The American church is in major decline and it will take some major rewiring and rebuilding, not just tinkering to bring necessary change. It will take courageous leaders who intentionally set a new course and work with others who are on a different course as well. On Oct. 6, those who are engaged in exploring how to address the larger challenges and opportunities before the church will gather to hear from a wise man, who like the men of Issachar, understands the times, Pastor Harold Bullock. When Harold speaks, I listen. I know of NO ONE more qualified by life, study, ministry, and wisdom to speak to us on these vitally important related topics.
Assuming a church knows it purpose and where it is going, it is important to look for and read the signs correctly. This is especially true when the church in America and individual churches are experience warning and danger signs at virtually every turn and signpost. Statistically, for some forty or fifty years the number of actively engaged followers of Christ in a local church has declined. A steady, significant and consistent pattern, that now according to the latest Pew Research has some 8% fewer American adults claiming to be Christians than just 7 years ago in their earlier study. THIS IS MONUMENTAL and ALARMING DECLINES!
The Southern Baptist Convention is considered to be one of the most effective denominations in evangelism and church planting (starting). However, the SBC is reporting a 70 year low in baptisms. Additionally, in spite of their recent all-in emphasis on church planting, are starting some 500 fewer churches per year over the last 6 years, resulting in about a reduction of 35%. SBC seminary President Chuck Kelley warned that Southern Baptists are losing the South faster than they are making gains in the non-South.
When one examines the moral, ethical, and behavior impact of the church on the culture and even among those call themselves Christian, it is also alarming. Many of the cultural ills are not only present in the church, they are there in equal rates.
So, it is apparent the church in American and individual local churches are in desperate need of asking essential questions that will impact its future. Think About It… (1) it is wise ask questions, (2) wise men ask good questions, and (3) if you ask the wrong questions, you will get the wrong answers. The church in American cannot afford to be on a plane flying to the wrong destination.
Church Questions Asked…
Church at different points in its history have asked and sought to answer different questions. Your church may have been at a different stage and asking different questions, but it appears we have been asking these questions….
- Pre 1970 How do we make good church members?
- 70s What’s wrong with some of them?
- 80s How do we draw them into a crowd?
- 90s How do we help them with life-skills?
- 00s How do we connect with them outside the walls of our facilities?
These are not bad questions or wrong questions, there are just other essential and fundamental questions we need to asking today in the midst of such major statistical decline and based on the relative low impact we are having on those engaged with our churches or on the society around us.
In an upcoming conference on “Rewiring the American Church”, Pastor Harold Bullock and I will be leading the group through several vitally important areas facing the church today.
I will be examining the Questions we must address to see the church advance: Foundational, Key, Model Producing, and Other Questions.
Harold Bullock will be addressing several matters related to hidden factors which are negatively impacting the church and presenting challenges to every church pastor and church leader. He will then explore how to address those challenges and provide paradigms and practical helps to begin addressing them. Three pastors from Los Angeles will join us to tell their experiences in seeing people move from lost, to ordering their lives around Biblical values and teachings.
If you are a thinker who is an influencer in your church or among multiple churches, you will benefit from the opportunity to learn from Harold Bullock and our other guest leaders. I encourage you to make every effort to join us.
Conference Details & Links:
- Oct. 6, 2016 – Thursday at LifeBridge Church (formerly Harvest Bible Chapel) in Windermere, FL
- 9:00 AM – doors open
- 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM Conference
- 5:30 Informal buffet at McRaney’s home for additional causal conversations with each other and the conference leaders
- Required reading to participate – “Rewiring the American Church” by Pastor Harold Bullock.