Church Problems Back Home

Discussion in 'Missions / Witnessing / eVangelism' started by MikeinGhana, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. MikeinGhana

    MikeinGhana
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    Have any of you missionaries out there experienced what I am experiencing these days? All the news I get from my churches and loved ones back in the States seems to be bad these days. Pastors at odds with the church. People drying up and fading away. Missions giving dropping. Young people more worldly than ever. Parents of the youth suing the church. What is going on? Is this just a sign of the times? Am I overstating the case? Are things as bad as I seem to be seeing it?
     
  2. shannonL

    shannonL
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    Mike,
    I'm currently on deputation. You've heard from me before. I've had a rough go of it yet God is good. Setting my own setbacks aside let me just say that there is alot of apathy in today,s churches in the states. It seems to me that in alot of churches I get into that the older generation of folk have a lot more interest than folk about my age 36 and younger. They haven't been taught to be missions minded like previous generations.
    Also, even in IFB circles there is alot of change taking place. Some churches are remaining traditional what some would call old fashioned. Others are changing trying new things etc....
    I can't say this is true of every church that is becoming more contemporary in their methods but of the ones I've been in I've found this to be true. They are just less concerned about missions than your more traditional IFB church. They are more "program" oriented than "faith" oriented.
    It takes an act of congress to get support in some of those type of churches.
    There is more I could say but that is a couple of things right there.
    Some baptist are uniting in fellowship like the GARBC and BBF and some other fellowship have come together to form a "international baptist network" or something like that. It is a network designed to help each other out in certain endeavors in a unofficial way such as missions etc..
    IMO Independent baptist have become more fractured than ever. Some of it due to the KJVO controversy and some of it due to alot of IFB becoming more neo evangelical.
    All of this makes it harder on a IFB missionary because churches are more particular than ever. Which is understandable within reason. If your a traditional fundamental baptist church it is your perrogative to not support a missionary who is contemporary in all his ways.
    It isn't just cut and dried as it used to be. It is alot more difficult to get into churches because it is not enough to say your a IFB. They want to know what school you went to. What Bible do you use etc....
    So it is not just in your head the times they are a changin.
     
  3. MikeinGhana

    MikeinGhana
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    Shannon

    You mentioned this International Baptist group. What is that all about?

    It gets discouraging here on the field to hear of nothing but problems back there. I have not had a term on the field yet where we have not lost support. Churches closing their doors, losing members, financial troubles, pastoral problems, etc. Who will be left to hold the ropes?

    As far as your situation, I admire your stick-to-it-ness. I am not sure I could have done what you are doing. God bless you.
     
  4. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I have fifty supporting churches, and I get very little bad news from them. Many of them we have great relationships with, having known the pastor for decades. If you were to ask me what my churches told me about the IFB movement in America, I'd say it was doing great! I guess we've just been blessed.

    On the other hand, we get lots of bad news from loved ones--too much! That is, when we get news. There have been times when relatives died and we didn't hear about it for months. I have a nephew getting married today and I just heard about it Monday. A nephew-in-law in the Marines headed for Iraq a month ago and we just got the word. So go figure!
     
  5. shannonL

    shannonL
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    Mike,

    I will agree with what J of Japan said. I don't want to sound negative. There are alot of IFB churches doing fantastic. They are into faith promise giving and very missions minded.
    The network I was talking about comprises the
    BBF, GARBC and i believe the World Baptist Fellowship. I know there are a couple of World something or anothers out there.
    Anyway this past year they had their first ever meeting. It is not a formal partnership between these fellowships just an agreement to work together networking resources etc... I don't really know every detail of it. I do know you can find their site on the web.
    I know they have agreed to set aside things like music differences etc... In order to network together
    They did open up an office in Atlanta. I know they elected a guy to be the director or chairman or whatever you call it. He was the former president or chairman of "Lifeway" christian resources which is SBC it used to be called the Baptist bookstore. BTW the network does include some conservative SBC guys.
    Also, just if your interested A new fellowship formed out of the Southwide Bapt. Fellowship. Seems the Southwide has taken a more neo-evangelical step than some of the long standing attenders want to be apart of. Therefore, some of those that didn't want to go the new direction got together and formed a new fundamental fellowship. The Sword of the Lord website has a link to that fellowship I believe.
    I don't get to hung up on these things. I just know about them because I'm on deputation. Therefore, I get asked alot of questions so I just kinda stay abreast of what is going on in Baptist life.
    Personally, I grew up in a Bible preaching SB church. Got saved in it to. Our pastor was from a IFB background.When God called me I went to
    Piedmont Baptist College in Winston Salem NC It was during those years that I became Independent by conviction.
    What is kind of sad sometimes is how IFB of different camps don't associate with others over very minor issues. Now the KJVO has caused a big rift
    I'm just plain Independent Baptist. Just like you I'm going out as an independent missionary. We have our funds handled through Central Missionary Clearinghouse out of Houston, TX. Do you use a clearinghouse or does your home church handle your funds? I have nothing against mission boards it is just the route God has led me down.
    Back to the baptist thing. All I'm saying is I have made good friends that have a Bob Jones background. I have friends who are BBF. I Have friends that are GARBC. I have some KJVO buddies too. They are all basically on the same page except for a issue here and there. Now I don't agree with all of them and with all of their practices but man we are still baptists.
    Well I hope I didn't ramble to long. Have a good evening.
     
  6. MikeinGhana

    MikeinGhana
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    Shannon, a word to the wise! Do not change! You sound like a balanced guy. Do not get dragged into the Baptist wars. There are enough soldiers out there shooting their own. Keep your head down.

    My church handles everything for me.
     
  7. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Ditto to Mike! [​IMG]
     

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