Monday, November 19, 2007

Where is the church?

James 1:27 "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

My good friend Tara has recently been writing about her quest to find a local church that embraces Christ's teachings. Sounds strange doesn't it? With so many churches in the U.S. that she would have a hard time finding one that teaches and is a model of living as a follower of Christ.

Her latest blog got me thinking about something Jacob and I are passionate about - Why is't the church caring for the orphans? Without going into a lot of "preaching" on the why, or the how, or how the church is failing the world's orphans, I just want to present some numbers...

Trying to find the actual number of how many orphans are in the world is difficult. The most common numbers vary from 16.7 million to 143 million. It is said there could be as many as 200 million in the world, in trying to produce a realistic number for all those unaccounted for. For the sake of argument in my blog, I'm going to use the 200 million figure - since it's on the larger side.

200 million orphans in the world

76.9 million U.S. Roman Catholic members as of 2003
20.2 million U.S. Pentecostal members as of 2000
16.6 million Southern Baptist members as of 2005
10 million members belong to non-denominational U.S. Christian churches
4.78 million Evangelical Lutheran Church in America members as of 2005
2.3 million U.S. Presbyterian Members as of 2006
417,000 U.S. members of Christian and Missionary Alliance as of 2006
77,000 Free methodist members in the U.S. as of 2004
20,000 at the Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa alone

Out of that list alone there are over 131 million Christians in the U.S. What if 50% of those members were households that adopted just 1 child. That would be over 30% of the orphans in the world. This isn't including numerous churches I'm sure I didn't think to search statistics for. It also is restricted to the U.S. alone, it doesn't include Christians in Canada or Europe.

Of course, if the numbers for orphans in the world really are between 16.7 - 143 million U.S. Christian families alone could remedy that problem.

So where is the church?

1 comment:

Darlene Sinclair said...

Quickly for now, my e-mail is

Can't write much now, but wanted to get that to you ASAP! Hope you write soon!!