The Alder State of the Church Report



About The Alder State of the Church Report

The Nigerian nation is a religious one, no doubt. With an almost equal spread of Christians & Muslims and a dedicated indigenous faith population, the subject of religion is taken very seriously and permeates every aspect of the people’s lives.

According to the Pew Research Centre, Nigeria has the largest Christian population of any country in Africa. In Nigeria, the church has experienced several transitions and evolutions in demography, theology, membership, leadership, style of worship, culture, technology and public perception, to mention a few. The impact of demography for instance is reflected in the rise of “New Generation” churches, prevalent in major cities. These churches hold a strong appeal for youths who make up 65% of Nigeria’s population while orthodox churches maintain their strength as bastions of religious tenets and tradition. The rise of 21st century technologies and cultural imperatives has also impacted the church. Churches are now tasked with responding to social media and the interactivity it brings. Churches are also grappling with new family sociologies and sexuality.

The Alder State of the Church Report investigates how churches in Nigeria have navigated these trends and are viewed by their followers and the public in general.

Report Highlights

The Report examines the demographic distribution of those who go to church and the perceived impact of the Church on culture, morality & values and socio-political issues. It measures the willingness of individuals to discuss sexuality issues in church and explains how young people would like churches to engage with them on social media.

The survey for the State of the Church Report was done in two parts: an online general survey and an offline regional survey in Nigeria’s 6-geopolitical zones. The 2,805 respondents for the survey were 57% male and 43% female. 73% of the respondents for the survey were below 35 years old, while 60% were single and 40% married.

Top 10 Stats from the Report

  1. It would seem attending church twice a week is a predominantly Southern phenomenon. Attendance in the North East, North Central and South East seems to be largely once a week.
  2. Overall, Entertainers are most relevant to youths (among six audience groups). Pastors rank 2nd, Business icons 3rd, Activists 4th, Journalists and Bloggers 5th, and Politicians rank last.
  3. The Church is ranked high on values and welfare issues but low on youth issues and cultural influence.
  4. Overall, Pastors are ranked high on knowledge of the Word of God but low on compassion and integrity.
  5. Youths say the Church should focus on good works & spirituality and leave policy matters alone. This is at variance with the youths rating the Church’s influence in governance matters high.
  6. Sex (and relationships) is important to those in the South East, North Central and North East. Education is a key issue in the North East.
  7. There appears to be little willingness to discuss troubling issues with Pastors. Scores are below 50% across all regions.
  8. Entrepreneurship and career development are very important to the South South and South West.
  9. Young people believe strongly in no-sex before marriage, across the regions.
  10. The Youth believe social media should be used to teach the word and evangelise.

For inquiries about the report and to discuss what Alder Consulting can do for churches, please email


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