For the first time in the Gallup poll’s eight-decade history

For the first time in the Gallup poll’s eight-decade history, in 2020 church membership in the United States fell below 50 percent in America. From World War II all the way to the mid-1990s, church membership among adults was nearly always above 70 percent. The precipitous decline occurred across all religious traditions and, as we’ve already stated, began to pick up steam in the mid-1990s....

The death of denominations in America

One of the primary lenses through which demographers can track religious decline is through denominational records. Almost every large religious tradition has been tracking their total membership for decades as a means of understanding where churches are growing and where they are declining. Anyone who has been in church administration for a while knows that membership records are far from...

Dechurching: who is leaving?

No group of people is immune from the Great Dechurching. The dechurched are almost evenly split between men and women (52 percent and 48 percent respectively). According to our study, Roman Catholics, Protestants, and those who identify as “other Christian” have all dechurched equally at 32 percent. In the Protestant tradition, Presbyterians lead the dechurching, losing about 45 percent of their...

Are educated or uneducated dechurching?

In every tradition, the more education people have, the more likely they are to stay in church. This offers a surprising challenge to the common belief that higher education is facilitating departures from the church. Many Christian colleges were founded based on the belief that secular liberal arts colleges and institutions of higher education lead young Christians astray. For example, the...

Mental health and the dechurched

In phase 3 of our study, we looked at the mental health of dechurched evangelicals, and it became clear that anxiety, depression, loneliness, and suicidal thoughts were major factors in their lives. When asked to rate themselves on a scale of 0–100 in these areas, with 0 being very negative and unhealthy and 100 being very positive and healthy, they scored 39 on anxiety, 34 on depression, 35 on...

Dechurching: what a difference 50 years makes

It’s hard to fully grasp just how much different American’s behavior is around church attendance today versus fifty years ago. The General Social Survey (GSS) is the gold standard for measuring religious changes in the United States. It has been asking the same questions with the same response options since 1972. In the very first administration of the GSS, only 9 percent of respondents said...

The Great Dechurching & reasons for hope

As our data poured in on the Great Dechurching, one truth became increasingly clear: what looks like defeat to many could really be the beginning of something special. Tens of millions of people may be leaving the church, and more than eighty-six churches may be closing every week, but if we have eyes to see it, there is actually much reason to hope. We need to come to grips with some hard...

The Dechurched are not atheists

When social scientists think about religion, they typically categorize religiosity in three ways: behavior, belief, and belonging. Behavior is measured through things like church attendance or amount of offering donated to a religious organization. Belief is assessed through asking questions about what a respondent believes about the existence of God, heaven, or hell. Belonging is more about...

The surprising orthodoxy of the dechurched

Early in our research, it was disorienting to realize how orthodox the dechurched still are in their beliefs. This brought equal parts hope and confusion. Sixty-eight percent of dechurched evangelicals (DE), 69 percent of dechurched mainliners (DM), and 63 percent of dechurched Roman Catholics (DRC) all still believe in the Trinity. The divinity of Jesus (64% DE, 54% DM, 53% DRC) is still a...

The Dechurched: What THEY said would bring the back

Belonging (or lack thereof) is the primary pain point many dechurched feel. Of all the things people said would make them likely to return, this is the greatest felt need. We asked two vital questions to understand the animating concerns of the dechurched: What made you leave? And what would entice you to come back? The answers to these questions show us opportunities in front of us in this area...





All these Bible Studies and More

Welcome to subscription-based lessons—like Netflix for Bible Study Lessons. One low monthly fee gives you unlimited access to all these lessons and more. For a medium-sized church, cost is about $10 per teacher per YEAR.

20 Questions

If you can read 20 Questions, you can lead a Bible Study.

Not sure you know the answer to the questions? No worries.

We provide answers in the form of quotes from people like Charles Swindoll, David Jeremiah, and John Ortberg that will make you sound brilliant.

Why we must discuss

We are changed more by what we say than what we hear. Paul said, “SPEAKING the truth… we grow.” Jesus said it is what comes out of a man that changes him. James said your words are the rudder of your life. Effective teachers lead people to speak the truth, not just hear the truth.

Weary of Struggling to Recruit Teachers?

A common problem in all churches–big churches and little churches–is the need for more workers. Jesus said it would be true. He said, “the harvest is plentiful is but the workers are few.” Question-based Bible Study Lessons makes recruiting teachers a whole lot easier.

Knowing God

“A hundred years from now only a handful of books written today will still be widely read and accepted as Christian classics. Dr. James I. Packer’s Knowing God may well prove to be one of them. A gifted theologian and writer, Dr. Packer has the rare ability to deal with profound and basic spiritual truths in a practical and highly readable way. This book will help every reader grasp in a fuller way one of the Bible’s greatest truths: that we can know God personally, because God wants us to know him.” Billy Graham

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The Pursuit of Holiness

“Be holy, for I am holy,” commands God. But holiness is something that is often missed in the Christian’s daily life. According to Navigator author Jerry Bridges, that’s because we’re not exactly sure what our part in holiness is. In The Pursuit of Holiness, he helps us see clearly just what we should rely on God to do—and what we should take responsibility for ourselves. As you deepen your relationship with God, learn more about His character, and understand the Holy Spirit’s role in holiness, your spiritual growth will mature.

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Lifeway Bible Study Supplements

If you use Lifeway Bible Study literature, you will love Good Questions Have Groups Talking. They approximate three of Lifeway’s lesson series, and make groups come alive with application-oriented discussion.

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Discussion-based Lessons

Discussion-based lessons have groups talking and changing. We are changed more by what we say than what we hear. "Instead SPEAKING the truth (not just hearing the truth) we will grow." Ephesians 4.15

This vision will change your group

How does the Holy Spirit change us?

In her book The Tapestry Edith Schaeffer recounts a conversation prompted by a question put to her by her husband, Francis: “Edith, I wonder what would happen to most churches and Christian work if we awakened tomorrow, and everything concerning the reality and work of the Holy Spirit, and everything concerning prayer, were...

Who you are determines what you do

How to not be your own worst enemy

You Are Your Own Worst Enemy Sorry to break it to you, but you are more sinful than you think you are. Lest you think I’m judging—I am more sinful than I think I am too. We’re more prone to wander and turn our backs on God than we’re comfortable admitting. We don’t like to think of ourselves as sinful, but “if we claim to be...

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The Blessed Life

Living fully alive

What is great about a God who punishes?

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