The Briefing: LifeWay list of top 500 SBC churches shows denomination becoming more urban

Lisa Misner —  November 10, 2015

Lifeway: SBC becoming more urban
LifeWay’s new list of the top 500 Southern Baptist churches shows the denomination is becoming more urban because the American population is becoming more urban. Among other findings the South—and particularly Texas—is the epicenter of SBC megachurches; and of the 20 largest SBC churches, 20% are predominantly non-anglo. Learn more findings.

Feds give Chicago school 30 days to let boy use girls’ locker room
A transgender female student has complained District 211 high school in Palatine has “set her apart from her female classmates and teammates.” The district however has “noted two concerns it had in giving full locker room access to the student: First, a biological male would have opportunity to see girls changing clothes, and second, girls might see the student’s ‘biologically male body.’ OCR said those concerns were ‘unavailing in this case,’ and called them a pretext.”

German Protestant church rejects the Great Commission
The Evangelical Church in the Rhineland says the passage in the Gospel of Matthew known as the Great Commission does not mean Christians must try to convert others to their faith. Their position paper states, “A strategic mission to Islam or meeting Muslims to convert them threatens social peace and contradicts the spirit and mandate of Jesus Christ and is therefore to be firmly rejected.”

Religious liberty key to refugee crisis, leaders say
Religious freedom and the protection of religious minorities are essential to resolving the escalating refugee crisis in Syria and other countries, human rights advocates say. The repressive role of a religious group against other religious adherents can be seen not only in Syria but in Burma, the Central African Republic, Eritrea, Nigeria and Pakistan.

High court to hear GuideStone abortion mandate appeal
The U.S. Supreme Court (Nov. 6) agreed to hear appeals by several ministries, including GuideStone Financial Resources, to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mandate that would require certain ministries served by GuideStone to provide potentially abortion-causing drugs and devices or face crippling penalties.

Sources: Baptist Press, Religion News Services,

Lisa Misner


Lisa is IBSA Social Media/Public Policy Manager. A Missouri native, she earned a Master of Arts in Communications from the University of Illinois. Her writing has received awards from the Baptist Communicators Association and the Evangelical Press Association.