In a recent study, some truths about our denomination were revealed. Even with all the smoke and mirrors we could muster up, the reality is undeniable. Of the 46,000 Southern Baptist churches in North America, 41,600 are plateaued, dying, or near death. If this is true among evangelicals who believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, how much more is this true among the mainline denominations?
We have a choice. We can abandon ship, point fingers, or hide our heads in the sand. However, the church that is walking with God will get busy praying, serving, and giving to ensure this doesn’t happen on our watch. Continue reading
(Read Part 1 here.)
As I get older, I find myself wondering why we have more men answering the call to ministry, church planting, and missions and yet we are going backward in the American church. Our baptisms are down, and the lack of spiritual power is evident. Most of our churches only grow by stealing other church members or by Christians relocating. There is very little evangelism of the lost and least. With all our resources, programs, technology, styles, and options, we can’t seem to penetrate the darkness.
Let me give you my humble and accurate opinion, which I highly respect (my friend Ron Dunn gave me that line). If you aren’t learning, you aren’t growing. How do we learn? By being teachable. Continue reading
I’m a Baby Boomer. I’ve lived through the birth of rock-and-roll, the Jesus Movement, hippie culture, the invention of color television, the birth of FM radio, records, cassettes, CDs, MP3s, and satellite radio. I was around before the Internet and cell phones. My grandparents had a party line, and growing up all our phones had cords.
I learned to drive with a stick shift, we didn’t have seat belts, and the dashboard was metal. We didn’t use car seats, and we didn’t lock our doors at night. The streets were fairly safe for kids to play in, and we knew our neighbors. Most of us went to the same kind of church our parents and grandparents attended. We all sang hymns, but I was around when choruses started showing up in church, mainly because of the Jesus Movement. Continue reading
As I travel around the country, I am becoming more and more aware of our need for revival. Churches are fighting. Pastors are leaving the ministry. Ethics is lacking among believers. Morality is slipping away. The youth culture is fast becoming pagan. Children are being abused, neglected, and given over to godless philosophies and worldviews. These are just a few of the reasons why we need revival.
If procrastination is the thief of time, then failure to make godly choices when it comes to things like ReFRESH® is a thief of life itself. We don’t get better on our own. We need the accountability to the body. We need the fellowship of the saints. We need to sit under the anointed preaching of the Word. We need to join hearts in crying out to God to meet us in our time of need. Continue reading
The streets of every town in America are filled with once great churches. At one point, there was a vision, passion and commitment to planting a church in a neighborhood or community. Somehow, over time, that commitment waned or the next generation failed to carry the torch. Now, where there was once evidence of belief in the life-changing power of the gospel, there is peeling paint, overgrown yards, and dilapidated buildings.
There are other churches that are “alive” but are in reality, dead. They’ve forsaken the evangelistic and missional passion of their founders and replaced it with liberal theology, compromised ethics, and a social gospel. One needs to look no further than some of our mainline denominations to discover that these are undeniable realities. Sometimes I wonder what Wesley and Luther would think about what has happened to movements they started. Continue reading