Why Do Black Churches Have Steady Membership While Other Christian Denominations Decline?

Readers, this article clearly points to the fact that people, young and older are seeking for churches & ministries that speak to where they are today. And it's not just an AME issue. I always struggle with churches that have a "we not changing" mentality while they are seriously in decline. Everything points to "time to try something new", but they won't." In my opinion, there are numerous reasons why some black churches retain their members, but, for the most part, the church has played a historic role in black life that has fostered a continuing strong black Protestant identity."


  1. I go to church because I enjoy it and NEED it. In my almost 40 years on this earth I've never had a bad enough church experience to totally turn me away from it. I get a real sense of optimism, encouragement, and spiritual fulfillment from going. My pastor isn't money hungry or over bearing. He delivers relatable life lessons straight from the bible and it helps me. I actually need that spiritual balance in order to stay sane. I think churches have unfairly gotten a bad reputation because of a few bad apples. Not all churches are judgmental, money grubbing places trying to control every aspect of people's lives. Even though I don't go every Sunday, I still LOVE the church and will never completely stop going. I don't care what they rest of the world is doing, because I know what God has done for me and because of this, the church will ALWAYS be a part of me.

  2. Not sure if the "steady growth rate" of the Black Church is a good thing. I'm guessing with all the emphasis and vision put on"Church Growth", I would have expected an increase. I'm glad though, the Black church is not suffering a decline. Sad to see other denomination on a decline. I mean... seems to me, the Black Church is trying "new things". They are pumping up to different styles of music to attract the youth, they got the praise dancers and worship leaders, the preaching style is ramped up where conservative denominations now "hoop", they have relaxed the dress code, they invite in leaders from the community to make the congregation become more aware politically, they have a national stage on TV and Radio and other media outlets, they have social events regularly, they invite women to lead through their giftedness, etc, etc, etc. With all these "new things", I'm amazed they are only treading water. Maybe God is telling the BLACK CHURCH, growth is not in the "new thing" through their own envelopment. I'm just saying...That the Black church should really take a deep look and know and understand what it means when the LORD says in Acts 2:47 "Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.", OR MAYBE THIS WAS ONLY FOR TIMES OF OLD. I HIGHLY DOUBT IT. We shouldn't be so quick to look at things done the "OLD WAY" and assume they need to be improved upon.

    1. I agree. I had some questions about that and I believe the Lord dropped into my spirit "To a certain point".
      I believe that includes update things in the church. I've been seeing so much like"If it's old let's get rid of it" attitude. Sometimes, hooting can become distracting. I think praise dancing and relaxed dress code is okay sometimes, not every Sunday. Praying for God's guidance; that's the key

    2. That's RIGHT...Let the LORD drop truth in YOUR Spirit...Hallelujah!!! OK...Praying for God's guidance is Definitely Key. The "hooting" can be a distraction. What needs to change is someone approach the preacher and let him know that his style is un-effective in that way. In the church of old, folks were encouraged to speak the truth. Paul reprimanded Peter when Peter was treating the Gentiles unfairly. Not today where we are afraid to approach another in love because they hold a high office. About the praise dancing and relaxed dress code. But I think the praise dancing can lead into somethings ungodly. And let's be truthful, it is more entertaining than anything. And as for most men, it can be distracting. In the house of God for WORSHIP in SUNDAY...Come on... Everyone is being entertained, some in their lust and we are going along as if this is WORSHIP. Again, another "new thing" that leaves some unhealthy residue. As for the relax dress code, under the guise as come as you are, I say a relaxed dress code, opens the door for a "loose" dress code. We already have the issue where some come to church in tight and inappropriate attire, now want to dump on top this a "new rule" to come as you are. We haven't even properly address the loose and inappropriate attire issue. The older women suppose to teach the younger women how to be women. That was the old way. We have totally gotten away from this concept. And in a lot of cases the older women can't teach these younger woman anything, because they are too busy trying to be and act and look young themselves. See the snowball Andrea. We just need to PRAY like you said and go back to the Bible and preach it like in OLD times, obey the LORD's word and watch God add to his church daily. I better STOP...

    3. One more thought...we should GIVE our BEST to the MASTER...not just in giving in the offering plate, but in our dress, our conduct, our actions, our worship and our daily living. THIS is not a new message. It's an old message from way back in the Garden. There is no need for some of these "new things" done in many churches today.

    4. Jesus already took is from Old (stuff) Testament to New (stuff) Testament. Now we figure in our prideful hearts we can take Jesus "NEW STUFF" and make up "Newer Stuff"? UNBELIEVABLE!!!!

