The Religious Congregations and Membership study published in 2000 by the Glenmary Research Center revealed that the Southern Baptist Convention grew at a rate of 5 percent from 1990 to 2000. That sounds ok until you consider this. Wver that same decade, the Presbyterian Church in America, PCA, grew by 42.4 percent. The Evangelical Free Church grew by 57.2 percent.
The question is why. As Baptistis adopted the church growth method and seeker friendly worship styles, our growth rate slowed dramatically. However, people continue to tell us if we do not embrace these ideas more firmly, we will not grow. Remember the definition of insanity: doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. Or, think of it as the announcement from the pilot who said I have good news and bad news. The bad news is our instruments are broken and we do not know which direction we are going. The good news is, we are making really good time.
Part of the question the SBC should answer is, where id the PCA and the EFC get is members? Neither are known for evangelism to the extent the SBC has been. If the answer is, they are getting their membership from SBC churches, someone needs to reevaluate.
I do not know the answer to the question. I do know many members of my SBC church have left for a local Bible Church that has become quite popular, especially with the professional set.
I guess also, to be candid, I am not a good barometer for what makes a good church, because I am tired of most of the gimics and productions. I am more in the mood for simple. Give me good preaching and let me sing a few good songs and let me go.