bits from bob....
Encouragement: Keeping On Keeping On
by Bob Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]
Phil Sanders published several items under the title, "Some Encouraging News" [The Search Light, Oct 2009]. I found encouragement in his article and have added several other encouraging observations in the list below.
- Flavil Yeakley, Jr. says about churches of Christ that, (1) we are the twelfth largest religious group in America; (2) we are the sixth fastest growing church in America; (3) we are fourth in the nation in total number of congregations; (4) we are fifth in the nation in number of counties in which there is a congregation; (5) we are first in the nation in distribution of congregations; and (6) we are first in the nation in weekly attendance of adherents. In fact, 76% of our adherents attend regularly, much higher than most mainline religious groups.
- While some congregations are graying, many of our churches are filled with children and young adults. Churches of Christ have a larger percentage of young adults than the national average. According to a Pew survey, we rank #3 among religious groups having the most adults aged 18-29.
- According to one Barna survey, churches of Christ were first in the percentage of members who contributed to the church.
- Some in the Christian religious world speak with admiration of our lack of divisions. We may see ourselves as divided, but we have maintained a level of fellowship and recognition of one another that is astounding to some in other religious groups.
- In a cultural context that challenges the objective truth of the Bible, we have maintained a strong commitment to the authoritative word of God. A church leader from another group observed, "You in the churches of Christ have reminded us continually that what the Bible says has to matter."
- Almost without exception, the churches I visit are interested in and committed to evangelism and missions. I believe that we may have more congregations financially involved in mission work than at any time in the past.
Last updated October 23, 2010.