The Capranica

Comments on theology and life

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Location: Hemet, California, United States

Co-Pastor of First Baptist Church of San Jacinto, California

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Southern Baptists: The Unregenerate Denomination

Challies.com reviews an article by Jim Ellif on the discrepancy in many Southern Baptist congregations (Southern Baptists, An Unregenerate Denomination): the number of members verses the number of attenders. This has always been an issue in my mind. Why do we allow hordes of non-attending members to remain members? Honestly, we are not the only denomination that does this, we just brag about our membership rolls more vociferously. In addition to Jim Ellif's article, I would recommend reading Mark Dever's article, "Why We Disciplined Half Our Church." While we jump on Southern Baptist Churches who brag of meaninglessly high membership numbers, shouldn't we also be wary of those who boast of large crowds but amazingly small membership in comparison? Is it a healthy church that has 15,000 in attendance on a weekend, yet has only 3,000 to 5,000 on the membership roll? If the crowd on Sunday is inordinately larger than the number who have officially joined themselves to the congregation, have we adequately communicated the necessity of the local church? Have we consistently and clearly communicated the responsibilities of Christians to one another? Just a thought.

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