In his recent talk at the Next conference, "The Church," Kevin DeYoung helpfully clarifies the grim numbers which frequently seem to indicate the decline of Christianity in America:
When you hear these numbers of the decline of the Church, on one level we are sad, but you dig into the numbers and you realize that it is not a new-found dissatisfaction with the Gospel, as much as it is the continuing story of Catholic and mainline protestants losing their young, not increasing through evangelism, and the old “dying-off.” What we are losing in this country are nominal Christians who no longer feel the cultural pressure to say they go to church or that they are Christians. ...my hunch is that in your life time, my lifetime, we will see the church in North America smaller than it is today, but it will be more Gospel–centered, more Scripture-saturated, stronger, more doctrinally-robust, and more in love with the Savior than it has been in the last fifty years.Christ will build His Church... and He continues to do so today.
(For more winsome wisdom on loving the Church see DeYoung and Kluck, Why We Love the Church).
Update: Providentially, CJ Mahaney and I posted on DeYoung's message today. See Mahaney's summary here.