A Woman in a SBC Church Pulpit Draws Interest

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Re: A Woman in a SBC Church Pulpit Draws Interest

Postby Sandy » Sun May 06, 2012 4:43 pm

Tim Bonney wrote:
Sandy wrote:On the other hand, two of the churches I was associated with in Texas were made up mostly of "Northern" transplants, in one case probably 80% of the congregation.


That is a phenomenon I'd not have thought of. Given that there are less Southern Baptists in the northern states (all depending on how far north you mean since most all of the US is north of Texas) I'd not have expected northerners to congregate at an SBC church in Texas. In this neck of the woods the top three denominations are RCC, ELCA, and UMC. Baptists are kind of scarce around here and Southern Baptists fairly rare.


The Southern Baptist churches in the Houston area, especially in the suburban areas, tend to be larger, and offer more in the way of church-related activities that attract people. In a post-denominational age, when people move, they tend to look for a church with lots of stuff for their kids, more than at the denominational brand name. Of course, in most parts of the larger metro areas in Texas, 80% of the population is made up of transplants. At one of the churches I mentioned, it was having AWANAs, and having a gym with six nights a week of Jazzercise that helped reach people, along with being the only really viable church in the neighborhood.

It seems that Southern Baptists up here in Pennsylvania are focused on inner city, ethnic and language work. As far as I can tell, there aren't very many churches or church groups knocking down the door to get churches planted in the inner cities. But the state Baptist convention and NAMB are doing it here. They've discovered that, though many people in the inner cities claim to be "Catholic," the churches are pretty much empty and dead. So they are going after them by offering worship in their primary language. It appears to be working pretty well.
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Re: A Woman in a SBC Church Pulpit Draws Interest

Postby Tim Bonney » Sun May 06, 2012 5:35 pm

Our churches are already in the inner cities so planting another one to compete with those already there doesn't seem to be a good use of resources to me. I'd rather see us plant in areas with few churches. I know there are a lot of nominal Catholics (Baptist and Methodists too) but I always try to avoid stealing sheep.
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Re: A Woman in a SBC Church Pulpit Draws Interest

Postby Ed Pettibone » Sun May 06, 2012 11:27 pm

Tim Bonney wrote:Our churches are already in the inner cities so planting another one to compete with those already there doesn't seem to be a good use of resources to me. I'd rather see us plant in areas with few churches. I know there are a lot of nominal Catholics (Baptist and Methodists too) but I always try to avoid stealing sheep.


Ed: Tim, in the post just above when you say "Our churches are already in the inner cities so planting another one to compete with those already there doesn't seem to be a good use of resources to me". What do you mean by "Our churches"? Of course the SBC is still recruiting church planters for for large metropolitan areas by telling them that their is NO evangelistic preaching or teaching in the churches that are now there, In my experience this is seldom if ever true.

We also refrain from sheep stealing but if and when starving sheep wander into our pasture seeking to be fed we will share what we have with them. I do believe that God does call some folk to church planting, unfortunately I have met many more folk who seem to be into church planting because they are less threatened by being a lone ranger, even if or perhaps because they like to appear spiritual by suffering great sacrifice. Hear me please, there is no one size fits all. A suburban style church plant in the intercity makes NO sense to me. And my mod;e of an intercity church probably does not belong in the suburbs

And Sandy, when you write "Of course, in most parts of the larger metro areas in Texas, 80% of the population is made up of transplants." and in another place "On the other hand, two of the churches I was associated with in Texas were made up mostly of "Northern" transplants. What pars of the remaining 20% where lifelong locals, or from within the same general, regional area, of Texas and what % from Oklahoma. And what Percentage from other parts of Texas and in that church you claim 80% Northern Transplants what percentage are native Texans or someplace in the south. In other words to work with those figures I need to believe that those statements are something other than hyperbole. You explanation about folk looking fro something to occupy their kids, more than at the denominational brand name, does help but 80% still sounds tremendously high.
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Re: A Woman in a SBC Church Pulpit Draws Interest

Postby Dave Roberts » Mon May 07, 2012 7:37 am

What I see in the Tidewater area of VA where I am doing an interim in a dowtown city church is that most of the church plants are done adjacent to growing suburban developments or are the extension of an existing church using a theater to televise the service (or at least the sermon) from the parent congregation. Our congregation is part of a downtown fellowship of churches that is made up of 9 downtown churches (4 Baptist with 2 predominantly African American, 1 Episcopal, 1 Presbyterian, 2 UMC, and 1 AME). We are seeking to be faithful to the downtown setting and its opportunities. In talking with the other pastors in our downtown fellowship, they see most of the church plants as drawing people from established churches and weakening downtown ministries. I don't know the demographics well, but I see church starts as often very critical of other groups who are (and often have been ministering faithfully for 1 or 2 centures).
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Re: A Woman in a SBC Church Pulpit Draws Interest

Postby Gene Scarborough » Mon May 07, 2012 8:41 am

People seem to always seek the "easy way."

