Jim's Journal January 2021
Leading a church is more confusing, frustrating, and complex than ever. I believe the local church needs to DOUBLE DOWN TO FOCUS ON OUR specific JESUS MISSION of each local church in the Jerusalem where God has placed you. Our clear and stated MISSION must be identified (in a short clear statement and the NKBA has tools to help your church do that). That MISSION needs to align with a CLEAR VISION and SPECIFIC STEPS for each congregation and church member.
My calling is to support and help our churches be the BEST they can be at making disciples (who make disciples to the 3-4-5th generations) and BLESSing our communities (BEGIN in PRAYER, LISTEN, ENGAGE, SERVE, SHARE our STORY). So, here are my challenges to every NKBA church and church member along with a starting list of things I believe you can expect in 2021.
I will be doing a Pastors Town Hall (on Zoom and later in person) the first Tuesday of each month at 8AM and 8PM (first one on January 5) so as to give every pastor an opportunity to schedule and engage with other pastors in our region/state.
I will be providing a monthly VIDEO UPDATE which will be provided to each church/pastor and will be shown on all our social media platforms (NKBA Facebook wall, Praying for NKY Facebook wall, NKBA You Tube Channel, Instagram (10K4NKBA) and our website (www.nkbaptist.org). This will include a story of MISSION to share with your church on social media or in one of your services. It will also include a short teaching on some NEXT STEP opportunities/resources provided by your NKBA to assist your churches.
I am looking to recruit 1,000 PRAYER WARRIORS to join in #UNITE714NKY. This is an individual commitment to set your smart devices at 714AM and PM each day to pray by name for people who are lost and far from God. You can sign up at: www.prayforNKY.com or on our Praying for NKY Facebook wall. When you do, you will receive regular updates via text or email (your choice). Our focus in the NKBA each day will be the promise of II Chronicles 7:14, “IF MY PEOPLE WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME WILL HUMBLE THEMSELVES AND PRAY AND SEEK MY FACE AND TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS, THEN WILL I HEAR FROM HEAVEN AND FORGIVE THEIR SINS AND HEAL THEIR LAND.” SO...I NEED YOUR HELP! THIS WILL ONLY HAPPEN WITH YOUR HELP!
I want to challenge EVERY NKBA church to be involved in an intentional effort to PRAY FOR EVERY HOME in our region and to TAKE THE GOSPEL TO EVERY HOME in 2021. We will join with other Kentucky Baptists in this effort with TONS of FREE RESOURCES for every church. Each church can call secure a kit/access to all resources. We are using PRAY AND GO developed by Dr. Thom Rainer and Church Answers, which is a step by step plan to PRAYER WALK (or DRIVE) and leave a door hanger (initially) with your church information and a contact number for people to call and share prayer requests and personal needs..
NOW...here is what I think you can expect in 2021....
UNCERTAINTY...duh....Even with the vaccine, there are many questions and hesitance related to the virus. This will continue to extend to impact every area of our lives for a season. Normal is being redefined as we speak.
INSTABILITY...We will continue to make changes...PIVOT (which we have a great free 30 day resource for churches to develop a plan....30 days at a time) and recognize this season will continue to be challenging for churches and pastors. WE MUST REMAIN WITH OUR FOCUS ON OUR MISSION and NOT be distracted by other things.
OPPORTUNITY-This is why I have made the above challenges with #UNITE714NKY, PRAY AND GO, and THE GOSPEL TO EVERY HOME in 2021. We have a once and a lifetime opportunity for a once in a generation spiritual awakening to see more people follow Jesus than in recent memory. I am praying for 10,000 NEW BELIEVERS over the next ten years (#10K4NKBA). I will be re-issuing a church challenge for each church toward this end!
Conversion growth (new disciples) will IMPROVE in 2021.
Average church attendance and giving will decline 20-30% from pre-pandemic levels. This will not happen to everyone and if your church is the exception....be glad.
MODEL REBOOT...this is something I will talk about more next month.
Churches that focus on ENGAGEMENT not ATTENDANCE will THRIVE!
Massive growth of Dual ministry/Bi-vocational/Co-vocational ministry. Less churches will be able to afford a full-time pastor/staff.
NINE of TEN churches in North America will self-identify as being IN NEED OF REVITALIZATION.
Main line denominations will see their greatest decline in 2021...a continuation of the past decade. People will leave dead churches in search of LIFE! Places where JESUS is worshipped, HIS MISSION is central, and the BIBLE is preached in all it’s authority.
I look forward to the days ahead. I believe our most challenging as well as our GREATEST DAYS are ahead!
It is my great honor to serve alongside you in partnership in the GOSPEL.
Your Lead Follower,