The future of the Australian Baptists

Bua Logo
I've just finished an unofficial report on the future of my denomination, the Baptist Union of Australia.

The good news is the BUA has a future. The bad news is if that future is more of the same then the Baptist are headed for long term, gradual decline in relation to the Australian population.

Here's a summary of the trends

  1. Baptist membership has been falling since 1992.
  2. The gap between membership and population growth has been widening since 1911.
  3. Church attendance has been growing since 2003 but the numbers may not be accurate.
  4. The number of churches is increasing.
  5. The gap between number of churches and population growth has been widening since 1911.
  6. Mainline Protestant churches are in serious decline which outweighs the growth in evangelical churches.
  7. The Australian population is growing at unexpectedly high levels and will continue to do so.

Conclusion: More of the same will result in steady long-term decline in relation to Australian population growth.

So what is to be done? Apart from a new logo I suggested we need to:

  1. Confront the evidence
  2. Keep returning to our evangelical heritage
  3. See our future through Great Commission eyes
  4. Release pioneering leadership
  5. Build a church planting movement
  6. Keep learning
  7. Exercise faith

If we do nothing, we’ll survive. It may take decades for the full impact of our inaction to bear fruit. There will be a long journey of gradual decline in relation to population growth. The denomination will probably still be around in 100 years time—unless Jesus returns.

Future Prospects for the Baptist Union of Australia