Churches & Religious Organizations

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 182,000 churches and religious organizations in the US provide spiritual worship, guidance, and education. Some organizations operate hospitals or schools. While such ancillary programs are generally managed separately from their associated organization, churches often provide financial support.

Slow-growing Membership

Church membership among major denominations has been flat or declining in recent years, challenging organizations to discover innovative ways to attract new members.

Ideological Conflict

Disagreements over controversial issues can cause congregations to split, significantly reducing revenue for the original organization.

Industry size & Structure

A typical church or religious organization operates out of a single location, employs fewer than 10 workers and generates about $956,000 million annually.

    • Churches and religious organizations consist of about 182,000 organizations, which employ nearly 1.7 million workers and generate $174 billion in annual revenue.
    • Religious organizations include temples, synagogues, mosques, and shrines.
    • Church size can be classified by average weekly attendance: Small (less than 200 people), medium (200 to 400), large (400 to 2,000), and megachurch (2,000+).
    • About 20% of Americans claim to attend weekly, and about 11% claim to attend nearly weekly or monthly, according to Gallup.
    • Large religious organizations include the Catholic Church (62 million members), the Southern Baptist Convention (13.2 million), the United Methodist Church (6.5 million), and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (6.2 million).
                                    Industry Forecast
                                    Churches & Religious Organizations Industry Growth
                                    Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                    Recent Developments

                                    Feb 2, 2024 - Fewer Asian Americans Are Affiliated With A Religion
                                    • A growing percentage of Asian Americans are not affiliated with any religion, according to a Pew Research Center survey. About 32% of Asian Americans are religiously unaffiliated, up from 26% in 2012. The survey shows, however, that 40% of Asian Americans say that they feel close to some religious tradition for reasons aside from religion. For example, just 11% of Asian American adults say their religion is Buddhism, but 21% feel close to Buddhism for other reasons, such as family background or culture.
                                    • About 13% of all nones (those who say they are "religiously unaffiliated" despite most of them being raised in a religion) surveyed in early 2024 said that they believe in the God described in the Bible and 56% believe in a "higher power," but 90% say they "seldom" or "never" attend a religious service, according to the Pew Research Center (PRC). About 28% of all US adults are nones, according to PRC. About 20% of nones surveyed said that they're agnostic and question the existence of God, while another 17% say they're atheist and deny God's existence. The remaining 63% responded: "Nothing in particular."
                                    • There has been increasing interest since the turn of the millennium in the role of faith communities in sustainability and international development, according to the United Nations (UN). They are now seen as key partners in the pursuit of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss. A World Bank consultation of more than 60,000 people across 40 countries found that religious institutions were often more trusted than state institutions. They are embedded in communities and therefore have the power and agency to guide masses while ensuring inclusion of vulnerable groups, according to the World Bank.
                                    • Small church communities are increasingly threatened by decreasing membership and the greater popularity of ‘megachurches’, according to the authors of The Great Dechurching: Who’s Leaving, Why Are They Going, and What Will It Take to Bring Them Back? The authors point out that only 10% of America’s faith communities currently have more than 250 people at weekly services, yet around 70% of churchgoers attend such churches. The authors also note that once vibrant churches are slowly closing their doors. About 3,000 Protestant churches were officially opened in 2019 while 4,5000 closed. About 4,000 Protestant churches were officially opened in 2014 while 3,700 closed.
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