Breaking Away from Status Quo

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by PastorSBC1303, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
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    I have been the pastor at my current church for 2.5 years. We normally have between 85-105 on Sunday AM service and about 50-70 in Sunday School. The church has pretty much been stuck at the same level for about 10 years.

    We have a great group of core folks that love each other and support each other. Our folks love mission work. Each year I have been here we have met our SBC mission offering goals and have been recognized by the State convention as being one of the top giving churches for our size. We have people who have been on mission trips all around the United States and the world. We are planning a trip this summer to Indonesia for Tsunmai relief.

    But it seems we are just stuck in a very comfortable status quo place in our ministry locally. It is very frustrating to me as I love the people here so much and I know there is great potential. We have tried doing some outreach programs and events and do not get much support. This coming May 22nd will mark a year since our last baptism.

    Any thoughts on how you can break away from the status quo?
     
  2. rbell

    rbell
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    SBC,

    What are your demographics? Who is there around you to reach?
     
  3. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
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    Our town has about 2200 people in it with about 97% of the people being Caucasian. The number of people goes up dramatically if you include the outlying areas that are in our zip code. Our town is experiencing some small growth in the area as the result of a new bypass completed in the spring of 2005. The town is hopeful this will bring in some new businesses and industry. The town has a wide range of age groups with the largest group being from 35-44.
     
  4. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    Do you have 1 or 2 people who are really committed to evangelism and ministry in your community? If you do, begin a disciple process. Get them started and then begin to get them to help others get started.

    Tom Peters, a business guru, talked about how multi-site businesses revitalize an entire franchise. He said they look for a store that really wants to succeed. He likens it to being on the opposing teams 10 yeard line. Score a touchdown with them. and then go to the next store that might be on the opposing teams 25 yard line.

    Sometimes our greatest effort is spent on people who are on their OWN 5 yeard line and we try to get themn to drive the ball 95 yards. He said take the people who are closest to success and help them to score, then move to the next.

    It might just help. It's what Paul said in 2 Timothy 2:2

    Not sure if that helps you.
     
  5. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
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    Why not just preach the truth and let God do his work? I know of one church in particular that was a healthy church, but people died and moved, and pretty soon they were down to 7 members. Well, someone decided to try the Purpose Driven junk and other ways to "grow" a church. Finally, as they were about to close their doors, one person came up with the brilliant plan to simply preach the truth whether there were 2 or 200. That's what they did. They are now, a vibrant, thriving church of about 100 members, preaching the Kingdom, and those who want fluff simply go elsewhere.
     
  6. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
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    Who said I wasn't preaching the truth? I would hope that anyone that has heard me preach would verify the fact that week in and week out I asttempt preach God's Truth from His Holy Word.

    Currently I am preaching a series on Sunday AM on the Victorious Church. And on Sunday PM I am finishing up a series on The Sermon on the Mount and going then will be going through the book of 1 John.

    But is that all there is to it? Just sit back and wait on God to do something? Is that all a pastor is to do?
     
  7. ccrobinson

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    If this post only shows my ignorance, or I'm speaking completely out of turn, please disregard it.

    Where there is no vision, the people perish.

    Everything rises and falls on leadership.

    These quotes are the very first thing I thought about when reading the OP.

    As the leader, do you have a vision for growing the church? Do you think your people (speaking figuratively, of course) have a vision for growing the church? Are the people complacent, or have you gotten complacent? If you have a vision, have you clearly articulated it to them?

    Obviously, I can't begin to answer these questions. I'm not a pastor and I don't think I'm a very good leader. So, take these questions for what they're worth and I hope they help.
     
  8. J.R.Maddox

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    Brother I hear you. I have been at it now for 17 years, 5 different church's and the same outcome. For the brother to question whether you are preaching the truth or the other to call into question your leadership ability simply shows that they have never pastored. The church I am at runs about 110 in SS and 150 in worship...35 on Sunday night and 8-12 adults on Weds night for prayer meeting. Now we will have close to 100 in church on Weds but that includes all the kids and youth that if they came or we would get them here on Sunday we would run 250. I faithfully preach the Word every week...I invest in my peoples lives...I constantly keep events and outreach opportunities before them...yet we simply have the same thing all the time..

