Evangelism Crisis

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On Wednesday Night, October 31st, we will discuss the “Evangelism Crisis” within the Georgia Baptist Convention. In the October 9th edition of the “Christian Index”, the Editor, Dr. Gerald Harris, wrote an article entitle “We are in an Evangelism Crisis.”  He laments that the Evangelism numbers for Georgia Baptists continue to decline as they have for the last 2 decades. He includes some statistics compiled by Dr. Chuck Kelly from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary who said “In 1945, SBC churches baptized approximately 257,000 people into local congregations. 10 years later (1955), SBC churches baptized a record 417,000 people. Never again have Southern Baptists experienced the dramatic growth in baptism that typified the 1940’s and 50’s.”

What has changed since the 1940’s and 50’s?  Dr. Harris attributes our “decline in baptisms [to] the waning number of churches having revivals, the renewed emergence of reformed theology in our denomination that seems to make evangelism an ancillary issue, the reduction of the evangelism staff at the North American Mission Board, the dearth of soul winning emphases in our churches, the paucity of evangelistic sermons from our pulpits, the fact that we live in an unseeded generation, and the influence of a secular society that has dulled our sensitivity to absolute truth.”

As we prepare to discuss this Crisis – please consider the following statistic from the 2017 Annual Church Profile Report –

Last Year, ___ percent of Georgia Baptist Churches baptized no one.

  • 37% (47%, 8 Votes)
  • 47% (35%, 6 Votes)
  • 27% (12%, 2 Votes)
  • 17% (6%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 17

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