Explanation of Projected Church Count

 

The DAWN National Research Project that produced this information stands as a reliable instrument that measures the state of the Evangelical/ Full Gospel Church in the Philippines.  No other tool nor survey of this scope or depth is available nor has been attempted.

 

Nevertheless, at the time of the first issuance of the report on the DAWN 2000 Local Church Survey, researchers explicitly stated some of the limitations of the field research by which this data was collected.  Included in these limitations inability to survey restricted access areas (e.g. geographically challenging or predominately Muslim areas), budgetary and time restraints, and human error. Given these factors, it was estimated that perhaps 10-15% of the churches might have been missed on average per province.  This estimate has been repeatedly confirmed when additional churches have been identified either by spot checks done in a given province, or during the course of church planting seminars which have been conducted in numerous places. These survey limitations suggest the true number of churches in the Philippines would be higher than those discovered by the survey process.

 

Furthermore, two other factors have been identified which reasonably suggest additional projection is needed to arrive at the true number of churches in the country. 

 

Firstly, the Survey found that churches interviewed by DAWN researchers had in turn planted 5,272 daughter churches. Time and budget restraints did not allow in many cases the researcher to follow-up and verify the current existence of these church plants.  Thus many of these church plants were likely not found in the Survey process and thus not included in the total count.

 

Secondly, the Survey also found more than 50,000 outreaches (outreach bible studies, preaching points, mission points, or small fellowships) that were not considered to be churches.  A Southern Baptist study done on the outreaches in the country revealed that 10% of their outreaches became actual churches in 1 year and 3 months.  Given that the survey was conducted during the period from October 1999 to March 2001, it is very likely that some of these outreaches were indeed churches by the final deadline date.

 

Given these various factors, the DAWN Research Committee made a conservative projection of the probable number of churches at the end of the survey period.  The breakdown is as follows:

 

Churches    

Explanation

Calculation

38,086

Churches found in the Survey

 

  + 5,700

Churches not found in the Survey process due to the mentioned limitations

This is 15% of 37,702 churches.  The percentage has been shown to be a conservative estimate (rounded).

 + 2,500

Daughter churches of churches interviewed in the Survey

This is 50% of the 5,272 daughter churches (rounded).

+ 5,000

Outreaches that became churches

This is 10% of the approximately 50,000 outreaches identified through the Survey

51,286

Total Projected Number of Churches

 

 

The DAWN Committee agreed to designate the churches found in the Survey as “Verified” churches and to designate the other churches contributing to the total as “Not Yet Verified” churches.

 

Russ Bauck

Philippine Challenge

April, 2003