Interesting and Troubling Facts and
An Interesting Awesome Solution
As of September 2020, there are more than 1.3 million lawyers nationwide – or approximately one lawyer for every 240 (www.lawyersmutuahalnc.com). Using the 2020 Census statistics of 331,002,651 people in the USA yields these numbers.
As of fall 2021, “The American School Counselor Association recommends a ratio of 250 students for every one school counselor. …During the 2019-2020 school year, the national student-counselor ratio averaged 424 to 1 …[nationally with Arizona having the worst ratio at a] whopping 848 students for every school counselor. Such high caseloads can prevent counselors from proactively identifying at-risk students. “It’s almost like urgent care,” Whitson [Executive Director of ASCA] said. “Next, next, next.”
(www. Wng.org/schooled by Lauren Dunn and posted December 8, 2021)
There are approximately 41,133 psychiatrists practicing in America. This is approximately a ratio of 1 to 8,047 if we use the same math that we utilized to approximate the ratio of clergy. (https://www.behavioralhealthworkforce.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Y3-FA2-P2-Psych-Sub_Full-Report-FINAL2.19.2019.pdf)
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there are 52,260 pastors in America. This means there is approximately one pastor for every 6,334 people in America. In church management classes the recommendation is one pastor for approximately every 200 people in a church. When a church grows to 150 it is recommended that preparation to add the next pastor to the staff should begin and he should be secured. If not, outreach and growth will be stimmed.
If you ask how many biblical counselors there are per ratio your guess is as good as mine, but likely about one to every 66,201. [I used the generous guestimation of 5000 practicing counselors (certified lay and degreed professionals) drawing upon the cumulative membership of the three major certifying organizations of Biblical Counselors (ACBC, ABC, IABC and allowing for those trained but not certified.
Contributors to the Troubling Facts
There are numerous pressures driving similar statistics. They include growing parent neglect. I have three schoolteachers in my family and one school administrator. I hear horror stories regularly about parents, both single parents and married parents, who do not get up and bring children to school, or do not respond to teacher requests for conferences, who tell teachers, “We don’t have time for homework. It’s your job to teach them.” Then there is the escalation of bullying and at the same time the inability of parents to walk beside their child and teach them how to manage the bullying grows. School shoots proliferate. De facto character assassination on social media. Government officials instituting nothing short of stupid regulations and curriculum insertions that have little to do with education and a lot to do with social modifications that heighten social separation rather than healing social separation. No doubt you can add to this list.
A Statistical Reality Check
Here is what we know about one societal factor. It is a statistical example, not of what we can expect, but what we are not experiencing. “Emergency room visits for adolescent suicide attempts soared this past summer and winter, especially among girls, perhaps in connection to America’s struggle with Covid-19, new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data revealed Friday.
There was a 22.3 percent spike in ER trips for potential suicides by children aged 12 to 17 in summer 2020 compared to 2019, according to findings published in the CDC’s “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.”
That trend seemed to continue into this recently completed academic year as visits were up by 39.1 percent this winter, compared to the previous winter, the report said.” (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/youth-suicide-attempts-soared-during-pandemic-cdc-report-says-n1270463)
The Awesome Solution
Is there a solution? Yes, there is. It is fulfilling The Great Commission. Current statistics indicate that the evangelical population of the US is 24.5%. If each one evangelized one in 2022, that figure would be raised significantly. If each believer served as the midwife to three new births, it would not take but a few years to return Christianity to the majority. If each one discipled (I am talking serious discipleship) three others in 2022 and each succeeding year, abortion would be eliminated. Single parent births would drop like a rock off a ten-story building. Prison populations would begin to diminish rather than escalate. The opioid epidemic would go away. Government corruption would recede.
The Motivation of the Solution
We have seen surges of evangelism several times in the 20th century, but unfortunately the overall community was elated, but did not follow through with serious discipleship producing serious thoughtful Christian living. Hence, the potential of the surge dissipated into Christianity light far too often. The statistics cited above should not be the engine to drive an army of evangelicals back to the great commission. That should be obedience. However, God sometimes brings a “great awakening” through cultural collapse. So, there is a biblical sense in which these statistics reflecting our cultural demise should bring us to repentance and motivate us to obedience and anticipation of God renewing His church and in the process the overflow of cultural renewal.
A Picture of the Past to Fuel the Present Discipleship
A recent quiet time with the Lord and His Word from Deuteronomy 11 incited this blog. The first verse reads, “You shall therefore love the LORD your God, and always keep His charge, His statues, His ordinances, and His commandments. The chapter falls out into a simple outline: Love God 1, 13. Listen to God 16-21 and thirdly, look for anticipated blessings 26-32. In the middle of this passage, he reveals how to maintain a culture that is blessed by the Lord (18-22) and this is the essence of discipleship. It begins with each personal relationship (love God), it depends upon transferring knowledge of God to the next generation (natural children or evangelized children) by teaching, rehearsing, warning and artistically displaying God’s truth.
Love God God’s Way and live
Live your way and die!