My How The Church Has Declined
(Continued from 052318)
The Reverend Dr. Billy Graham once estimated the number of church members that are lost at 85% while W. A. Criswell said, “I would be surprised to see even 25% of my church members in heaven.” These numbers from two giants of the faith are eye-opening if not, jaw-dropping. If take Dr. Graham number (85%) and Dr. Criswell number (75%) and use the average of 80% as the number of church members that these two men do not expect to see in heaven.
These estimates are similar to the Pareto Principle (the 80/20 rule) also known as the law of the “vital few.” A business organization knows that 20 percent of their sales force produces 80 percent of sales. Applied to the church membership problem reveals in a typical church of 500 members that 400 members are unsaved and only 100 members will hear God’s welcome.
I believe the 80/20 Principle can strategically position the focus of the church. Our greatest immediate opportunity—fields white unto harvest— is in the 80% of the lost members of our churches. These individuals we know and we have their addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. And there is no language barrier keeping the saved from witnessing to their friend.
Do we care as much about our neighbor in the church as we do for our neighbor in Haiti, Africa, or China? We promote foreign, home, and state missions. Why not raise the awareness of the mission field “within” our church rolls to challenge our 3,200,000 saved-servers to introduce the 12,800,000 (80% of 16-million) to become friends with Jesus?