"Churches closing their doors"??

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Paul1611, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. Paul1611

    Paul1611
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    I need some help if at all possible. I heard a preacher a couple of years ago give some statistics about churches in America closing their doors at a rapid rate. He said something like 2 churches a day in America close their doors for good, due to a number of reasons. I would like to know where I could find statistics like this. I have searched the internet a little bit, but have had no luck in finding the opening/shutting down statistics of churches here in America. I think I am looking in the wrong direction. He also said something to the effect that the normal stay of a Pastor at a Baptist Church is usually around two years. I would really like to know where I could research these things for myself. Is there as webpage out there somewhere with this kind of info. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. tinytim

    tinytim
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    Did you look at Barna? http://www.barna.org/ They have statistics like that...although I have not seen those specific ones.. if they exist Barna has them.
     
  3. Paul1611

    Paul1611
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    Tim,
    I havent found the info that I have been looking for yet, but never the less it is exactly the kind of website that I have been searching for.
    Thanks a bunch!!!
     
  4. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    What about going somewhere like the SBC website or some other baptist website and emailing them for some statistics?
     
  5. Paul1611

    Paul1611
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    Never thought about that, I will give that a try also. Thanks for the idea.
     
  6. preachinjesus

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    statistics can be used for good and bad. There's a great article in Christianity Today called "Evangelicals Behaving Badly with Statistics" that is very insightful.

    There are indeed churches closing their doors often, but just as often there are new churches opening new doors on the same block (or town.) The reality is that we are seeing many dead, stagnant churches dying and closing. That is good in my opinion. Just part of the natural cycle of birth, life, growth, plateau, decline, and death of an organization.

    That said we must remember two things:
    1. It isn't a bad thing that a church closes its doors, maybe it's a God thing
    2. Christ said that the Church will always exist, maybe not your flavor but it will exist and the powers of Hell will not prevail against it.

    There is a church that is meeting about two miles from the church where I get to serve. We are booming in our numbers and growing. That church is dying. They run about 25 and are slowly going down hill. They are in the middle of a growing suburban area with easy access to a major interstate. They will probably be dead in about 5 years. They simply refuse to change or accept new members. It's a clique. This is one example of many.

    Remember that sometimes the best thing for a forest is to have a good forest fire to get rid of the undergrowth and junk that stifles true growth. Maybe this is exactly what we need in some areas.

    We are not the last generation of Christianity...we are just part of the flow. :)
     
  7. Paul1611

    Paul1611
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    I appreciate your input, but you wouldnt happen to know where I could obtain some info on how many new churches are opening up here in America, and how many are closing their doors would you? I am not trying to prove that Christianity is diminishing here in America or anything like that, I would just really like to know where people get this kind of info. Thanks.
     
  8. Brother Bob

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  9. Salty

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    Great site: I think the most profound statement I found was (in the "need" section) was:
    When Kingdom Halls reach 150 members they take 75 and plant another Kingdom Hall, we go in debt and build a bigger auditorium.

    Salty
     
  10. EdSutton

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    Not sure I'd model the local church after the local "Kingdom Hall", but maybe that's just me.

    However, we are the second largest church in my home county, I believe. But until we start getting 3000 added to the church in one day, I'm not too sure that I would worry too much about whether or not we need to "split" vs. "build a bigger auditorium", and form another church, personally. :laugh:

    Ed
     
  11. Salty

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    I dont believe that "spliting" is the best way of church growth. Rather, a local church should endavour to start new works - where the people are.


    The problem I see with mega churches (anything over 500) is A) the distance some travel to attend B) it is easy for members to "hide" and not be involved C) lack of personal relationships. - esp with leadership
    On this note - my wife went to a mega church - until we married. Soon after our wedding we had our pastor come to our house for Sunday dinner one week. She said that would be impossibe to happen at her other church.

    Here is Bobs rule of thumb: If the (Senior) pastor is not able to visit each family at least 3 times a year, the church is too big

    Salty
     
  12. christianyouth

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    I agree Salt. Of course, the objection will come up from people who enjoy the artificiality of mega churches that the Bible does not speak on this issue. There is no 'limit' to the size of a church mentioned in Scripture.


    I have seen this though, most mega-churchs I have experienced, either been to them or seen them on television, seem to have a 'fake' atmosphere. It seems like the worship is contrived, and almost seems like an entertainment center. A good idea of this, would be a video I recently seen of a 'christian rap artist' at John Piper's church.

    Even the acclaimed 'Resolve' conference, a large Calvinist youth meeting, they had the place 'decked out' with huge sound systems, really cool lighting, and so on. Now, is that neccessary? Does that somehow aid the Spirit of God in sanctifying his people or illumining their minds? Do we need sound systems and great lighting to properly worship God?
     
  13. exscentric

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    You should email home mission agencies and ask for the numbers, they might be able to help. SBC, CBA and IFCA should have home mission arms.
     
  14. JamieinNH

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    I have to agree with you on this. I am not sure what size makes the difference, but I have been one of "those people" in a bigger church. It took 5-6 Sundays (going to church each Sunday and Wednesday) before anyone said anything other than hi or good to see you...

    This was during a time I was looking for a church, I hadn't been in church for a long time and needed to get back. I went to this church for 9 months before deciding it wasn't my church, so I started looking again. I found one soon after and have been going to it every since, but here is the 'funny' (not so funny) part.

    Four (4) months later, after I left the church and started to attend my new church, the pastor called me and asked if I was sick. He hadn't seen me in church in the last few Sundays. Can you say 16 or so Sundays?!?

    I don't feel any ill will against him, but I do believe that church was too big. I have since also found out that my new church is the one God wanted me to be in to begin with. My new pastor is guideing me back to school to get my degree so I can preach. This happen without me asking, but it's something I have needed/wanted for a long time. Someone to help mentor me and hold me accountable for what God has in store for me. I ran from the ministry for years knowing what God was telling me I should do, and then when I decide to finally listen, he puts me in a church that the pastor has a hands on approach of helping his congregation.

    I am so thankful for God's will and the way he works.

    Anyway.. Long story short. I agree with you. A church CAN get too big for it's own good and the good of it's people.

    Jamie
     

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