    Here is the dilemma and I think what you are getting at...no changed lives...a lot of religion without much power. Methods are many friend but results are few!

    and all the while we have to put up with sin, backbiting, gossip and complaints...oh well...sounds like the ministry

    Don’t know if it helps but I have tot ell you that almost every preacher I talk to is going through the same thing...the church of Jesus in America is sick...there is no doubt about it.

    The one thing I would say is that I would and I do practice personal evangelism...I do believe as a Pastor we can lead and baptize at least one person a month to the Lord. That’s not to fuss at you...God knows I have had dry spells...but I would just love the people, win souls, study hard and wait on God...because in the end, that’s what he has called us to do.

    I have 2 excellent CD's by Steve Gaines on Discouragement in the work. If you can e mail me your mailing address I will send them to you or I can e mail them if you have broad band,

    J
     
  9. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
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    I don't think your post shows ignorance or that you are speaking out of turn. I value your thoughts.

    I have thought of those and wrestled with those as well. I am very willing to take part of the blame for the current state of things in our church.

    As I stated above, I have been wrestling with these very questions myself for awhile. I feel like I have tried to do these things to the best of my ability. Although I am sure I have my times of complacency, I do not feel I am complacent overall. I take my calling very seriously and that is why the current state of our church concerns me so much. If I was complacent, would I even care about the state of things? Maybe I have not articulated my thoughts to the church as well as I should have and I will continue to wrestle with these issues.
     
  10. PastorSBC1303

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    I appreciate your thoughts. I would like to hear these. I will PM you my address.
     
  11. TaterTot

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    I think complacency plagues most churches. It does ours, I know. Even when the sermons are great and opportunities for service and growth abound, it seems that we as Christians prefer to just stay comfortable. No matter how much we try to be cheerleaders, it has to come from within the people. You'd think the gospel would be enough for churches, but sadly, we just like to be comfortable. I say keep on keeping on and I am sure God will bless your efforts, if even in a small way.
     
  12. blackbird

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    SBC---if you're talking about a "Vision" where every pew is jammed full of people like Sardines ready to hear the preaching---that would be great--and I know that you and I would like it!! But IMO---it just ain't gonna happen.

    I heard the late, great Dr. Adrian Rogers say---"My job is not to fill the pew! My job is to fill the pulpit!"

    Without a vision---the people perish. That is a truth that will not be erased---but what does it really mean! We expound that verse like a crooked pretzel---bend it and hammer on it to make it appear as if the vision is people in the pew---jammed packed!!

    But the truth of that verse is not people in the pew---but the power of Christ in the preaching! Thats the vision----Christ and Him crucified and preached! You and me will be held accountable if we do not preach that vision-----the people will be held accountable for not hearing the vision being preached!
     
  13. ccrobinson

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    I feared that this was the way what I said could have been taken. It truly wasn't my intent. I know a preacher who I consider to be a good leader, and he became complacent with where his church was. At some point, he realized that he was complacent and he prayed about it, and did what he thought God would want him to do. It can happen to the best, I think, and my questions were intended to provide food for thought, not charge PastorSBC as an ineffective leader.


    A good question and one I hadn't considered. If I offended you in any way by my earlier post, PastorSBC, please accept my apology.
     
  14. J.R.Maddox

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    thanks CC for clearing that up...but I was not offended and I am sure SBC was not. It is simply a true statement that pastors experience some things that cannot be understood unless you are there.
     
  15. Hope of Glory

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    I was not implying at all that you weren't preaching the truth. The intent of my statement was that you simply need to preach the truth. Don't worry about bringing in the world to make people happy and get them to jam the pews. The quote stated above expresses what I was trying to say perfectly:

    We have a lot of churches locally, because there is a law (or at least there was at one time) that stated that there could not be more bars than churches. So, many people who wanted to open a bar planted (and supported) a church.

