What is an ROTW Certified Statistic?

While church statistics are vitally important, research studies are often in disagreement. To gain added confidence in the numbers, Dr. Doug Petersen PhD, Oxford Center for Mission Studies, respected researcher and author on religious movements, has spent thousands of hours researching the research. The end result is what we call ROTW Certified Statistics that represent the evidence-based consensus of three or more respected research studies.

Beliefs

51% of evangelicals believe many religions can lead to eternal life.

25% of Americans believe that the Bible is a storybook of fables and legends

Only 61% of Americans have no doubts that God exists, a significant decline over the last two decades.

69% of churchgoers believe that everyone will go to heaven

56% of churchgoers don’t believe that sharing their faith is an essential obligation of their Christian life.

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Experiences

45% of people who attend church regularly are NOT saved!

Only 2% of an average church population has been saved during the last 5 years.

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Behaviors

87% of people not in church have at least one close friend who is a Christian.

76% of people attending a worship service for the first time are there because someone they know invited them. 

59% of all Christians say they seldom or never share their faith with others

Only 7% of churchgoers consistently spend time building relationships with non-Christians for the purpose of sharing Christ with them

Only 2% of churchgoers invited an unchurched person to church in the last year.

80% percent of unchurched people are open to the gospel.

71% of the unchurched say they are likely to accept a personal invitation from a family member, friend or neighbor to attend church.

56% of churchgoers hardly ever read their Bible.

50% of churchgoers are unsure if people who know them are aware that they are Christians.

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Attitudes

62% of college-age Millennials (ages 18-24) say the church is too hypocritical and judgmental.

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Affiliations

32% of young Millennials (ages 18-24) have no religion, up from 20% in 2000 and 10% in 1990!

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Doug Petersen is the Margaret S Smith Distinguished Professor of World Mission and Intercultural Studies and a director of the Judkins Institute for Leadership at Vanguard University. With more than 30 years of leadership responsibilities in non-profit and higher education organizations in Latin America and the United States. Professor Petersen is an experienced research scholar writing extensively on the beliefs and social practices of grassroots religious groups. His book, Not by Might, Nor by Power, focusing on religion and popular social movements, was selected among the Outstanding Books of the Decade 1990-2000 by the International Bulletin of Mission Research. In addition to his books, Petersen has published numerous scholarly journal articles and authored book chapters and popular pieces on religion, ethics, and politics. Professor Petersen holds a PhD in Social Theology from the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, Oxford, England.