SBC experienced in 2022 largest membership slide in a century, with over 450,000 membership declines.
According to a Tuesday Annual Church Profile compiled by Lifeway Christian Resources in cooperation with Baptist state conventions, the statistics show that Southern Baptist Convention experienced a decline of over 450,000 members in 2022. This consequently marks the largest drop in membership in 100 years.
While the report shows that baptism and worship attendance increased last year, total membership declined from 2021, 13,680,493 members to 13,223,122 members in 2022, losing a total number of 457,371 members.
Lifeway Christian Resource noted “The 457,371 members lost is the largest single-year numerical drop in more than 100 years. In total, Southern Baptist churches have suffered membership declines of about 3% annually the past three years.”
The 2022 SBC Annual Church Profile Statistical Summary also reported that SBC has 416 fewer members in 2022 total of 47,198 than in 2021 total number of 47,614. It noted also a decline of 165 and 7 Church-type Missions Operating and Associations respectively in 2022.
However, in 2022, SBC baptized 180,177, which is almost 60,000 people more than 123,160 were baptized in 2021. There is therefore respectively more than 16% and 5% increase in baptism and in-person worship attendance. Small group attendance increased by 4% with almost 2% growth in giving to Southern Baptist congregations.
Scott McConnell, Lifeway Research Executive Director quoted in the report that “Much of the downward movement we are seeing in membership reflects people who stopped participating in an individual congregation years ago and the record keeping is finally catching up.”
“Membership totals for a congregation immediately reflect additions as well as subtractions due to death or someone removing themselves from membership. But many congregations are slow to remove others who no longer are participating.”