Baptists and Church Growth . . .

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by El_Guero, Oct 13, 2006.

  1. El_Guero

    El_Guero
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    1. Are there Baptist denominations (groups of affiliated churches) that are not in decline? Specifically, are there IFB (IBF) groups that are growing faster than the population growth?

    2. Or, in simpler terms, why are Baptist churches not doing as good as we did in the 1950's?

    3. Natrually, my understanding emphasises the SBC - because I am in that denomination, and SBC decline is serious and bad.

    4. HOW can we turn us back to where we where? Can we?

    Any thoughts?

    Any data?

    Any references, in print, online, in interviews?

    God bless

    Wayne
     
  2. JamieinNH

    JamieinNH
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    Wayne,

    I'll give you my opinion without any facts or data backing it up. It's just an opinion of mine.

    This is not just looking at the SBC, but church growth in general.

    I believe a lot of it has to do with Christians arguing about the "details" and not teaching about Christ and his salvation.

    It's because in part, Christians are letting their pastor do the preaching and spreading the word vers everyone spreading the word.

    It's because we are so focused on being right, vers being what God wants us to be.


    It's 11:37 am where I am now. Of the people that have left the house and been out and about early, how many have shared Christ with someone? How many of us share Christ with someone new every day? Each and every day without fail?

    I am just as guilty as all, but I believe we need to be more proactive in sharing and spreading the word and stop "sweating the small stuff". We have to trust God to work out the details.

    Again, this is just an opinion my mine. I have seen in in several churches here in this area. On Sunday morning and Wednesday night, you will find lot's of Christians. Yet on the rest of the days, at work, during soccer practice etc, you are hard pressed to find a Christian. I think a true Christian should be very easy to spot if they doing what they should be.

    Jamie
     
  3. J. Jump

    J. Jump
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    Too much world in the church . . . Revelation 3 tells us this is to be expected. Christ is on the outside looking in, but only individuals will answer the call to fellowship.

    Not enough discipleship. Too much reliance on man building instead of God building.

    The list really could go on and on.

    As to it getting better . . . it won't . . . it will only get worse.

    The thing that has to be done is individuals answer the call and individually keep their eyes on Christ and share with individuals as God puts them in your path and hope that they will receive His free gift of salvation by grace through faith and that then they will answer the call to fellowship.

    But as for the church as a whole turning around it's not going to happen.
     
  4. PASTOR MHG

    PASTOR MHG
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    I think you have an "American Churchianity" perspective. J. Jump hit it right on the head. We've got to much!

    However, I know that the IFB work on the foreign field (Especially on the Pacific Rim and throughout Asia) is flourishing like never before.

    JMO

    Max
     
  5. J. Jump

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    Unfortunately I don't think it is limited to America. I think you can see this throughout Europe and I have a friend that is currently in India and says one can see the same things there.

    I think there are a number of churches and organizations that are doing a great job of getting out and spreading the good news. Now it can be debated about the methods and even if some are correctly sharing the good news.

    The point is that the church has fallen into the mentality that sharing the good news of Christ's shed blood and substitutionary death is the end. What we must realize is that is just the beginning. If that was the end God would just beam us up to be in His presence the moment of salvation.

    Spiritual salvation is just the beginning of the journey!!

    And as long as the church thinks spiritual salvation is the end then we are going to have A LOT of Christians wandering the journey aimlessly because they are not being discipled.
     
  6. PASTOR MHG

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    I do agree. However, I think the OP was basing his opinion on the American Church environment. I understand your concern about the mission field and I agree that the lack of discipleship is a serious problem. I think the greatest problem is the missionaries that are operating with an American Chruch mentality. "Traditional Midwestern Fundamentalism" does not work effectively on the mission field outside of the western world.

    Max
     
  7. J. Jump

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    :) That is probably true! :)
     
  8. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    gee...according the "numbers" the SBC is still growing...okay enough laughing...I know there is some significant growth in some smaller conventions (maybe: EV Free, or Calvary Chapel, etc.)

    because we can't get over the 1950s

    I don't know if its declining like crazy...but we are facing some terrifically troublesome issues such as the over politicization of the pulpit, the death of Baptist polity within the convention, a generation of faithful stewards will not recognize the emerging issues and generation, the reality of a post-christian existence for the rest of our lives, etc.

    Honestly, I think we need to:

    1. sell off every convention building, use the money to plant churches north of the Mason Dixon line and internationally

    2. disband the annual convention meeting and go to a regional model using video conferencing

    3. find some honest, heartfelt regeneration within our convention
     
  9. El_Guero

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    Well . . .

    It sounds like no Baptists are doing well in the States . . . and even worse on the mission field . . .

    I pray that it is not that bad where you are. It is a little better than that where I am . . . several churches are baptising more than the 'average'. Several are discipling 'like crazy'.
     
  10. gb93433

    gb93433
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    Too many are relying on architectural evangelism along with the idea that if they throw out their responsibility and get the right pastor and programs they will somehow grow.
     
  11. Mary Diana Lynn Harper

    Mary Diana Lynn Harper
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    growth in church

    The reason our churches are not growning because we have spoiled the child and spared the rod. We have distanced ourselves from God because of life in this world. We don't make our children do any thing that might help them. We are afraid of the long arm of the law instead of the long arm of God. We should be making our children go to church along with us. I don't know why it is that people think that their children will be rebellious if they make them go to church. Not true, they will find peace and directions if we will set an example of this in our life. Read the Word of God with your children not to your children. Live that word as the example for your children. Remember, God placed them as your charge. Not the other way around. We will all die to this world, I should hope that we will see the children in our new world because we have guided them properly and not failed them. I know I failed my children this way. Now I am paying for it. But through the strength of God and the forgiveness that Jesus provides I have found that my children are turning to God one by one. So, God hears prayers. The church will grow if we live in the Word and teach the Word to our children. A church does not have to have walls. Jesus tought on the side of a mountain. And His church grew.
     
  12. El_Guero

    El_Guero
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    Wow

    That's gotta be alot of pain. . .

    I wil pray for you.
     
  13. av1611jim

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    Many churches are failing to grow because the people IN them are failing to grow.
    Thanks be to God that He has graced my home church with steady growth for 20 years.
    This is because our PASTOR is a 'disciple-maker' kind of guy. IOW he preaches in such a way that WE are motivated to feed ourselves and "GO into all the world..."
    Another reason is because as has been said, "There is too much of the world in our churches". Rev. 3 demonstrates the condition of 'churchianity' in America. When the lost see a dog and pony show in the church their natural reaction would be, "What do I need that for? I got NFL sunday!"
    And they are RIGHT!
    Therefore we ought to be 'about My Father's business' and quit entertaining worldliness in our churches. We have lost our saltiness, and our lamps have dimmed.
     
  14. El_Guero

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    Amen!!!

    And it is getting bad!

    In and around 1900 to 1960 we (SBC) had one new baptism for every 21 members . . . that has moved to one for every 42 believers . . .

    Let's get rid of the dead weight . . . and start evangelizing . . .
     
  15. thjplgvp

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    What is wrong with most New Testament churches today?

    Comfortability
    Personal accomplishment
    The cares of this world

    Thjplgvp
     
  16. El_Guero

    El_Guero
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    And we do not expect (& demand) that the God of Scripture deserves the respect and the fear that He should get without argument . . .

    Good post!
     

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