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Do you need alarming statistics to motivate your church into being more evangelistic? I hope not. There's already plenty of evidence to indicate that many people still need to be evangelized without exaggerating. That's why I'd like to dispel a number of myths currently being circulated.

Myth #1: The percentage of adults in the United States who attend church is decreasing. (See statistics below.)

The fact is churchgoing in America has been very stable for 60 years. True, according to the Gallup Poll, church attendance surged in the 1950s and trailed off in the 1960s to an average of between 40 to 43 percent. And it's true that in 1996 only 37 percent of those surveyed by Gallup said they attend church weekly — the lowest percentage ever recorded. But in 1999 — the last year for which statistics are available — 43 percent of Americans said they had attended church in the past week. So church attendance actually increased by 16 percent in just 3 years.

Myth #2: More churches ...

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