Native American Will Rogers, who was killed in an airplane crash about the time I was born, became famous with his humor. He gained widespread popularity with his funny comments while he was performing rope tricks before audiences. He became so famous that the major airport in Oklahoma City is named after him. One of his comments that brought laughs: “I’m not a part of any organized religion. I’m a Baptist!”
Our radio guest here, Pastor Jim Breeden, is Director of Missions of the St. Louis (MO) Metro Baptist Association, composed of 130 or so churches and missions in St. louis (MO) City, St. Louis County, and the next county west, St. Charles . See www.stlbaptist.org.
He and his colleagues call to our attention a significant “challenge” among the churches locally and around the country. Perhaps in the desire to be more “organized,” a significant majority of local churches have “plateaued” (leveled out) in attendance … or are in decline. In many cases, they may have become “organized” at the expense of other focuses seen in the New Testament.
Simply stated, being too focused on church management and programs is seen to be a large part of the problem. Loving people and prayerfully ministering to the needs of people outside the walls of the church building – and working on relationships, frequently requires a change in “mindset … and time … are large parts of the solution.
Part of the reasons may be indicated in Ralph Neighbor’s book. It is titled: “The Seven Last Words of the Church – ‘We Never Did It That Way Before’”
For more enlightenment in this area, see http://www.stlbaptist.com/revitalize. Summary information is provided in stating the need and finding solutions, bathed in prayer, are significantly providing answers for churches seeking them.
Jim Breeden and his team – at each church’s request — has worked or is working with about 20 churches in the STL Baptist Association to “revitalize” each of them, to “please the Lord” and to grow vibrant New Testament Churches.
The material below is not in any way humanly coordinated with the above material. It was not planned. But my longtime friend, Dr. C. David Claybrook, a ThD graduate of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, sent it to me at about the same time I aired Director of Missions of the St. Louis Metro Baptist Association, Jim Breeden. It really seemed to address the same focus.
The two-page material of Dr. Claybrook is in the link below:
by 1. David Claybrook (click to bring up info)
Darrin Casper is on the ministry staff of the St. Louis Metro Baptist Association … with a focus and gatherings once a quarter with “church planters” … or those interested in “church planting.” The website regarding it is http://www.plantmidwest.com/.
To hear … “Darren Casper Leads Group ‘Planting’ New Testament Churches (Www.Plantmidwest.Com); Helps On How To Do It” … Click On … http://haroldhendrick.com/2014/09/08/darren-casper-leads-group-planting-new-testament-churches-www-plantmidwest-com-helps-on-how/