I don’t know if you like stats, but these stats are paradigm shifting for me. We need to pray and strategize (as leaders and churches) and most importantly, understand that WE ARE missionaries in Rhode Island. Please check out the link and my summary below:
*THE BOTTOM LINE:
Southeastern New England (Boston to Providence corridor) has the lowest percentage in the US of “evangelicals” and “born again Christians”. It has the least “Christian oriented” population. It has the lowest rate of small-group participation in the US. It is where people are least likely to share their faith in Christ. It is the least likely place for people to believe in the sovereignty of God. It has the highest percent of “notional Christians,” atheists and agnostics!
Summary of Barna Survey Results (24,000 adults in 86 largest metro areas):
*Of 86 US metro areas, Salt Lake City, Hartford, and Providence have the lowest proportion of evangelicals.
*In the US, 4/10 people are ‘born again Christian’ [not self-defined]. There were also six out of the 86 markets studied that had fewer than 25% of the adult public satisfying the born again standard. The lowest of those were Boston (21%) and Providence (21%).
*The Faith By Market report estimates how Christian-oriented a market’s population is, based upon a combination of faith factors. The markets whose indexed score was at the bottom of the list were Boston and Providence, whose scores were 35% below the national norm.
*The three markets with the lowest rates of small group participation are Albany (NY), Boston and Providence.
*Adults are most likely to claim they have a responsibility to share their religious beliefs with other people if they live in Birmingham, Alabama. That perspective is least common in Providence and Green Bay.
*Believing that God is “the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the universe who still rules it today” is least predominant in Boston and San Francisco.
*The states with the lowest proportion of born again residents having shared their faith in Christ with a non-believer in the past year were Massachusetts and Tennessee.
*The largest percentage of adults who are “notional Christians” – that is, those who consider themselves to be Christian but are not born again – are found in Massachusetts and Wisconsin.
*One out of every six residents of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Washington are atheist or agnostic – nearly double the national average.