“Baptists and ‘Nones’: What Does the Future Hold?”
by Bruce Gourley, Executive Director
Baptist History & Heritage Society
Charts and Numbers Illustrate the Trend
Information from the Pew Forum 2012 Surveys of “Nones”
Of the unaffiliated, 88% are neither interested nor looking for religion.
The share of infrequent churchgoers who describe themselves as unaffiliated has been growing, from 38% in 2007 to 49% in 2012.
No religious group in America is growing now (Mormons are holding steady).
Americans who have “never doubted” the existence of God has declined from 87% to 80% in last ten years.
The growing disillusionment with religion is across the board: age, gender, ethnicity, economics, education, and geography.
The only two sub-sets of the unaffiliated that have not seen increases in the past five years are Hispanics and marrieds.
Poor southerners are the most religiously affiliated segment of the U.S. population. More specifically, poor, southern, married Hispanics and blacks are the most religiously affiliated segment.
The above numbers reflect the new face of religion in America.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
Where has Christianity gone wrong?
What can we learn from our past?
How can Baptists help shape the future discourse about religion in America?
How will your congregation confront the growth of “nones”?
* View the full report from the Pew Forum 2012 Surveys of “Nones”