I was deeply concerned when the NAMB moved from their downtown Atlanta headquarters to "Affluent Alpharetta"--- far distant from the bums on Spring Street and the Atlanta Airport which was the main way for people on the mission field coming in as well as home executives to go to them for consultation.

I know of NO growing church which is not on the fringe of rapid urban growth. I pastored one in N. Metro Atlanta just down the road from Johnny Hunt's booming Woodstock First Baptist. He moved it from downtown Woodstock to a large campus on the busiest N. Georgia State HIghway. My church was growing by leaps and bounds because people were moving in by leaps and bounds.

Real minisry to the "down-and-outs" where Jesus walked is far more difficult---and needed---than sitting on the Temple steps changing money.

By the way, I think we are far off the subject of this discussion, though :wink:
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Re: A Woman in a SBC Church Pulpit Draws Interest

Postby Sandy » Mon May 07, 2012 8:55 am

Ed Pettibone wrote:
Tim Bonney wrote:Our churches are already in the inner cities so planting another one to compete with those already there doesn't seem to be a good use of resources to me. I'd rather see us plant in areas with few churches. I know there are a lot of nominal Catholics (Baptist and Methodists too) but I always try to avoid stealing sheep.


Ed: Tim, in the post just above when you say "Our churches are already in the inner cities so planting another one to compete with those already there doesn't seem to be a good use of resources to me". What do you mean by "Our churches"? Of course the SBC is still recruiting church planters for for large metropolitan areas by telling them that their is NO evangelistic preaching or teaching in the churches that are now there, In my experience this is seldom if ever true.

We also refrain from sheep stealing but if and when starving sheep wander into our pasture seeking to be fed we will share what we have with them. I do believe that God does call some folk to church planting, unfortunately I have met many more folk who seem to be into church planting because they are less threatened by being a lone ranger, even if or perhaps because they like to appear spiritual by suffering great sacrifice. Hear me please, there is no one size fits all. A suburban style church plant in the intercity makes NO sense to me. And my mod;e of an intercity church probably does not belong in the suburbs

And Sandy, when you write "Of course, in most parts of the larger metro areas in Texas, 80% of the population is made up of transplants." and in another place "On the other hand, two of the churches I was associated with in Texas were made up mostly of "Northern" transplants. What pars of the remaining 20% where lifelong locals, or from within the same general, regional area, of Texas and what % from Oklahoma. And what Percentage from other parts of Texas and in that church you claim 80% Northern Transplants what percentage are native Texans or someplace in the south. In other words to work with those figures I need to believe that those statements are something other than hyperbole. You explanation about folk looking fro something to occupy their kids, more than at the denominational brand name, does help but 80% still sounds tremendously high.


I like your analogy about the "starving sheep." I think that describes perfectly what is happening with a lot of cultural and geographical based Christianity. At what point do you consider the "sheep" to have left the pasture? And what if the "pastures" that exist in certain neighborhoods have either been grazed over, or are not able to evangelize the population around them? There are many places where the existing churches have stopped being evangelistic, and have declined and aged to the point where they are not only unable to reach people, but that would be detrimental to the spiritual health of new Christians.

Since 1970, the population of Texas has grown from around 11 million to over 20 million, and most of that has taken place in the suburban areas of Houston, Austin-San Antonio and the Dallas-Ft Worth Metroplex. In those places, you find a high percentage of people who migrated in with the industrial growth and jobs, and a high percentage of them came from the "rust belt" and the Northeast. The international population of people from Southeast Asia, India-Pakistan and from Central and South America is also high. Some Southwestern students did a survey for my previous church, which is just outside the inner loop, and in a suburban area that developed between 1954 and 1980 and found that 70% of the population wasn't church affiliated, and that 8 out of 10 residents there were from somewhere other than Texas, mostly people who had moved when their company offered a transfer. In that particular neighborhood, there were a lot of Michigan natives because of Dow Chemical, and a lot of people from Missouri and Illinois because of McDonnell-Douglas being close by. Out in the southwestern suburbs, you find a lot of people from the Northeast or from California because of the insurance companies there, and Schlumberger, a French oilfield exploration company with its US operations based in New York.

There aren't a whole lot of people who wear boots more than once a year at rodeo time, or who say "y'all."
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