Nurture, Retention, Reclaimation

Today the SDA claims a total membership of over twenty million and has added one million new members a year since 2004, mostly in developing countries of the global south. According to the SDA General Conference’s Office of Archives, Statistics and Research, as of 2014 the denomination was adding a new member to its ranks every 28.92 seconds and planting a new congregation every 4.35 hours.

However, members are leaving the church at an alarming rate of 39.25%  In 2014 the General Conference established a committee to study this:  Nurture and Retention Committee

     Chairman:  Geoffrey Mbwana      Secretary:  Gerson Santos        Members:   Galina Stele,  Jim Howard,  Anthony Kent,  David Trim

   Membership loss is a serious problem in the North American Division, on day 2 of the YEM (Oct. 31, 2019) G. Alex Bryant, Executive Secretary of NAD said, “We need to find a way to stop that bleeding in the church.” Elder Bryant is referring to the steady membership hemorrhage, the very low member retention rate and revolving back door. Precious souls are leaving at almost higher rates than they are joining the remnant church.  see 


2015 Statistical report from GC Archives for the years from 1965 to 2014 - - Total # of new members = 33.2 Million of these 13 million left the church  -- there are recommendations from Nurture & Retention Committee (near end of report) that have not been followed by Unions and Divisions


2019 Nurture & Retention Summit was held April 5 - 7, 2019 

2019 Nurture & Retention Summit presented on the ASTR website   Content changes monthly with archives of content from previous months

    A r t i c l e s :

Here is an interesting article about Nurture and retention in April 2019 issue of Ministry Magazine  -

Title:  Nurture, retention, reclamation: Can you hear their cry?  by Kirk Thomas

-    I was impressed to share this paragraph from this article   "The church should establish a robust structure for reconciliation when quarrels, disputes, friction, and discord arise. Of those who left the Adventist Church, 62.12 percent said that the primary trigger for leaving was conflict-related, 31.6 percent said conflict was their secondary trigger, and 32.87 percent said it was their tertiary trigger.  Based upon hard evidence, it makes sense to have a robust conflict resolution program in each congregation, or at the least accessibility to such expertise."  Statistics from “Adventist Survey of Why People Leave the Church,” Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research.



Title:   Stop the Leaking Bucket Syndrome   by  Mario Phillip    (with permission from author)



The page last updated:   Dec. 15, 2019

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