across the five levels of churches in America.

Download the complete findings from the report to learn more.

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