May 1st, 2019

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and posses- sions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47 (NIV)
 

 
God has many wonders for our church in the near future but I found Rainer’s article so very interesting and want to share it with you.

“Many Churches Are Dying” From the Blog By Thom Rainer

Some are so sick that they are a few years, perhaps just months, from death. But too many refuse to do anything. Any potential and dramatic turnaround will not take place because these churches do nothing.

Why? Why do these dying churches walk resolutely down the path of death? Why don’t they attempt something dramatic, something bold? I have worked with too many of these churches. Allow me to share six common responses to these questions.

1. They refuse to admit they are sick, very sick. I have worked with churches whose attendance has declined by over 80 percent. They have no gospel witness in the community. They have not seen a person come to Christ in two decades. But they say they are fine. They say nothing is wrong.

2. They are still waiting on the “magic bullet” pastor. They reason, if only we could find the right pastor, we would be

fine. But they bring in pastor after pastor. Each leaves after a short-term stint, frustrated that the congregation was so entrenched in its ways. So the church starts the search again for the magic bullet pastor.

3. They fail to accept responsibility. I recently met with the remaining members of a dying church. Their plight was the community’s fault. Those people should be coming to their church. It was the previous five pastors’ fault. Or it was the fault of culture. If everything returned to the Bible belt mentality of decades earlier, we would be fine.

4. They are not willing to change…at all. A friend asked me to meet with the remain- ing members of a dying church. These members were giddy with excitement. They viewed me as the great salvific hope for their congregation. But my blunt assessment was not pleasing to them, especially when I talked about change. Finally, one member asked if they would have to look at the words of a hymn on a screen instead of a hymnal if they made changes. I stood in stunned silence, and soon walked away from the church that would close its doors six months later.

5. Their “solutions” are all inwardly focused. They don’t want to talk about reach- ing the ethnically changing community. They want to know how they can make church more comfortable and palatable for the remnant of members.

6. They desire to return to 1985. Or 1972. Or 1965. Or 1959. Those were the good old days. If we could just do church like we did then, everything would be fine. These churches are increasing in number. Culture indeed has little patience with a me- focused congregation, much less so than, say, 15 years ago.

Is there hope for these churches? Will these dying congregations indeed die? I have seen God intervene a few times in such situations. But, in every case, the church has turned its face to Him, and forsaken all of their own preferences, desires and human-centered traditions.

But most dying churches will die.

I pray that your church, if it is indeed on the path to death, will be the rare exception, to the glory of God.

The above article should energize us and take us to our knees. Please pray FBC will continue to seek His will in all of our ministries and keep Christ’s commission at the forefront in all we do.

I am looking forward to the many things we will be doing this May, please be a part

of it!

God Bless, Pastor Shaker