Jesus told his followers that they were “the salt of the earth” (Matt 5:13). With over 80% of the population of the United States and Canada now living in “urban” areas, how much salt do Seventh-day Adventists contribute to North America’s largest metropolitan areas today?
The US Census Bureau uses “metropolitan statistical areas” (MSA) and Stats Can uses “census metropolitan areas” (CMA) so we compared the populations (2015 US Census, 2011 Canada Census) to current membership of churches (eAdventist) in each of these areas. The 5 largest metro areas looked like this:
Clearly, a little salt is having to go a long way in these large cities. To get a better comparison, we magnified the members by a factor of 100 and used stacked bars. Note that the population totals are still correct but the “population” (blue) is reduced by magnifying the “members” (green).
It’s safe to say that there is no shortage of opportunity for the “salt” in these areas. The metro areas with the highest ratio of members have Adventist hospitals, headquarters offices or both.
Predictably, the metro areas with the lowest ratio of members do not have hospitals, schools or headquarters offices in them. This provides them with a fantastic opportunity and challenge.
Here is an Excel spreadsheet (nad-metro-areas) of the 38 largest areas in North America, including population and members. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would need more of this kind of information for church planting or metro outreach.