I don't know if anyone has noticed but God has been working mightily through our IMB missionaries. Overseas baptisms in 2007 were an astounding 609,968 compared to 475,072 in 2006 (2007 Book of Reports, p.56). That's an increase of 28.4%!Les, you ask some good questions that need answers. What does this say about the way we view and understand Christianity and the Church in the USA? Indeed, what is wrong with this picture?
Also, IMB reports 25,497 new overseas churches planted compared to 23,486 planted in 2006 (2007 Book of Reports, p.56), which is an increase of 8.5%.
We currently have 5,338 field personnel under appointment. These numbers are staggering. Do you realize that the number of baptisms equals 114 per missionary? Do you realize that the number of new church plants equals 4.77 per missionary?
Compare those numbers to our numbers in the USA for 2006 according to the 2007 Book of reports. Our baptisms were 394,321. Our new church plants were 151. The number of churches in the USA is 44,223. Based on these figures, the number of baptisms per church was 9. The number of new church plants was 0.0034 per church.
What's wrong with this picture? How do 5,338 missionaries account for 114 baptisms per person and 44,223 churches account for only 9 baptisms per church?
I think it is time for SBC pastors and leaders in the USA to turn to our own IMB for a better understanding of how to reach people for Christ. I call on the leaders of our convention to adopt the evangelism techniques and mindset currently in use by the IMB and provide training opportunities for all SBC church pastors and leaders in such techniques.
Thursday, January 10
What's wrong with this picture?
Les Puryear has done us a favor by pointing out some interesting comparisons on statistics as reported by the IMB and USA SBC churches at large. Good job, Les, for all our many faults and blunders as field missionaries, I found your observations quite telling. Let the numbers speak for themselves!