If you were a pastor of a church of 80 members, with 23-24 people attending on average each Sunday, would you say the church is healthy (or 800 members with 230-240 attending)? If 4 or so of those 23-24 were not members, but children or guests, how would that affect your view of the health of the church? What if more than a third of those 23-24 didn’t attend any small group?
I’ve just described the SBC churches (and some other denominations also) if all the percentages were evenly distributed. Larger churches tend to have the greatest disparity between membership and attendance, and older churches. Perhaps your church does a little better than the average, but many will do even worse. This is reflected in the chart attached by Lifeway Research.
Would you say that there is a huge issue that your church has to deal with?
Would you say it MUST be dealt with if you call yourself a true church?
Outside of shut-ins and ill or out-of-town members, would you say that many or most of your church members are not showing even elemental signs of being regenerate (that is, showing love for the brothers by seeking fellowship with Christ’s people, or hunger to hear the Bible taught, or submission to Christ’s Shepherds given to the church, etc)?
Would you say that this disparity constitutes your denomination’s most critical problem?
Will you address this issue, or do you prefer to change your view about what constitutes a church?
It’s concerning that the SBC is losing members as noted on the chart attached, but the far greater problem is the gap between membership and attendance which has been with us a long time.
What does this say about our evangelism and our doctrine of the church?
Is this the year to get serious about this?
This article is still pertinent and offers some suggetions: https://www.ccwtoday.org/2022/06/southern-baptists-an-unregenerate-denomination/