Archive for the ‘Baptist Issues’ Category
November 10th, 2008 | Comments Off | Posted in » Baptist Issues
We’ve heard a lot about “change” recently.
As webmaster of sbcIMPACT, I thought it was time for some “change” there as well.
Check out the new look when you get a chance! I’m REALLY pleased with how things turned out.
Big time thanks to my friend Micah Fries for his help with graphics!
September 11th, 2008 | 4 Comments | Posted in » Baptist Issues, Just For Fun...
You know, I’ve always wondered why there has been such opposition to “contemporary” worship, and yes, dancing, in Baptist churches.
These videos finally make it clear why.
(HT: Micah Fries.)
(HT: Tony Kummer, Said at Southern.)
September 10th, 2008 | Comments Off | Posted in » Baptist Issues, Christian Living, Worth Reading
As many of you may know, I’m the webmaster for sbc IMPACT. How that’s relevant to this post?
Well… I started this “Family Focused Faith” series here at Toward the Goal a while back, but recently decided to continue this over at IMPACT, where I’m now serving a dual role as webmaster and contributor.
July 25th, 2008 | Comments Off | Posted in » Baptist Issues, Christian Living, Worth Reading
A while back, I’d shared a post here regarding The Discipleship Void.
May 21st, 2008 | 3 Comments | Posted in » Baptist Issues, Christian Living
Over the past couple years, I’ve spent quite a bit of time learning about “Baptist Issues”. I’ve spent way too much time reading blogs, internet forums, and other online Baptist publications, and have read quite a few books on a variety of topics ranging from church vision to small group development to missional living to apologetics.
In doing all of the above, I’ve come across some general facts and statistics that are simply frightening:
– Southern Baptist church membership growth is vastly outpaced by general population growth.
– The vast majority of “church growth” is either biological growth (children of church members getting saved) or transfer membership.
– Somewhere between 80 to 90 percent of teens never return to regular church attendance after they graduate school and move out of their youth group.
From these things, I conclude three things:
– Most churches are doing a miserable job or reaching unchurched people.
– Most churches really aren’t even reaching their own kids.
– Something must change.
There’s no beating around the bush here… these are serious problems that churches need to address, and quickly at that. We’re losing a spiritual battle for the hearts and souls of our kids, our families, our friends, and our communities!
Something must change.
I write all of this in the context of self-examination. You see, I am the Sunday School director at my church (Missouri Valley Baptist), and in my two years serving in that position, I’ve done absolutely nothing to make a dent in these problems. While I could chalk that up to being rather new in the church and still feeling my way in regard to how we operate, I’m really without excuse. I’ve seen the problem… even in my own church… and done nothing.
Something must change.
Here’s my thought as to one root cause… the discipleship void.
Do a bit of self-examination here, and tell me if your answers don’t reflect a lack of discipleship.
– Describe the quality and frequency of your quiet times with God.
– When is the last time you prayed with your spouse? Your children?
– What kind of regular, focused efforts do you take to help your kids grow in Christ?
– What kind of intentional efforts do you make to share your faith with others?
– How do you go about “being” the church on a daily basis?
Here’s the deal… when I see the unchurched continuing to be ignored by the church, I don’t see a lack of pastoral concern for the matter so much as I do a lack of congregational concern rooted in stagnant faith. When I see teenagers graduating from high school and leaving the church behind for good, I don’t see the youth minister at fault for lack of effort in helping to mold them, but the failure of moms and dads to step up to the plate and fulfill their God-given assignment to guide them in the ways of the Lord.
Worst of all? I see these traits in myself, and I simply don’t want to live a life of dead faith anymore. And I certainly don’t want to see my kids grow up only to bolt straight out the doors of the church, running from God, never to return.
I believe there is a huge opportunity here to make a difference in addressing these problems through family-focused faith. If we can help moms, dads, and kids to grow in their faith together, we can see miraculous things happen in their lives. As families begin to reflect God’s design, and they begin to see what God can do in their lives, I believe we’ll see the unchurched want to see what makes faith-focused families tick. I believe we’ll start to see families begin to have a passion for sharing what God is doing in their lives, and I believe God will open doors for them to make a difference in the lives of others.
Pipe dream, God-given vision, or something in between?
Let’s wait to see how God helps to develop this idea for discipleship before we make that call. This is something I feel pretty strongly about implementing in my church, and I’m definitely open to the advice and insights of others as I pray about this and formulate a discipleship plan.
Your challenge? Help me with a few ideas.
What should a family-focused discipleship strategy look like? How would you go about getting this off the ground? What kind of curriculum or other materials would you use? Am I totally missing the boat on this? If so, how?
You get the point? This is free game, so fire away with whatever thoughts and ideas you may have on this topic.
April 30th, 2008 | Comments Off | Posted in » Baptist Issues
Yes, I know I promised to stay out of this stuff, but I can’t help myself here.
You see, I couldn’t help but laugh today when I saw there’s a new group forming in SBC life… the Association of Convictional Baptists. Their website isn’t fully functional yet, but they’ve apparently been working on a resolution for the 2008 SBC Annual Meeting.
I won’t get into that… just the name, “Association of Convictional Baptists”. As opposed to the Association for Non-Convictional Baptists?
Conviction is certainly not a trait lacking from ANY Baptist, as far as I can tell.
I know I’m odd, but I wonder… will the new running “gotcha” question to embarrass SBC pastors be, “Have you become a Convictional Baptist yet?” After all, the old standby, “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” is REALLY worn out, and just not all that funny. (I suppose this one isn’t either, but again… I admit to being a bit odd.)
March 11th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted in » Baptist Issues
As the one responsible for updating and monitoring my church’s website, I get some interesting e-mails from time to time through our “contact” address.
This morning was no exception.
While not offensive, like most of the junk mail we get (we must be on every spam list available), and not just plain out in left field (supposedly, I could have billions of dollars in the bank if I followed up on every promise to receive an inheritance from a long lost heir that died in Nigeria or elsewhere)… it definitely took me by surprise.
Yes… we received a bulk campaign e-mail today.
And not from an official running for governmental office.
Now I admit that I’m just a bit out of the loop on SBC matters, but are we really to the point where SBC Presidential candidates are actually running funded campaigns, complete with bulk e-mailers, websites, campaign platforms, and the like?