Estimates reflect continued decline in SBC membership

Friday, November 23, 2018
 | 
Bill Bumpas (OneNewsNow.com)

empty pews in churchNo matter how one crunches the numbers, reported membership and baptisms in the Southern Baptist Convention reflect a continued downward trend.

Three out of every ten Southern Baptist congregations did not participate in the 2017 Annual Church Profile Survey. However, LifeWay Research, which compiled the data, created estimates for non-reporting churches. They estimated 363,000 baptisms likely occurred compared to 254,000 reported baptisms; and 15.7 million members, compared to 15 million reported.

Scott McConnell with LifeWay Research told Baptist Press the additional analysis wasn't an attempt to create bigger numbers; in fact, he acknowledged that the estimated statistics show a clear decline in membership numbers.

Dr. Alex McFarland, a long-time Southern Baptist and Christian educator, admits he doesn't understand the methodology – and that he finds it curious how they came up with some of the totals.

McFarland

Nevertheless, he says, "the bottom line is that salvations and baptisms are on the decline, church attendance is on the decline, [and] giving fluctuates. But I would say the SBC is a denomination that needs a great revival."

McFarland tells OneNewsNow that estimating the statistics won't hide what's really happening. "Numbers aside, trends [and] prognostications aside, the bottom line is we need to recommit ourselves to evangelism and telling our neighbors about Jesus," he concludes.

It's time for the church, he says, to turn to the Lord for revitalization.

Consider Supporting Us?

The staff at Onenewsnow.com strives daily to bring you news from a biblical perspective. If you benefit from this platform and want others to know about it please consider a generous gift today.

MAKE A DONATION

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

What is the most important issue raised during the congressional hearing with Google's CEO?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

US appeals court blocks Trump birth control coverage rules
Trump argues he 'never directed' his lawyer to break law
Boy Scouts exploring "all options" to address fiscal woes
Senate rebukes Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi, Yemen war
In plea deal, Russian woman admits to being a secret agent
Senate passes overhaul of sexual harassment claim process

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Opinion: Cohen didn't violate campaign finance laws - and neither did Trump
Trump cancels White House Christmas party for the press
Risk of heart attack greatest at 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve
Glorious hypocrisy: 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' banned - so why not misogynistic rap?
Under socialism, you can't even afford to die

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day

REASON & COMPANY

NEXT STORY
The needs are great in Paradise lost

Paradise businesses burnedIt's been three weeks since the Camp fire burned down Paradise. A local pastor would like to help put the California community back together – if he can keep himself from falling apart first.