    5. I mean "Jesus already took care of the old stuff", not "Jesus already took is from old testament"

  3. Lift up the name of JESUS,and HE will draw All people to himself

    1. Amen... that's what installing about. Preach Jesus from the pulpit....teach Jesus in the Sunday schools...encourage the saints through the Word... Sing about Jesus in the songs through hymns and spiritual songs....reach the lost through the Gospel...dress like you're coming in the presence of God in your best attire. Don't tell me every one don't have good attire. Watch their dress at a wedding or a funeral. Silly to give the undertaker you best for dead people and give the Lord your baggy pants and dirty underwear..i better stop....

    2. Should be " that's what I'm talking about" not "installing"...

    3. Or how about the person dressed in the casket? They sure give it their best right and they are DEAD! How much more should the living do? One final note, take that same person and bring them to court. A judge will throw you out if you don't have presentable attire before him. I've seen it! Your place of employment even demands proper attire governed by company standards.

    4. Let the church say AMEN..

      Shouts to Anonymous who used the illustration of the dead man in the casket.

  4. Growth means new converts. No new converts to Christianity simply means member swapping is taking place.

    For those churches that claim growth, please post the percentage of people who never stepped food in a church before, or who was never even aware of who Jesus Christ was, or better yet the individuals who didn't even know that heaven and he'll is a real place. Then we can say if your really growing my dear African American church.

  5. We have to always remember the Worship Service (which is what the assembling is, it is not called church that is unbilblical, the church is the body of Christ Colossians 1:18 -- And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
    Colossians 1:24 - Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:
    Ephesians 5:29-30 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.)

    The church building used to be called the temple know the temple is the believers ---
    1 Corinthians 3:16 -- Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
    2 Corinthians 6:14-17 -- for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
    1 Corinthians 6:19 - What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

    The place of assembling today is for Worship of God only. It should not be a matter of people being entertained. The service is strictly for Worship, Praise and Reverance of God. In the Old Testament they knew how to Worship God:
    John 4:24 -- God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
    Acts 2:21 -- And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
    Isaiah 12:4 -- And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.
    1 Samuel 2:2 -- There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.
    2 Samuel 7:22 -- Wherefore thou art great, O Lord God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.
    Isaiah 25:1 -- O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.
    Psalm 103:1 -- Bless the Lord, O my soul:and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
    Psalm 105:1 -- O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.

  6. A message or teaching of the scripture is also included:
    Nehemiah 9:3 -- And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the LORD their God.
    Mark 1:21 -- And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.
    Luke 4:15-16 -- And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
    Matthew 9:35 -- And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
    Mark 6:2 -- And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?

    When we try to add things to the service we do this to be menpleasers --
    -- Galatians 1:10 -- For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
    -- 1 Thessalonians 2:4 -- But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
    -- Luke 16:15 -- And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

    To Sum what what came before it is important that we follow the old pattern of Worship and Service to God. God is a God of order and when we stray away from his order we add to carnal things to worship which is not acceptable to God. If your heart is not right really seeking a right relationship with god through his Son Jesus Christ then you will need to be entertained. I will leave with the following scripture as I only know to give scripture to questions concerning our faith.

    Matthew 7:13-15 -- 13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

  7. @ Anonymous.. YOU SAID A MOUTHFUL...you said "if your heart is not right seeking a right relationship with GOD, then you will need to be entertained"...POWERFUL!!!

  8. Thank you Anonymous, I've found in my personal walk with Jesus, when I decided to truly surrender my life to Christ and God's calling on my life, now Worship Service is only about God and Worshiping and Praising him for all his blessings and mercies on my life as well as learning more from the Word of God. It became less about me and what I wanted from the service and more about God and being in total Reverance of his love which was shown on the cross by the sacrifice from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As John the Baptist stated "I must decrease while he increase"

  9. @Anonymous 100% on point..."I must decrease, He must increase". Like I said earlier, no need to find something "new". Jesus gives us "newness" of life in Him. He shed his Blood for our sins. When we (the world) should have suffered and died, He died in our place. Seems like a lot of these churches really don't care about "the newness" of life in Christ, they are more so all about doing something "different" to reach and keep folks (which by the way will never work). Instead of just "doing SOMETHING different", they should be about "being SOMEONE different" - a NEW CREATURE, not conforming to this world...

  10. @Anonymous Great Point!! Ephesians 4:17-18 "This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:


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