Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas

peace on earth and goodwill to all the peeps!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Claiming no religious afiliation in Miami

I am taking a class on religious diversity in Latin America with a professor at FIU. Tonight she shared some demographic data with our class that was very surprising to me. The data is taken from the ARDA, Association of Religious Data Archives.

Miami-Dade County, Florida Religious Affiliations, 2000

Evangelical Protestant - 158,052
Mainline Protestant - 49,777
Orthodox - 3,570
Catholic - 542,984
Other - 138,551
Unclaimed - 1,360,428

I am not entirely confident that the data is accurate…it seems to me that the “Independent Charismatic Churches” membership data should be much higher…I am away of several independent Charismatic Spanish speaking churches that are over 2000, one that is nearly 20,000. However, the rest of the data is probably pretty accurate.

What does this mean for missioners? Where do we go, and how to we connect with the million and a quarter people in our county who claim no religious affiliation? How do we serve them? What are they looking for that organized religions are not providing?

I remember a recent survey by George Barna that claimed that most people were looking for an "experience" with God...only a very small percentage of church-going Christians actually "experienced" God's presence in church over the course of a year.

I decided that "I want to know what love is" by Foreigner would go well here... over a million people within a one hour's drive of my house are likely singing this song in their hearts: