The 2012 numbers show that there are now 9,533 ELCA congregations. (this includes “155 congregations under development”) In 2011, the ELCA had 9,638 congregations. That means there has been a loss of 105 ELCA congregations (happening for a variety of reasons) in one year.
The total number of baptized members in the ELCA as of 2012 is 3,950,924. This is significant in that the ELCA is no longer a denomination of 4 million members.
In 2011, the membership total was 4,059,785. That equals a loss of 108,861 members or -2.68% in one year.
Only 2,515,205 ELCA members are classified as “Active Participants.”
The total ELCA church attendance at worship each week for 2012 is 1,092,279, compared to 2011 which was 1,123,071. That is a year's loss of 30,792.
Analyzing this further, when we look at the years 2009 (the year of the ELCA's homosexuality decisions) through 2012, the ELCA has lost 682,963 members (14.7%) and 863 congregations.
Consider also that when the ELCA was formed in 1987 they had: 5,288,048 members and 11,133 congregations.
The figures show that the ELCA is a dying denomination. Here are some more figures:
“The statistics below are through the end of 2012 and reflect disaffiliations since the Churchwide Assembly in 2009.
• 947 congregations have taken a total of 1026 first votes to disaffiliate
• 713 first votes passed
• 313 first votes failed (33 percent)
• 689 second votes have been taken
• 654 second votes passed
• 35 second votes failed (5 percent)
• 643 congregations have been officially removed from the roster of congregations in the ELCA”
“The settings of disaffiliating congregations also vary widely. More than 67 percent are in rural settings or communities of less than 10,000. At the same time, the ELCA has lost 21 percent of its congregations worshipping 800 or more.”
Sources for the information and quotes in this blog originate from
It should also be noted that the ELCA budget continues to reflect the exodus of Bible-believing Christians from the denomination:
“Voting members of the 2013 Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)...
Approved the ELCA churchwide organization budget for fiscal years 2014-2016. The budget includes current fund spending of $70,541,740 for 2014, $68,552,280 for 2015, and $67,920,675 for 2016.” (see here)