Poll: The SBC Goes Flatline

Baptist bloggers are burning up their laptops this afternoon with the latest buzz out of Nashville. Basically, the Annual Church Profile numbers (our convention’s statistical tool) have been crunched for 2007 and and the results are not so great.

The story actually began to break yesterday. Frank Page wrote about a new evangelistic initiatives, which in SBC circles is like a tremor before an earthquake. Here are some links to catch up on the conversation:

Take the poll and leave your comments below.

[poll id=”26″]

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8 Responses to Poll: The SBC Goes Flatline

  1. Scott says:

    You almost had to expect this with the way that those who hold to Gospel-rich theology (Calvinist one might say) are lambasted. To me, the more they point fingers, the more it says their way just isn’t working and they are worried. Maybe, but doubtful, a true desire to read and study the scripture to know God will come from this.

    Scott’s last blog post..Christ Is All: The Piety of Horatius Bonar (Chapters 1-2)

  2. Is there any chance that this may be from churches wanting to have more integrity with their statistics? With baptisms down, could it mean that SBC churches are being more discerning in who should and should not be baptized?

    While I highly doubt those answers are in the affirmative, perhaps this will be a wake up call for the convention. Maybe we can, as a convention, now be Together for the Gospel.

    Terry Delaney’s last blog post..Hear, Heed, and Hurry!

  3. Wally Morris says:

    I thought the emphasis on contemporary music was supposed to solve these “growth” problems. I guess not.

  4. Matt says:

    No doubt somebody will say the reason for this is because of the rise of those anti-evangelistic Calvinists. I think these statistics are probably great news because it shows one of two things: 1) that more churches are being honest about their statistics, and/or 2) fewer people who shouldn’t be baptized are being baptized. This only renews and intensifies the need, in my opinion, for a denomination-wide effort for integrity in church membership.

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  6. kmichael says:

    I am happy to say that I will be adding to the decline of the 16.4 million member lie that is the gross exaggeration of church ACP’s. I am a young pastor, and a new pastor (4 mos.). I am leading my church on a purge of the role. We have 172 members and 35 avg in weekly attendance. After removing those who have died, I am now down to 153. With shut-ins, I am estimating my true membership (the regenerate, scripturally baptized and faithful) to be about 60. Pray for me that I can complete this process before the 2008 ACP is due.

    I hate statistics. (Sorry Dr. S.) If where one has been has produced ungodly results, then why look back? I could care less what kind of building the lost and unchurched like. It’s not for them; at least not yet. It is the Holy Spirit who gives direction for the future– Not the emergent ooze creeping into the Convention.

    PS: Who voted for: “Younger Pastors are afraid to ‘ask for decisions'”? Have the ABC’s of Salvation turned into the ABC’s of sales? “Always Be Closing” Maybe those 5 folks would prefer younger pastors place a “Baptism Sign-Up list” right next to the “Pot Luck Sign-Up list.” :)

    One thing that I am finding out is that God matches up certain congregations with certain pastors. Personally, the kind of pastor I want to be is not the kind of pastor I get to be. For one thing I am learning. Secondly, God has placed me here to teach the folks as well as turn the “ship” around. In doing so, I cannot rip the hull in two in the process. Thirdly, the kind of pastor I want (wanted) to be is based on my mix of the successes of good pastors, and the abstaining from the attributes of bad pastors. How foolish of me. All pastors are NOT created equal. In fact, I would argue that most pastor’s jobs are so completely different because God has designed them (the pastors) different and He has designed the churches different. Comparing my job and that of a pastor of a similar church a thousand miles away might be like comparing apples and tomatoes. I can only do what God allows, and what my church allows. I serve at the pleasure of both (you know what I mean by this). God has allowed me to accomplish a lot in 4 months. I press toward the mark constantly, but must always be aware and listen for that crackling in the wood. That sound that only a pastor can hear. And must be wise enough to seek advice from mentors, and to know when to back off an issue, pick my battles, and when to remain firm in love. This is the most fun part of being a pastor. Hearing the voice of the people while hearing the voice of God. I can imagine being a ship captain steering though fog while the ship is silent. Oh to be that captain. Only thine ears with which to see. I pray Lord whisper clear direction from Thee to me and to Thy people Thou hast given me.

    Fear not Dr. Stetzer. It’s really a good thing that the SBC is shrinking.

    K

    kmichael’s last blog post..YOOTOOB + Paul Washer + God’s Word = WOW!

  7. I fully agree with you kmichael! Most of our churches have much inflated numbers on their rolls and those inaccurate statistics are not good for the SBC. I don’t really care for the ACP that much myself. It’s a great tool if it has accurate information because you can look where your church has been before you came to pastor it – but only if the info is accurate. Like you, I am also a new pastor (in my 9th month of my first pastorate). Thankfully I haven’t got too much to purge on the rolls here at Limestone Baptist, but I’ve seen other church I’ve been a member of that do.

    Frankly, we rely too much on statistics and not enough on the Holy Spirit. If the numbers are declining, then we do need to ask ourselves why. If it’s because of a lack of evangelism, then shame on us and let’s do something about that. But could it well be that inflated numbers are getting more real? Could it also be that the real Gospel is being preached and the unregenerate that are amongst us aren’t comfortable anymore and leave? There is nothing wrong with that. If numbers are going down because we’re getting back to what the Word says, then that’s a good thing!

    I do think, though, that we need to take a long hard look and see WHY this is happening. If it’s for a good reason, then we should rejoice. But if it is directly related to our disobedience to the Great Commission as it well may be, then we have work to do. Whatever the case, it is good to think about this and ultimately we must seek the Lord to see how God wants us to respond.

    Michael Wilhite’s last blog post..REDEMPTION THROUGH HIS BLOOD

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