Lifespan of simple churches

A few months ago, Steve Lyzenga ( did a survey on simple church finances for his doctoral dissertation.  I was on the committee and so had the privilege of seeing some of his results.  One of the results in particular surprised me. 

One of the questions he asked was concerning how long the participant's simple church has been in existence.  Popular anecdotal opinion says that the average simple church lasts two years or less.  Steve's results contradict this and don't forget, the churches he surveyed are still going strong.

Steve writes concerning the results of his survey, "Yes, the average age is 5.06 years with a range from 6 months to 40 years. If I remove the one at 40, the average drops to 4.78.  If I remove three more at 30, the average drops to 4.15.  If I remove three more at 20, the average drops to 3.75."

Simple churches last longer than we thought!

One thought on “Lifespan of simple churches”

  1. If *simple church* is truly based on relationship w/ one another and w/ God, then how can they tend to *die off*/end quickly? If one is simply testing or looking, then two years might be expected. If one looks at the committment of many folks in the IC, it is very common to drift from one congregation to another, looking for what seems to be missing, so really not very different. If we come together for the right reasons, looking to Christ as our head, then forty years sounds more normal to me! Our experience has been that normal is long term committment. More like marriage then dating!


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