Skip to comments.Southern Baptists See 9th Year of Membership Decline
Posted on 08/24/2016 5:52:10 PM PDT by marshmallow
The denomination lost 200,000 members in 2015.
The Southern Baptist Convention lost more than 200,000 members in 2015 the ninth straight year of decline for the nations largest Protestant denomination.
Membership stands at 15.3 million, down from 15.5 million in 2014, according to denomination statistics released on Tuesday. Baptisms also fell by more than 10,000 to just a little more than 295,000.
Baptisms are an important measure for the Nashville-based denomination because of its strong commitment to evangelism.
After the numbers were announced, some denominational leaders emphasized the positive news that the number of Southern Baptist churches increased last year by 294, mostly due to new churches started by SBC pastors.
But Executive Committee President and CEO Frank Page refused to put a positive spin on the declines, exclaiming in a news release, God help us all! In a world that is desperate for the message of Christ, we continue to be less diligent in sharing the Good News.
Mainline Protestant and Roman Catholic churches started to experience significant declines in the 1960s and 1970s, said Mark Chaves, a professor of sociology at Duke University who studies religious trends. Significant decline for many more conservative Protestant denominations has become apparent only in the last decade or so.
Theres just a national trend of declining religious involvement, and conservative churches are not immune to it, as they thought they were for a while, he said.
Comparing membership numbers across denominations can be difficult, since different groups report them differently. Chaves said he relies primarily on attendance estimates from large national surveys. The Southern Baptists say their average weekly attendance was 5.6 million last year, a decrease of about 97,000 from 2014.
Some denominations have stopped publicly reporting membership numbers altogether rather than admit their churches are shrinking, but the Southern Baptists survey.....
(Excerpt) Read more at tulsaworld.com ...
They usually so up on Easter morning.
Isn’t about separating the wheat from the chaff?
Just to be fair... does this represent “losing wheat” or “losing chaff”? It makes a difference.
The Truth is hot as an ember and not being preached from the pulpit lately.
I went to church a while ago and it was watered down tea.
It wasn't the truth.
The truth [THE TRUTH] will knock you on your fanny.
What I heard wasn't the truth but some watered-down baloney.
The SBC has gone completely berserk with its own version of “social justice” ideology, consisting in large part of obsessing over race.
I can see why people are shunning such a nakedly-political approach to what is supposed to be religion.
Dr. Charles Stanley still preaches truth.
From the article :
Some denominations have stopped publicly reporting membership numbers altogether rather than admit their churches are shrinking, but the Southern Baptists survey their churches each year and release the results.
Thats because we believe the admission of a problem is the first thing needed to correct it, Page said.
He expects the numbers to bring calls for a new emphasis on evangelism and discipleship at the denominations annual meeting next week in St. Louis.
We live in an anti-institutional, anti-church age, where people are opting out of organized religious activities, Page said. He thinks new types of churches will arise to meet that trend.
Ed Stetzer, the executive director of the Southern Baptists Lifeway Research, said some Southern Baptists have wanted to view the downward trend as a hiccup, but that is becoming harder to do.
I think numbers like this should inspire some soul-searching, he said.
$ Money Quote $ ~ ‘He thinks new types of churches will arise to meet that trend.’
‘New types’ of Churches? Whaaa?? He also is admitting that he wants to follow whatever is trending in (incidentally - very profitable) pseudo-churches, and is willing to abandon his alleged principles to boost ‘Attendance’?
Watch the “marketing” campaigns get ramped up in response.
The exact OPPOSITE of what should happen. The “seeker-sensitive” trend is one reason for the decline in the first place.
I like Charles but I’m not so sure about his son, Andy.
Wasnt it about 8 years ago that Baptist Child & Family Services started being paid huge sums (along with Catholic Charities) by Obie’s gubmint to cheerfully assist in the illegal immigration and brownification of America scheme? I’m thinking maybe God doesnt approve of liars and deceivers too much and this is his way of defunding them to balance the scales of justice. No congregation, no money (except maybe for big brother gubmint)...
Jesus often pared down his following with a good dose of the truth.
And he never apologized or panicked about it.
I'm convinced that their choosing a black pastor as President of the Convention several years ago was purely political.
The TRUTH shall set you free
Et Via, Et Veritas, Et Vida!
Sadly I think that’s true with certain high profile leaders (I’m looking at you Russell Moore), but not particularly true generally. There are still many faithful men doing the Lord’s work as has been done for generations. Most SBC congregations are quite small. Pastors typically toil in obscurity and they don’t show up on interview shows or at the major Christian conferences and they don’t write for the Baptist Press. I’ve had a close look at SBC practices and politics since the 70’s and I could write a book on the issues I see within the SBC. I’m not thrilled about the new SBC president and am doubtful he will do much but continue the downgrade. I’m also not excited by much of what I see in evangelicalism and some of the worst trends have bled over into the SBC.
I sense there is a winnowing taking place. We seem to be entering an era where it appears there will be a real cost to stand for right, the Scriptures, and orthodox Christian doctrine. Those who just want to play church and get a little balm for their troubled conscience probably won’t last long in that environment. They’ll end up out of church altogether or in politically correct watered-down gospel-compromised congregations.
You are right to be suspicious.
As does pastor Jeffress & Franklin graham.
Sad. I used to think the S. Baptists were the only denomination of the “mainlines” that was still solid. But now even they are getting hit.
I think the days of the denominational church are ending. More and more, folks are just going to form non-denominational churches or are going to do house churches.
I agree about Andy.
The website archives are a treasure.
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7:14
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