At January’s Leadership Team meeting, I shared some info relating to the need our area has for churches (not just ours) to be intentionally planning for how to meet our area’s growing and changing needs. Here is some of that information and some updates to it.
I cited one piece of information that named Denton, Texas in the bottom 3% of cities in the US on the measure of churches per capita of population. The study was from 2010 and showed that there were over 1400 people of population per church in the city of Denton. I have counted the number of churches in Denton today as approximately 95 and have pulled current demographic numbers. The number is still over 1400 people of population per church, 10 years later. The US Average for this statistic is 1053 people of population per church, to reach that, Denton would need 130 churches in addition to adding two churches each year to accommodate the growing population.
Of course, we all can understand that a statistic like this doesn’t mean that people are not being reached for Christ, it just means that each church that does exist has a greater responsibility to reach more people with the gospel message and incorporate them into the body of Christ. As things stand today as a whole in our area, this responsibility to evangelize is not being met.
To support this claim here is more information:
Within a 10 mile radius of Blue Mound UMC, 82.5% of the population already agrees that there is a Loving God who invites them into a personal and loving relationship. In other words, 82.5% of the population already believes the Gospel message. Yet, only 35.4% are actively involved in a religious congregation of any kind meaning 47.1% who believe the Gospel does not have a church home.
If you prefer actual numbers to percentages here they are:
Approx. 140,000 population within 10 miles
82.5% = 115,00 people believe the Gospel
35.4% = 49,560 people participate in a church
47.1% = 65,940 people who believe the Gospel and don’t have a church home.
Being a part of a church has had a greater impact on my life than anything else. The difference made from participating has been both spiritual and practical. I pray that our hearts would be moved by this information and lead us to repentance. I pray that we begin to change our hearts, minds, and actions in ways that help those without a church home find one and grow in their discipleship. What hope do we have of bringing the 17.5% without faith to God if we don’t have room for the folks who already believe?
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Jacob Fields