When I arrived at my new church, I found that we had a mess for a “church roll.” 1,600 members – 300 non-resident, 500 SS enrollment (which is inflated by about 150 from a mission church) and we were averaging about 150 in SS attendance. Less than 10% of our “membership” in Bible Study.
Now our attendance and membership numbers have risen over the last three months. We just passed a visionary, but reachable budget at a 100% vote. But our ACP is looming.
The Committee on Resolutions, for whatever its reasons, chose not to present to the SBC Dr. Tom Ascol’s Resolution concerning integrity in reporting our numbers.
A resolution is not a binding thing. It is meant to be a standard to which other aspire. Well, with or without the endorsement of the Committee on Resolutions, this resolution has become a standard to which I aspire.
While we will not throw away any names or addresses, our church will be cutting to real numbers of active members and Sunday School Enrollment when we turn in our numbers. We have people on our roll that we know are members of other churches, but because they joined a church of a different denomination, we never got a request for a letter, and never removed them. I am also sure of some who joined “By Statement” and never requested a letter, therefore they are being counted twice.
The world’s largest denomination is about to lose about 1,000 members. I hate that. I am for the SBC. I want us to grow, not shrink. However, those 1,000 folks have been gone for a while now. The truth is, we are just going to own it this year.
Then, when we start winning our community to the Lord, baptizing them and connecting them to our local body… the numbers reported will be relevant.
Thanks for the standard, Dr. Ascol.