Taking the Gospel to Atlanta (ITP)

Posted: June 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

As I post this we are starting the 4th day of a 5 day mission trip to Atlanta. The focus of this trip is to serve church planters “inside the perimeter” (ITP) of Atlanta. We certainly appreciate and desire your prayers as 20 of us strive to finish strong here in Atlanta before heading back to South Carolina. But the main reason I want to post now and over the next several days is to inform you about the needs of Atlanta and I hope to encourage you with God’s heart for the mega-masses of lost and unchurched that live in the city. We see a glimpse of God’s compassion and steadfast love for the urban peoples (represented by “Nineveh” in this passage)as he  shared in Jonah 4:11:

And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left..”

I also want to introduce you to the collaborative Kingdom effort of Urban Atlanta Church Planting (UACP). It is a
cooperative effort of the Atlanta area Baptist associations (Southern Baptist Churches) that connects with Kingdom partners like the South Carolina Baptist Convention  to engage urban lostness by intentionally planting reproducing congregations inside Atlanta’s perimeter (ITP) that strive to produce community transformation.

I initially want to inform and alert you to the great needs and demographics inside Atlanta’s perimeter:

  • Approximately 878,000 people live ITP with a projection of 951,000 by 2014. Metropolitan population projected to increase from the present 5,500,000 to 8,200,000 by 2050.
  • Over 500,000 people living ITP have no religious affiliation; over 600,000 people ITP are not church members; and over 700,000 people living ITP do not attend church.
  • 41% of the population ITP lives in rented housing. Typically 95% of those living in multi-housing/apartments/condos do not attend church.
  • 75% of the total households ITP have no children. Baptists are traditionally “better” at reaching married couple households with children.
  • 69% of the adult population ITP is not married and singles and single parents are the fastest growing groups ITP.
  • People of Hispanic origin (18,136 increase) and Whites (17,391increase) are projected to be the fastest growing ITP population segments between now and 2013.
  • The median age of people living ITP is 36.1 years of age. This is considerably less than those attending most Baptist churches.
  • ITP 6% of the adult population has less than a 9th grade education. 8% of the adult population dropped out of school between the 9th and 12th grade. 42% of the adult population has a college degree or higher.
  • Many ITP Baptist church members do not live in their church neighborhoods, do not reflect the “people groups” living in their church neighborhoods, do not impact their church neighborhoods, do not penetrate the lostness in their neighborhoods, and do not know or relate to those persons who make the decisions that affect the neighborhood. Many ITP Baptist churches are dying, declining, or just holding their own.
  • Of the 166 Southern Baptist Congregations that existed in the 1960’s in the area we now know as Inside the Perimeter, only 35 are still in existence ITP as the area has grown 24% during that time period.
  1. […] up in life and ministry,  I want to continue to cast a vision that I hope will grasp hearts for taking the Gospel inside the perimeter of Atlanta and to the cities. Last post I gave a basic introduction to the collaborative Kingdom effort of […]

  2. […] to partner with church plants in inside the perimeter in Atlanta. You can read more about that here and learn more about the great needs inside the perimeter of Atlanta. That was an incredible and […]

  3. […] for the cities with our church through Nehemiah and I am grateful we were able to participate in church planting in Atlanta earlier this summer. But as we have become involved in Come Closer city movement the Lord is doing incredible things in […]

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