Baptisms @ $762,000 each

Reader Dave writes,


Good challenge on Zero dollar church planting.

The Jan 2012 issue of the International Bulletin of Missionary Research (IBMR) publishes the annual statistics of the “Status of Global Mission”. They identify that $762,000 per year is the “cost effectiveness” per baptism, globally.

Granted, the numbers include all Christian groups of every “flavor” (para-church and denominational), but it does cause you to gasp! …and causes you to want to ask probing questions to know more…

Thanks for your good work and blog articles. And, your book, What Jesus Started, has arrived for those of us who pre-ordered.

Christmas blessings!


All we need is $762,000,000,000,000,000 to reach the next billion people.

UPDATE: Here’s the direct link to the article. Look for item 55 on page 29.

UPDATE: That figure should be $762,000,000,000,000 (not $762,000,000,000,000,000) to reach the next billion people. Thanks to Fro for the correction. I feel much much better now.


  1. Nathan Shank
    Posted 9 December, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Can you provide a more detailed reference for the statistic: 762K per baptism? I have not been able to find in within the link. Thanks, Nathan Shank

  2. fro
    Posted 5 March, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    You added three extra zeroes to the total cost of baptizing a billion people.
    $762,000 * 1,000,000,000 = $762,000,000,000,000

  3. Posted 6 November, 2013 at 2:58 am | Permalink

    This is calculated as Christian income in the country divided by total baptisms, not as the cost of missionary outreach divided by total baptisms. I think “cost-effectiveness” isn’t the best wording for that particular line, but be that as it may…

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