Do you like stats like I do? Who doesn’t, right. We keep stats on our blogs, individual posts, just about everything that is run on the Internet is backed by some kind of stat. Because of the way the Internet works, stats and trends have become huge on the Internet.Â Once something that was important for businesses alone can now be utilized by individuals and churches too.
From Google Trends to Jesus and the Church
Google’s innovations over the past several years has been incredible, but they make everything publicly available, and for the most part free. One of the tools I really like from Google is Google Analytics. This is basically a supped up version of your basic stat counter, but if for your own site.
If your looking for something more Internet wide, you need Google Trends. So as I am looking around today, I wonder, where does Jesus rank among churches. I did this in two different formats, one utilizing Twitter’s api of words, and once with Google trends, and they both showed just about the same thing.
Are Christians Different Than Anyone Else?
I was listening to a story from our pastor yesterday, who just got back from Uganda (see Adjusting Back), about someone he was trying to share the gospel message with on the trip. Their response to Josh was “I know people who say they are Christians, and they are no different from anyone else”.
It was sad to hear because it was the truth from his eyes. But that was in Africa, surely it is different here in developed worlds, with the Internet. So I dug around a little. This chart is from a site called Flaptor, and the full data for the chart below is here. (All of these charts click through to the original data points.)
I had to shrink this first chart down so you may have to click on the enlarged size to see the detail. Basically, this is from Twitter conversations. The blue graph is for the term church, red is Jesus, and yellow is faith. Of course, those blue points, those are Sunday’s.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the church body, but I don’t think our actions should be any different on Sunday than any other day of the week, but obviously it is on the conversational minds of Twitter on one day, Sunday. So, according to this graph, are Christians different than anyone else?
Jesus and the Church According to Google Trends
The Interesting thing about Google is how broad reaching their data is and what is covers. These next two charts were just two I pulled out from the Google Trends data. This first chart shows basically the same search terms the one above showed, but for all of the Internet.
Here the blue line represents church, yellow is Jesus, and red is Faith. You can see the full data here. The peaks are mostly on Sunday here, but if you expand the date range for a year, or all time the data get very interesting. So what are the top ten cities that rank highest on the search term for church? Nashville gets top billing, Atlanta, and Dallas area has two cities that rank all by themselves.
What is interesting about the city chart to me is how high the church term ranks and how low the other three rank. I would have thought the name of Jesus being what it is would rank much higher when compared to the word church. I guess my question would be, inside those walls of the church, where does Jesus rank? I hope it is higher than the yellow mark on the cities chart above?
The Big One, the Church and Your Money
I thought I would just throw in another chart just for fun. This chart adds the search term money into the mix. Now this isn’t all the different variations of what we call money, it is just the single term of money.
No on this chart, Money is green (I didn’t plan it that way, Google just did it), blue is church, yellow is Jesus, and red is Faith. You can see the entire data chart here. Well this chart isn’t really one of a big shocker, but it still shows where we think as a whole people.
What Do We Conclude From All This?
So, what is the point and what do we conclude from all this chart and stat posting. I don’t know, I am not a statistician and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. What do you think it shows? I have been to churches where Jesus has rarely been mentioned at all, and I have been in some Jesus loving churches as well. I think without Jesus the church part is pretty much irrelevant?
To me, if Jesus is not present in the Church, it is just a place for people to go on Sunday mornings to feel better about themselves Once it gets checks off the list they are good until next Sunday. Jesus can exist in true form without the actual church building itself, but the church (as intended in scripture) can not exist without Jesus being present.
So, leave a comment and let me know what you think.