    But, the biggest church in town had the "vision" to fill the church. They brought rock concerts into the auditorium, watered down the messages to keep from offending, opened their doors to ministers of other denominations and even other religions... Why? Well, to save more people!

    Simply fill the pulpit. If you feel led to support a missionary, then do so. If you feel led to start a bus ministry, then do so. Witness to others as you feel led. Others will help you as they feel led. If you use emotionalism and human logic, all you will get is a bunch of busy people all working on a "vision" and playing church.
     
  16. PastorSBC1303

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    You didn't offend me at all. I appreciate your thoughts.
     
  17. PastorSBC1303

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    Sorry that I misunderstood your intent.

    I was not meaning that by wrestling with all of these things that I was trying to bring in the world to jam the pews.

    I am simply trying to wrestle with what God wants at our local church to be the best church we can possibly be.

    I appreciate your thoughts.
     
  18. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
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    Blackbird and Tater, I appreciate your thoughts as well.
     
  19. shannonL

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    SBC,

    I'm sure your doing a fine job as pastor. By your posts you seem to have your head on straight. If your faithfully preaching the Word, fullfilling your other duties as pastor etc... then just remember that the results are up to God.
    I loved the quote from Adrian Rogers. That is one you can hang your hat on.
    I would ask you are you systematically involved in sharing your faith as pastor? I'm not saying that judgementally. I simply mean I think it healty and really our duty as pastors to always have some folk we are witnessing to. Some are those quick encounters where we simply have time to invite them to our services.
    What I'm getting at is this. Are you developing any relationships with lost people in your town. Are you hanging out at the gym or at the fishing pond whatever it is in your town to meet people?
    To make friends you have to show yourself friendly. Not saying that you don't. I just know that one sure fire way to kick the blues in ministry is to constantly have trout-line so to speak of lost folk that you as the pastor are involved with personally.
    Alot of times discipleship starts way before salvation if you get my drift?

    Some may disagree with the door to door thing but if it is done just to show your face in the community and let the unchurched know that your church cares then I promise you friend doors will open later on down the road because of that.

    I know a pastor who makes rounds at the local nursing homes about once or twice a month. He has led folk to Christ just because he had ministered to elderly folk that he didn't even know. He has seen some folk added to his church because of those simple, little visits a couple of times a month. That is just one idea.

    The preaching and the study of the Word is the most important but nothing will keep you fired up
    about your ministry, your church etc... more than consistant evangelism ministry in some shape or form.
    Also, ask God to give you one man in your church that is just burdened for the lost. When God does that take him under your wing. Train him then turn him loose and let him go.

    Hang in there man. You have only been at that church for just a few minutes when it gets down to it. Give the people more time to gain your trust. God will reward your faithfullness. To many preachers leave to soon you know it and I know it. God is going to do a good work where your at. Better than it is even right now.

    Ask God to bring some lost folk across your path personally. He will do it. Be set like a flint. Stay right where you are. Sow the seeds and let God bring the harvest.
    You have been called to Preach the unsearchable riches of Christ. May you do it with might and power along with holy boldness tomorrow.
     
  20. j_barner2000

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    Brother, I am in a community that has experienced negative growth over the past 30 years. When I came here, there were 8 in regular attendance. (Oct 2004) At 1 year we had around 20 attending. The number has grown to 30 ish for the last month or so.

    My lament is that the growth has come from church-shifting... ( well not entirely true, 7 were from the 7th day ad. church and 8 have returned just to check the new preacher out, and kept coming back.

    I have had some limited success in witnessing, but sometimes, you just gotta rely on Him to bring the growth.

    Today, the Church in America is in decline. Like it or not. All we can do as pastors is teach, and encourage His flock to do what He has called us to do, and then model that behavior to them. That is our responsibility. Theirs is to do what He has called all Christians to do.
     

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