Some of the most enduring images of Americana were born in the rural Midwest—from Mark Twain's St. Petersburg, Mo., to Little House on the Prairie's Walnut Grove, to Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon. It's Anytown U.S.A.—where "salt-of-the-earth" people work hard and go to church every Sunday. Small towns still dot the region—places like Amboy, Ill., Lanesboro, Minn., and Burns, Kan.
Yet the Midwest in 2011 is much broader than simply small-town America. It's also urban Chicago, downtown Cleveland and suburban Indianapolis. Ten Midwestern cities rank in the top 50 in population in America. And despite the region's image of good, hard-working, church-going residents, the vast majority does not have a relationship with Jesus. Many have never stepped foot in a church.
Today the region has a desperate need for a diverse lot of new churches that will reach the increasingly diverse region—and reach them in their own cultural context.
Regional Focus: Midwest from North American Mission Board on Vimeo.
Meet the Midwest Population: 68,656,688
SBC Congregations: 5,363
Population Per Congregation: 12,802
Number of Lost: 52 million
Percentage of the Population Lost: 75 percent
Based on 2009 statistics.
"There have been times when I've wanted to leave, but this city needs the God who is in us. This city will rise from the ashes. Where other people see problems, I see opportunities. Where other people see ungodly things, I see the power of Christ that can come in and change the whole community." —John Smith, church planter, Pontiac, Michigan
The Chicagoland area contains nearly 10 million people in three states— Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana—putting it in the top 25 largest metropolitan areas in the world.
Learn more about the Midwest at OnMission.com
Posted on Mon, October 31, 2011
by Donna Shiflett filed under