Monday, July 6, 2009

Largest Participating Religions In the USA posted this article mainly about the age and decline of the SBC, but the map’s colors spoke to me. The map is a look at the largest participating religions in the US. It shows a clear picture of where SBC presence is mostly felt. While I currently serve in the red, my prayer is for the other colors as we need to reach beyond where we are to where we are not.

Along with map, here is the core of what the article had to say about the decline of the SBC:

Here is what Bob Smietana of the Tennessean stated about the decline of the SBC:

Three major factors derailed the Southern Baptist system.

First, the birth rate among white Americans fell. That was a problem because most Southern Baptists are white and because they found most of their converts among their children. …

Second, Americans moved from rural areas into cities and suburbs. That’s a problem because almost half of Southern Baptist churches are in rural areas. And Baptists have, until recently, started few new urban churches. Hall disagrees with some critics who think the decline in membership and baptisms is a spiritual problem.
“The problem is not a lack of evangelistic fervor,” he said. “It’s location, location, location.”

The third factor? New churches that don’t act like Southern Baptist churches. Those churches have often exchanged their choirs for rock bands, met in nontraditional places, and have preachers who dress casually and give edgy sermons. And many new churches also have dropped Baptist from their names as denominational loyalty fell.

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