Adventist Membership Grows Substantially but Challenges Remain

Seventh-day Adventist membership around the world is growing at an increased rate, said Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research (ASTR) director David Trim, in the opening presentation of the Secretariat’s report. He was the first of several speakers from the world church’s Office of the Secretariat, during the Oct. 8 session of the church’s Executive Committee (EC) in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.

Trim’s presentation, which highlighted statistical trends, announced that as of Jun. 30, 2017, the Adventist Church had 20,343,814 baptized members around the world. He explained that the increase includes the fact that an auditing process, which attempts to account for members who left the church, has slowed after several years of steady implementation in most regions of the world. Members’ mortality rates are also lower, he said.

The membership auditing process, however, must go on, said Trim. “Knowing the real numbers helps us to be good stewards, and assists us in our strategic planning,” he said. Membership auditing “is a vital tool in pastoral ministry.”

Trim also shared with EC members that member loss rate is quite high—39 percent or 2 out of each 5 new members. “Let me remind you that members do not usually leave because of theological differences but because they go through a crisis in life or experience conflict in the church community,” he said. “They might feel unmissed, uncared for, unimportant, and after a few years, they just slip through the cracks.”

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