Thursday, December 8, 2011

What's in a name?

Have you noticed how many churches are dropping a denominationally affiliated name and taking on a generic, community focused name?

How does this trend make you feel? You and I both probably know people who are thrilled at the thought, others who are saddened but understand the baggage that oftentimes comes with a name and still others who say "no way!"

The Southern Baptist Convention has released a report on a study of the perception of Southern Baptists and other religious groups in America. The study asked people about their level of agreement to the statement, When I see (Southern Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Latter Day Saints or Muslim) in the name of a church, I assume it is not for me.

What do you think they found? Those who strongly agreed that the particular church named was not for them were:
  • 63% for Muslim
  • 52% for Latter Day Saints
  • 35% for Southern Baptist
  • 33% for Catholic
  • 26% for Methodist and
  • 20% for non-denominational
Two-thirds of Americans surveyed are without strong feelings in regards to all the Christian faith groups included in the survey. Ed Stetzer noted, ". . . most of the unchurched don't have strong opinions or awareness of denominations, . . . This would be especially true in areas of the country such as the West . . ."

You can read the full report on the LifeWay website.

No comments: