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    Thursday, July 13, 2006

    The Church Report lists the 50 Most Influential Churches in it's most recent issue. There are five SBC churches listed. What else sticks out at you?

    posted by Arkansas Razorbaptist at 7/13/2006 06:26:00 AM


    Blogger BSC said...

    That there are six (6) Southern Baptist Churches in the list...not five.

    Thursday, July 13, 2006 6:42:00 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    A few observations - perhaps inaccurate, but quick initial impressions...

    1. Most of these pastors were rebels (stated in a non-pejorative manner) and revolutionaries who did not (and do not) like the way their denomination (or their former denomination as is the case for many - note most of the churches are independent or a "Bible" church) was going.

    2. Most of them had little or no pastoral experience (in a local church setting per se - some were professors, writers, teachers, missionaries) when they assumed their role/calling. Experience does play a factor, but is it the determining factor for church growth - in the best sense of the word?

    3. All are urban and/or suburban churches, but not all of them are in metropolises or power centers like DC, NYC, Boston, Chicago, or LA. Atlanta, one might argue, is fast becoming a power center, however.

    4. Most are late 30's to early 40's - except for the old heads like Piper, Hughes (both wonderful men, BTW), etc.

    5. Hardly any are SBC. To be sure, Andy Stanley and Ed Young, Jr are technically "SBC," but I suspect their Cooperative Program percentages might mirror Ronnie Floyd's church.

    6. More of these influential churches are moving toward the West, the North, and Mid-west - away from the deep South. To be sure, there are plenty Southern churches mentioned here, but more and more non-Southern based churches are appearing here.

    Lingering questions I have from this sociological/demographic study -

    1. What does this mean for the SBC? Where will its Pastors be drawn from in the future? The seminaries? Other churches? Business? Government? Non-profit?

    2. Is there a systemic problem in the SBC - a certain inertia that cannot be overcome because there is too much baggage with evangelism programs, the Cooperative Program, just simply programs in general?

    3. With the exception of John Piper, Kent Hughes, John MacArthur, Tim Keller, and Harry Reeder, none of these men can be classified as a "professional theologian." Out of these five only one - John Piper - has a Ph.D. The others have a D.Min. and do not like (for the most part) seminaries. They believe, as do I, that the seminaries exist because the churches stopped training. One would think that is why Mark Dever is doing what he is doing with 9 Marks and Together for the Gospel.

    What, therefore, does this mean for ministerial training and preparation? Is seminary critical? If not, why not? If it is critical, what role to the seminaries play in training pastors - real pastors - who preach funerals, counsel couples on the verge of divorce, and answer tough questions by a new generation of young people who have cut their theological teeth on Charles Darwin, John Dewey, and Sigmund Freud?

    Thursday, July 13, 2006 7:22:00 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Count again. You didn't get them all.

    Thursday, July 13, 2006 7:37:00 AM  
    Blogger Kevin Bussey said...

    I wish I had come here first. I just posted on this. O well great minds think alike.

    Thursday, July 13, 2006 11:24:00 AM  
    Blogger Kevin Bussey said...

    Andy Stanley is not SBC.

    Thursday, July 13, 2006 11:25:00 AM  
    Anonymous liz park said...

    I find it interesting that at least half of these churches do not use the name of a denomination. I assume that the idea is that people are turned off or threatened by denominations. Is this tactic taught by church growth experts? It seems like a bait and switch to me.

    Thursday, July 13, 2006 11:42:00 AM  
    Blogger BSC said...

    They are:

    1. Saddleback
    2. Fellowship Grapevine
    3. Thomas Road
    4. Shadow Mountain
    5. Fellowship of the Woodlands
    6. First Jax

    Thursday, July 13, 2006 9:23:00 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Close, but not quite. There is one more. Look more closely. BTW, I'm not talking about Mr. Stanley's church.

    Friday, July 14, 2006 12:29:00 AM  
    Blogger Kevin Bussey said...

    When did Shadow Mt become SBC?

    Friday, July 14, 2006 11:28:00 AM  
    Blogger Kevin Bussey said...

    Is Erwin's church no longer affiliated with the SBC?

    Friday, July 14, 2006 11:30:00 AM  
    Blogger Tad Thompson said...

    Anonymous - if you are referring to the FBC church in IN that is an Independant Baptist Church.

    Friday, July 14, 2006 11:32:00 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...


    Of course not. They are not SBC but another church on the list is numbered among our denominational flock.

    Friday, July 14, 2006 2:07:00 PM  
    Blogger euroclydon said...

    1. Second Baptist Houston- Sr. is churching all over the city
    2. Woodstock First- expository preaching, evangelism, local-state-Home- Foreign missions, incredible help and encouragement to pastors, staff and church lay leaders- when history records great pastors/leaders/visionaries/soulwinners/etc. of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, Hunt and Woodstock will be near the top of the list, if not the top.

    3. Coral Ridge- Dr. Kennedy has allowed the Lord to use him in a great way as a Pastor-theologian. Coral Ridge is making a difference in their community and in the world.

    4. Thomas Road- say what you want to about Falwell, but I believe the most accurate word to describe TRBC, LU, and Jerry Falwell ministries is INFLUENTIAL.

    5. New Spring Community Church- new church in SC pastored by a lifelong friend. Just hang on, you will hear about it...

    Friday, July 14, 2006 9:14:16 PM

    Friday, July 14, 2006 7:42:00 PM  
    Blogger Rzrbk said...

    It would be interesting to know their criteria for choosing most influential.

    Some interesting notes. First Baptist Dallas is not included. Historically this would be considered our most infuential church but fell far in influence during the last years of Dr. Criswell's ministry and all the trouble they have had keeping pastors.

    Two or three prominent pastor's sons were included but their father's churches were not. Andy Stanley is not SBC I assume. Ed Young Jr. is. Is Kerry Shook the son of Damon Shook of Champion Road in Houston?

    Do they consider Jerry Falwell a Southern Baptist or part of the fundamentalist fellowship he used to aline with? If so, it is ironic that one of Southern Baptists most notorious critics and a man who probably in the past had a closer fellowship with Sun Myung Moon than with most Southern Baptists is considered an influential Southern Baptist. It shows how far we have sunk from the days when the Bible was our criteria for fellowship and not politics.

    Not long ago Mosaic Church was considered Southern Baptist. Are they not now.

    It is also interesting how few use Baptst in their name. I would also guess few support our denomination with a better percentage giving than First Springdale. I doubt if many are very influential in the Southern Baptist Convention so again I wonder what the criteria for most influential is.

    Ron West

    Monday, July 17, 2006 3:14:00 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Kerry Shook is Damon's son.

    Sunday, May 11, 2008 1:02:00 AM  

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