The chart shows the number of adult baptisms per year per 100 people in worship in a (non-representative) sample of 27 of the 107 ELCA congregations in the Saint Paul Area Synod. (Since most of them are less than one per year on this measure, the data was actually produced by averaging worship and baptism statistics for the six-year period of 2000 through 2005. This kind of data is publicly available, by the way, on the ELCA website. Once you find the congregation you are interested in, look for the "Full Trend Report" link for a wealth of information.)
A couple of things to note:
- Some congregations appear to have no effective evangelism (by this measure) with no adult baptisms over the six-years represented in the data.
- Among congregations that do report adult baptisms over the last six years, there can be a ten-fold difference in effectiveness.
- There is no evidence here that larger congregations are more effective than smaller ones (by this measure.) The data suggests that the reverse is likely to be true.
So. More food for thought.