The State of Christianity in Australia
State of Christianity in Australia
From 1991 to 2011, there has been a decline in people professing Christianity in Australia, from 74 percent to 61 percent, according to Dr. Ruth Powell, of Director of National Church Life Survey Research in Australia.
Age is a significant factor among Australian Christians. Similar to the U.S., the older someone is, the more apt he/she is to be a Christian:
- Oldest Generation (1926 or before) = 79%
- Lucky Generation (1927-1946) = 78%
- Baby Boomers (1947-1966) = 67%
- Generation X/Y (1967-1986) = 63% (down from 75% in 1986)
- iGeneration (1987-2006) = 59%
Interestingly, the highest percentage of Australians attending church plants are young. Almost half (48%) of those who attend church are between 15-49 years old; however, in a church plant, this same age group comprises 69 percent of attenders.
There is also a correlation between evangelism and those who attend church plants. Forty-five percent of Christians nationwide have invited someone to church within the past year. For attenders of church plants, this figure increased to 56 percent.
What can we derive from these data? Christianity in Australia is declining. But that is only part of the story. New churches seem to be making headway in Australia. They are attracting young people, and people who attend church plants in Australia are more apt to actively evangelize others.
What does this tell us?
- New churches are significantly changing the face of Christianity in Australia. If the church wants to grow in that country, we need to step up our church planting efforts.
- Traditional churches need to learn from church plants. What are they doing that is attracting young people? We need to incorporate those practices into our traditional churches.
- We need to strengthen our emphasis on evangelism. This goes for both traditional and new churches. Without a focus on evangelism, churches will continue to decline.