Comparative Statistics 2005 - Plumbing The Heart of God’s People

—Lewis Wilkins, the Plains Institute, Lubbock, Texas

The annual Comparative Statistics bring to mind the vision of the prophet Amos who saw “a man standing by a wall with a plumb-line in his hand.” In the vision, the Lord asked Amos what he saw and sketched destructive consequences of Israel’s failure to learn from a plumb-line set “to the heart of my people.” These statistics are a plumb-line set to the heart of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Like the plumb-line, they do not tell the consequences of trends and patterns they measure and disclose. Discerning and responding in faith to those consequences is left to God’s people in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) whose heart is measured. There is of course no guarantee that we will get it right, any more than Israel got it right in the time of Jeroboam. (See Amos, chapter 7.)

Introductions to recent Comparative Statistics suggest a variety of approaches to discerning their plumb-line implications.

See the tables for this report.

  1. PC(USA) Congregations and Membership — 1995-2005
  2. Distribution of PC(USA) Congregations by Membership Size and Synod — 2005
  3. PC(USA) Membership by Region and State/Territory — 2005
  4. Membership Gains and Losses of PC(USA) Synods and Presbyteries — 2005
  5. Distribution of PC(USA) Congregations with One-Fifth or More Minority Racial-Ethnic Membership by Synod — 2005
  6. Fifteen Largest PC(USA) Congregations Based on Membership Size — 2005
  7. Descriptive Statistics on PC(USA) Ministers — 1997-2005
  8. PC(USA) Ministers by Call and Synod — 2005
  9. Number and Percent of Active PC(USA) Ministers by Call and Gender — 2000-2005
  10. PC(USA) Membership, Total Individual Contributions, and Disbursements for Local Program and Local Mission by Synod and Presbytery — 2004 and 2005
  11. PC(USA) Congregational Receipts — 2004 and 2005
  12. PC(USA) Congregational Expenditures — 2004 and 2005
  13. PC(USA) Synod and Presbytery Rankings Based on Per Member Validated Mission Expenditures — 2005
  14. Race-Ethnicity and Gender of PC(USA) Members, Elders, Deacons, Active Clergy, and Commissioned Lay Pastors — 2005
  15. Number of Congregations, How They Are Served, Worship Attendance, and Giving Information by Membership Size — 2005
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