According to the North American Mission Board, 900 Southern Baptist churches close their doors each year in America. Mark Clifton asks a very convicting question about this: “What does it say to a community about God when a local church goes out of business?” The implied answer, of course, is that either God doesn’t exist or that He is really not all that powerful if His church can’t even keep its doors open.
God is doing a great work in GCBA. We’ve seen churches planted, people saved, and many of our churches are healthy and growing. But let’s not kid ourselves—the issue of churches shutting down is a reality here in Brazoria County just like it is all over America. We need to be intentional about helping our struggling churches get back to health. We must be passionate for the sake of the Lord’s Name in our communities. Nothing shows the power of God like a church being restored to health to serve that community for His glory!
If you’re wondering if your church might be at risk of closing, consider these 7 questions put forth by NAMB:
Has your church seen a decline in attendance for more than three years?
Is your church struggling to pay bills in a timely manner?
Has your church been unable to pay your pastor at the level in which you think he should be compensated?
Does your church struggle to attract and keep young families?
Is your church disengaged from the neighborhood and community in which it resides?
If your church closed, would anyone in the community notice or miss your congregation?
If current trends in attendance and giving persist, would your church have to close in the next five years?
If you answered “yes” to more than one of these indicators, your church may be a candidate for replanting.
At our next TEAM Meeting at FBC Freeport on May 14, Dr. Jim Grant, Director of Missions for Galveston Baptist Association, will share with us how churches can be practically involved in helping struggling churches revitalize or be replanted. Pastors and staff members, please plan to come and hear and learn how you can lead your church to be involved. And don’t come alone, bring some of your lay leadership with you. Maybe you are part of a church that is in danger of closing…don’t miss this meeting! You’ll learn a great deal about the road ahead of you.
As we look at the coming Summer, remember that there is no TEAM Meeting in June. In July the folks from the Homeland Preparedness Project will talk to you about how your church can respond when disaster hits here in Brazoria County. At the August meeting, Andy Davies from Child Evangelism Fellowship of Greater Houston will talk to us about different ways to reach the children and families who live in our community.
Thanks for all you and your church are doing to reach the lost for Christ. Let’s continue to make much of Jesus together!