By any measure—city population, metro area or regional influence—Phoenix is a major North American city. The center of the Valley of the Sun has as much sway over its area as any other state capitol. If it were not for an enormous physical feature (Grand Canyon) north of the city, Phoenix would be completely synonymous with Arizona, with all due respect to Sedona and Tombstone.
One reason Phoenix is the sixth largest city in the United States is that it has become the go-to destination for retirees, golfers, sun seekers and high tech entrepreneurs. It is somewhat counter intuitive that the average age in Phoenix scales younger than other Southwest cities.
The Southwest and mission influences mark Phoenix with large numbers of Catholic and Mormon adherents. And, surprisingly, a relatively large number of evangelicals call Phoenix home. Evangelicals are estimated at 12.6 percent of the population.
We obviously have a long way to go to reach the people of Phoenix with the gospel. There are 297 Southern Baptist congregations in the three-county area covered by Send North America: Phoenix. That leaves an SBC church-to-population ratio of 1:18,497.
In the most recent release of Barna Group’s Barna: Cities, the researcher listed the most and least “Bible-Minded” cities in the United States. Phoenix ranked 89th out of 96 as one of the least Bible-minded metro areas in the U.S.
And you do not have to look far to find need. Many of the lost wanderers who fall off Route 66 in Flagstaff spill out of the mountains and onto the streets of Phoenix. Homelessness, crime and all the other big city problems are found in Phoenix, too. The sun may shine more often than in most places, but spiritual darkness is a reality for far too much of the city.
Phoenix is ready to partner with you to push back lostness in the epicenter of the Southwest. Help make the Valley of the Sun shine for Christ. Visit namb.net and click "Send Me."