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 There is a secret inside many churches. According to researchers Scott Thumma and Warren Bird, most churches – mega-sized and small, black and white – are actually run by 20 percent of the congregation.

The other 80 percent, they say, tend to act like spectators: they are minimally involved and attend infrequently or not at all.A National Congregation Survey shows the Southern Baptist Convention had a membership of 16,160,088 people in 2008, but a yearly attendance rate of 38 percent.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America had a membership of 4,542,868 in 2009, but the yearly attendance rated rested at 28 percent.

Though many churches are struggling to boost attendance and participation, Thumma states, pastors and church leaders rarely address the issue.

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