Who are the Baby Boomers? They're the generation that came up after World War II and extended into the Kennedy/Johnson Administration, roughly 1946 – 1964. And where are they now? Well a good lot of them are dead, and the youngest of them are rapidly entering old age. In another decade or two, they will be a miniscule portion of the population – and the churches of America will stand empty.
What kind of a decline are we talking about? Some numbers gleaned from the internet:
- From 1990 to 2000, the combined membership of all Protestant denominations in the USA declined by almost 5 million members (9.5 percent), while the US population increased by 24 million (11 percent).
- At the turn of the prior century (1900), there was a ratio of 27 churches per 10,000 people, as compared to the close of this most recent century (2000) where we have 11 churches per 10,000 people in America.
The most recent statistics I've seen (2004), indicated that about 17% of the US population attended church weekly or bi-weekly (every other week). 17% is hardly a majority. And that was 2004. The decline continues every year. Much of the attrition is through the dying of an aging church, and the attrition of age will continue to take its toll.
So long, Christians, it's been good to know you. You had your time; now it's someone else's turn.
Welcome to the brave new world.