UBA recently hosted a conference in which we looked at the future of the church (you can view it YouTube if you'd like to see it). Having spent weeks reading what various folks are saying about the future of the church, I found many reasons to be discouraged.
- Church attendance is declining. A regular church attender was once said to be a person who attended 3 out of 4 weeks; today the definition of regular attender is 2 out of 4 weeks.
- Baptisms are not keeping pace with population growth. Even though the US population has grown from 146.6 million to 213.7 million since 1948, Southern Baptists baptized the same number of people in 2012 as in 1948 (and that's with 10 million more Southern Baptist churches than in 1948) highlighting a two-decade downward trend in baptisms.