Scary statistics

Some upsetting statistics from my Seminary Evangelism class. I do not recall the exact source but I believe these numbers are from Barna Research Group and the Southern Baptist Convention :

USA total population increased 11% in last ten years; church membership declined 9.5%

Church attendance is declining 10% over the past 7 years

Evangelical Church failed to gain additional 2% of population in the past 50 years.

No county in America has a greater percentage of churched people since a decade ago.

Half of all churches in America last year did not add one new member via conversion.

Churches are closing their doors….

1900 -27 churches for every 10,000

1950- 17 to 10,000

2004- 11 for every 10,000

We lose 72 churches per week or 10.27 per day

Gain 24 churches a week, 3.4 a day

Net loss of 48 week and 6.85/ day

USA is the Largest post-Christian nation.

It is the 3rd largest unchurched nation.

USA Lead world in all crime categories

North America is only continent where Christianity is not growing, in fact other Countries have sent Christian missionaries to us, when we once sent Christian missionaries to them!

13th (some ranked us even as high as 4th) highest receptor of missions nation

Fastest growing affiliation is “not religious”

(Canada + US) is only 3 t o5% truly evangelical

Bill Easum-estimates that in American churches 60% median age of 60 or higher

Soul Mate or Sole Mate?

Some not so good statistics:
An overwhelming majority (94%) of never-married singles agree that “when you marry you want your spouse to be your soul mate, first and foremost.”

· Less than half (42%) of single young adults believe that it is important to find a spouse who shares their own religion.

I just read a great article by True U, a sub-organization by Focus on the Family called “Soul Mate or Sole Mate?”

It had a lot of great advice for dating and things to consider. The main point is that there is not ONE soul mate that if you find this person everything will turn out perfect. Relationships require work. And that we should not base relationships on infatuated emotions but on wisdom.
Here is a paragraph that sticks out to me:
“The real danger in this line of thinking is that many people mistake a storm of emotion as the identifying mark of their soul mate. How else can you identify “destiny”? Such individuals marry on an infatuation binge without seriously considering character, compatibility, life goals, family desires, spiritual health, and other important concerns. Then when the music fades and the relationship requires work, one or both partners suddenly discover that they were “mistaken”: this person must not be their soul mate after all! Otherwise, it wouldn’t be so much work. Next they panic. Their soul mate must still be out there! Such people can’t get to divorce court fast enough, lest someone steal their “one true soul mate” meant only for them. When we get married for trivial reasons, we tend to seek divorce for trivial reasons.”

The Bible, especially 1 Corinthians chapter Seven, makes it clear that marriage is a choice and you do not find anything about “one destined partner.”

The real question is by what criteria and standards do you use to see if someone is worth marrying and spending the rest of your life together with. “Love is not an emotion; it’s a policy and a commitment that we choose to keep.” Emotions are not a great standard. You should use wisdom, Biblical criteria on the person’s character, things like compatibility and similar life goals and most important spiritual walks/maturity need to be evaluated.

“[A] Christian should not consider any marital union that would not feed this primary relationship with God.”

It is a great article and the sources for statistics are very interesting reads too. Check them out:

The State of Our Unions 2001 (Piscataway, NJ: The National Marriage Project, 2001), pp. 6, 8. For more information, see “The State of Our Unions: 2001.”

Thomas, Gary. Soul Mate or Sole Mate? Focus on the Family.