SBC membership 16.2 million (all-time high)

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by bb_baptist, Apr 22, 2003.

  1. bb_baptist

    bb_baptist
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    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Membership in Southern Baptist churches reached a record 16,247,736 in 2002, a 1.21 percent increase over the previous year, or 194,816 additional members.

    The total number of churches grew to 42,775, a 1.04 percent increase, or 441 churches more than the 2001 total of 42,334. At the same time, church-type missions operated by churches grew 10.26 percent to a total of 5,439, an increase of 506.

    While membership grew, the number of baptisms -- 394,893 -- reflected a decline of 0.26 percent or 1,037.

    Sunday morning average worship attendance grew by 1.9 percent or 108,965 to 5,839,945.

    Other increases were reported in total tithes, offerings and special gifts to $8,681,491,558 (4.41 percent above 2001), as well as undesignated receipts of $6,786,994,352 (5.3 percent above 2001). Total receipts increased by 5.89 percent to $9,461,603,271.

    http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?ID=15756
     
  2. rlvaughn

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    Since reading your post, I have been thinking about the seemingly incongruous decline in baptisms and growth in membership. Does this mean that there are fewer new converts in SBC churches than previously? I don't know. Not necessarily. That could be part of it. If membership is growing, while baptisms are declining, it does at least reflect that there is a surge in additions of people that do not need to be or are not being baptized. To show overall growth these persons would have to come from outside the SBC. This must mean that there is an increase in those coming to the SBC from other Baptist groups and/or an increase in receiving members from other denominations without requiring them to be (re)baptized. I think this last part would be on the increase in Southern Baptist churches and could be much of the reason for showing membership increase even amidst baptismal decline. This is just conjecture. Anybody have any facts on this?
     
  3. atestring

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    The SBC CHURCH I AM A MEMBER of has over 1100embers but only about 300 are there on Sunday morning? Is this typical?
     
  4. Hardsheller

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    Yep - 30-40% - Sounds Normal

    And this is a problem in the SBC. We don't practice church discipline and we Baptize many folks who have had questionable Salvation Experiences. [​IMG]
     
  5. j_barner2000

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    some churches rebaptize everyone who was not SBC... some just from non-Baptist backgrounds, and others just from churches who have different beliefs on baptism.... ie catholics etc.
     
  6. KPBAP

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    there also could be discrepencies in tranferring of church letters. Some churches either never know or fail to drop/transfer members from their roles so they keep adding people which would increase membership records.
     
  7. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    These percentages are not unusual for any denomination. The SBC gets picked on b/c it actually publishes it numbers. Some of the IFB churches with which I have been associated have people "join" by baptism or transfer almost every Sunday never to be seen again. Common problem among most denominations.

    There seems to be a trend among the newer, more contemporary churches to alleviate this problem by adding church covenant membership requirements. It is a great and productive idea.
     
  8. Jonathan

    Jonathan
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    The real story here is that the ratio of members to baptisms remained the same - 41:1.

    Now perhaps this means that there are 40 prayer warriors and 1 person involved in evangelism... ;)

    BTW, according to the studies done by Dr. Thom Rainer at Southern Seminary, the arbitrary mark set for churches that are considered effective in evangelism is 20:1. At the time of his study, less than 800 of the 40,000+ SBC churches qualified.
     
  9. j_barner2000

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    That is a sad but true fact. Our church members fail to realize that the pastor/staffmember's job is to prepare the church member for ministry and evangelism. It is every Christian's job to be about evangelizing.
     
  10. bb_baptist

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    Jonathan, would you happen to have a link to his studies?

    I like the 20:1 ratio and would love to see his analysis and conclusions.
     

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