We Are Growing
DATE POSTED: 05/25/2017  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

Our state, county and cities are growing. According to Clay Price, a long time Baptist statistician, by the year 2030 the population of Texas will be 32 million people. (See Diagram 1) In his presentation at a Director of Missions Retreat he illustrated the growth this way. From 2000 to 2010 we went from 20 to 25 million people. This increase in population would be like taking the population of the state of Kentucky and moving it to Texas. From 2010 to 2020 our population will grow to 28 million, which would be like the state of Oklahoma’s population moving to Texas. From 2020 to 2030 the prediction is that our population will swell to 32 million. Price states that would be like all the people from the state of Oregon moving to Texas. As I listened to his presentation I was reminded that while I understood our state was growing I did not realize the magnitude of that growth.

Once Clay completed the stats on the state he moved to a series of pictures that described the current size of the counties in Texas with future projections. He showed us that currently there are five counties in the state that have at least 1 million people living in them; Dallas, Tarrant, Travis, Bexar and Harris. These counties encompass the cities of Dallas, Ft. Worth, Austin, San Antonio and Houston. By 2030 there will be nine counties with over 1 million people. This would include the original five plus El Paso, Cameron, Collin and Denton Counties. (See Diagram 2)

Currently our county has a population of 753,363. According to Price we will experience a 25% growth in our population through 2030. Our county will be the seventh fastest growing county in Texas. This increase in population will be broken down by increases in various ethnic groups.
The Anglo population will increase by 63,165 yielding a second place finish for the largest increase in this ethnic group. The African American population will grow by 29,974. The Hispanic/Latino population will grow by 114,006. Another category which would include, Korean, Chinese, Indian, Chin and all other groups will increase by 46,073. In each of these categories our county rates in the top ten of total growth in contrast to the rest of Texas.

In light of this significant growth, let me make 7 observations.

  1. Do not be guilty of saying there are no prospects for our church.
  2. Don’t assume that people will just show up at your church. They won’t.
  3. Begin praying for your new neighbors.
  4. Spend time in your community and with your neighbors building true friendships and trust.
  5. Focus on one person at a time by getting to know them individually.
  6. Invite your neighbor to church, or a small group and ultimately to know Jesus.
  7. Continue the relationship with your neighbor to help them grow in Christ.

Notice the order involves a progression in getting to know the individual before they are ready to hear about Jesus. Lucas, a pastor in a Canadian college city, states it this way, “We found that by serving meals to hungry college students and building relationships with them, we earned the right to share the gospel.” May we commit to serving our neighbors and sharing Christ with them. If we don’t, who will?

 

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