In some of my posts, I've been talking about church growth and decline patterns across religious traditions. Religious Educator Steve Caldwell just posted about another factor in growth and decline patterns: region.
I am so glad that Steve brought up the regional patterns because I think they have the potential to help us tease out a more accurate picture of the conditions that are currently creating growth and decline.
I am reminded, upon review of the stats Steve has brought forth, of something I learned from Alice Mann at the Alban Institute. She indicated that when looking at factors involved in growth, understanding demographic trends is important in terms of being responsive, but that a congregation needs to be clear about what it can and can't control. In looking at the issue from this angle, I suggest that the response to decline might vary regionally.