Friday, December 22, 2006

Who's in Church?

A recent commenter on this blog mentioned that 80 percent of Jacksonville declared themselves "Christian" in a 2004 census. I don't know if that's true or not, but it did make me pay a little more attention when my friend Derrak started quoting statistics for Akron, OH, where he wants to start a church. As I said here the other night, we didn't do a tremendous amount of research coming into this—it's been a very relational process. So, just for fun, I did a little checking.

Turns out, 81 percent of Jacksonville is completely absent from church on any given Sunday. Only 13 percent of the metropolitan statistical area is present in evangelical churches. Three percent of the people are in Catholic churches, and 3 percent are in mainline churches. What's interesting is that the only segment that is increasing in Jacksonville church attendance is the Catholic church (up 6.8 percent over 10 years), which could be attributed to the 54 percent increase in the area's Hispanic population during the same period. (All stats courtesy of The American Church.)

I don't know what all of this means; I'm not a statistician. But it certainly seems that there are literally hundreds of thousands of people in this city who wake up on Sunday morning and don't even think about attending church. I'd love to be part of a church that changes that. Wouldn't you?


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Pretty sobering statistic. But at the same time encouraging. God has called you to a clear mission!!
I cannot tell you how encouraging it was to connect with you a couple days ago. Thanks so much. I look forward to many more conversations as we sharpen and encourage one another in the midst of our journey's.


December 26, 2006 12:10:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I moved to Jacksonvillle one year ago. I worked as a music director of CenterPoint Church in Ocala, FL. We modeled our chruch after NorthPoint and would make frequent trips to 7:22. When I heard a few days ago that NorthPoint was planting a church here, I got goose bumps. I am so excited to be part of this much needed church here in Jax. We need it soooo bad! I will be at the next Info meeting. Thank you so much.
- Charlie Walker

January 17, 2007 1:06:00 PM EST  

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