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As Southern Baptists we celebrate a baptism every 38 seconds and 831,725
baptisms worldwide annually. Southern Baptist churches start 53 churches every
day (19,401 worldwide annual total). We’ve rebuilt 11,000 inner-city homes over
the last 15 years. We’re the third largest disaster relief provider in the
nation. And we’ve been ministering to AIDS victims in Africa since the 1980s,
long before it became a celebrity-championed cause. Every year Southern
Baptists prove that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. By joining
together to faithfully support the Cooperative Program we’re doing much more
together than we could ever do on our own.
While most of the industrialized world is experiencing a fertility crisis,
rates in the United States are at a 35-year high. Nearly 4.3 million children
were born in the U.S. last year—that’s the most births since 1961.
In 2005 there were two children born for every American woman. Last year the
fertility rate rose to 2.1 children per woman. That’s still nowhere near what
it was at the height of the baby boom when the rate hovered somewhere between 3
and 4 kids per family. But a fertility rate of 2.1 is “replacement level,”
which means the number of births balances with the number of parents.
In a recent USA Today story, fertility experts cited financial prosperity,
immigration, and job security for working moms as reasons behind the increase
The U.S. population topped 300 million last year and is expected to reach
400 million by 2040.
Good without God?
Is it necessary to believe in God in order to have solid personal values? A
new survey from the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, says yes.
The poll found that of 1,600 Canadians those who profess a belief in God are
significantly more likely than atheists to say that forgiveness, patience,
generosity, and a concern for others are “very important.” In fact, the poll
found that on 11 out of 12 values, there was a double-digit gap between theists
and atheists, with theists more likely to label each value “very
“To the extent that Canadians say goodbye to God, we may find that we pay a
significant social price,” says sociologist and pollster Reginald
According to the survey, there is a:
• 32-point gap between theists and atheists on whether forgiveness is “very
important” (84% vs. 52%).
• 33-point gap on patience (72% vs. 39%).
• 30-point gap on generosity (67% vs. 37%).
• 19-point gap on concern for others (82% vs. 63%).
• 23-point gap on family life (88% vs. 65%).
Canadians and God
When asked the question, “Do you believe God or a higher power exists?”
Canadians said the following:
49% Yes, I definitely do
33% Yes, I think so
11% No, I don’t think so
7% No, I definitely do not
By the numbers
Respondents to a Gallup survey that examined the impact of spiritual
commitment on many facets of American life said the following:
77% percentage of Americans who believe the nation’s economic health depends
a “great deal” or to “some degree” on its spiritual health
72% percentage of Americans who say their faith gives their life meaning
65% percentage who consider themselves spiritually committed
14% percentage who consider a decline in society—ethically, morally, or
religiously—to be among the top problems facing America today
Sources: Rev! May/June 2007 and Gallup
Is your church sowing the gospel?
Some 39% of Protestant pastors aren’t interested in offering more outreach
programs for their communities. Why? Their congregation isn’t interested (13%);
they’d rather focus inward (7%); their community has no major needs (4%).
Fortunately, 97% of Protestant pastors report doing something for evangelistic
purposes within the past year. The most common activities include hosting a
Vacation Bible School (70%), passing out Christian literature such as tracts or
magazines (59%), and hosting large events such as block parties and fall
Source: Outreach May/June 2007 and Ellison Research and LifeWay’s Facts and
MySpace.com is the most trafficked U.S. website, with 45 billion page views
in July 2007 alone, reports Media Metrix. By one estimate, Americans spend 12%
of their entire Internet time on MySpace. With all this action going on we
couldn’t help but get in on it. Check out On Mission’s MySpace page at
Sources: Fortune and The Week, October 5, 2007
11% of Americans say they’d be willing to implant a device in their brain
that allowed them to use their mind to access the Internet. 24% say the
Internet can serve as a substitute for a spouse or significant other.
Sources: Zogby International and The Week, November 9, 2007
The sum total of all information produced in 2008 will likely exceed the
amount of information generated by humans over the past 40,000 years.
Source: SEED magazine, February 2008
Just Google It
According to David Gillaspey, president of Great Church Websites, 85% of
church websites are poorly designed, 10% are adequate, and only 5% are really
good. The Web is where 80 to 85% of people find their church home. To find out
how to make your church website more effective visit
Source: Your Church, November/December 2007
Six surprising facts about the de-churched
1 The de-churched aren’t mad at the church. Very few of the formerly
churched expressed hostility toward the local body.
2 Young adults return out of obedience to God. Almost half of those aged 18
to 34 cited that reason.
3 They don’t feel awkward about coming back. Only 15% mentioned that they
would feel awkward. So the church shouldn’t feel awkward about seeking out
those who have left and asking them to return.
4 Denominational preferences don’t change. Fewer than 20% prefer to attend a
church of a different denomination.
5 The second visit is crucial among those returning to the church. Almost
two-thirds of the de-churched would like to remain anonymous until their second
6 Application of biblical teaching is important to those returning to the
church. Many within the de-churched camp affirmed that if they were to return,
they’d seek a church that offered engaging and realistic dialogue about God and
Source: Radiant, July/August 2007
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