Ministerally Speaking; and the Southern Baptist

The following article was posted on HB London’s blog “The Heart of a Pastor“.


I read a small article a few days ago suggesting that the Southern Baptist Church is not as large as it claims to be. Have you ever wondered about that?

“Ministerally speaking” is a phrase that is used from time-to-time to qualify a statistic used by a pastor or Christian leader to estimate the size of their congregation or ministry. There seems to be a lot of estimating going on ??? even, or should I say ‘maybe’ in the Southern Baptist Church.

Are you a Southern Baptist? What would you estimate the membership in your convention to be? Some say 16 million and others, as much as 17 million. What would you say?

I have been to a lot of Southern Baptist churches who claimed to have 26,000 members when in actuality they might have 5 or 6,000 in attendance.

Do numbers really matter? It seems so. Because if you talk to pastors for very long, they will very soon either ask you “how many do you run” or tell you how many they have.

Through the years, I am sure I have “rounded off” a lot of numbers to make myself look better. I was not technically being untruthful .. I was just “rounding off” on the high side. Nobody “rounds off” on the low side.

At the Southern Baptist Convention they will be electing a new president. Six men are running. I can remember in the old days where the leader was basically selected in the ‘back room’ and then presented to the convention for approval. Those days seem to be gone forever.

So ??? two questions I ask you my dear blogging colleague. How many members do you think there are at the Southern Baptist Convention? And, who do you think their new leader will be? A conservative or a member of the new breed? No need to be exact, just “ministerally speaking”. Round it off!

Talk to me .. please!! Consumerism can kill us!

HB London

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