A few weeks ago, I cam across a 2009 Dan Valley Baptist semi-annual report. I was astounded on how vibrant our local churches were 10 years ago. So what Happened?
Many Of those same churches are in serous decline today. In order to address the issues, A Pastor must get his church to ask some very hard questions.
1. Has the church stopped believing that their church can do anything really significant.
2. Members of the church sense that their church has maxed out their potential in influencing their community.
3. Church members spend more time focusing on the negative rather than the positive.
4. Long time members are frightened about the very real possibility that they will have to make major changes in most everything they do.
5. The church has enshrined their traditions and preferences as the only way they can worship and follow God.
6. They have moved away from a biblical polity which makes it difficult for the pastor to lead. In some churches, the pastor is just the "errand boy" doing the bidding of either the congregation or the deacons. He is not encouraged to lead.
7. Members who have served for years are ground down by weariness, despair, and a sense of futility in their endeavors.
8. The church has few to none of the folks in the next generation window (ages 19-35).
9. Most of their members have moved out of the community in which the church is located and they are not vigorously building bridges back into the community.
I believe Number nine has affected GBC. The town has changed significantly in the last decade. High schools students are graduating and going to college or go elsewhere to find work. They end up raising their families in a new community. Even with the change, there are still plenty who need Jesus. There are still plenty who do not have a home church. This is my prayer. GBC will in 2020 become a church that will grow larger due to fruits put forth from evangelizing in our community. Thanks for reading, see you next Thursday Rev. Eddie