Southern Baptist evangelism plan facing setbacks

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Crabtownboy, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
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    http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2008-12-18-southern-baptist_N.htm

    What is the underlying cause of the problem or problems?
     
  2. Zenas

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    1. We are having fewer children.

    2. The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and for that matter other more liberal denominations, are pulling away some of our more liberal members.

    3. The nondenominationals are pulling away SBC members of all persuasions.

    4. Christianity has fallen on hard times all over. In much of Europe it is practically dead, and the trend has begun to spread to North America. I believe we are seeing the falling away described to us in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. Therefore, converting the unchurched is getting more difficult.

    Looking back over this list, I guess I see it as outside forces working against us rather than any serious internal problems.
     
  3. Fawn

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    Get butts out of pews is the answer

    "Just imagine if every believer in North America started sharing the Gospel and every person heard that Gospel by the year 2020," That's your answer. Too many Baptists are content to sit in church on Sunday and attend a Bible Study and think their work is done. Jesus called for us to use pedal power (walking) and speak the Gospel to any that will hear. Make a noise for the Lord where we live and work. Make a pest of yourself at social gatherings like the apostles did. Get back to the fundamentals of our Faith. We've become too comfortable. Just so you know, I'm as guilty of this as anyone.
     
  4. Tom Butler

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    All of those things are probably true. In the case of my own church, let me add one more.

    Our membership dropped by nearly two hundred over the past three years because we removed from our roll most of our non-resident members. We had simply had no contact with them over 25 or more years. Some were probably dead.

    We are one of those typical Baptist churches which had a bloated membership roll. Like many churches, we'd do well to have 30-40% of our members show up on Sunday.

    Maybe there are other churches out there who are trying to restore some integrity to their rolls.

    Maybe some of them have thought through the implications of setting baptism goals, and have quit dunking everything that moves.
     
  5. saturneptune

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    Non-resident members should have never been the standard. Another 65% of resident members need to be lobbed off, if that is the wish of the local church.

    Why doesn't everyone quit worrying about numbers and let God take care of it. If all the attending members were doing what they should be doing, the numbers would take care of themselves. We do not need any more pew sitters or pot luck attenders.
     
  6. Tom Butler

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    Yep. I believe it was Jesus who said "I will build my church." And I believe he also gave some instructions to us as to our role in his little church growth plan.

    Southern Baptists don't need more evangelism, we need sane evangelism. Our strategies, methods and "powerful tools" have gotten a lot of bodies into the building, a whole bunch into the baptistries, but only 30-40% who show up after that. I know of one SBC megachurch with 30,000 members, but plans for only about 10,000 on any one Sunday. What kind of evangelism and discipleship is that?

    Thankfully, some churches are going back to basics.
     
  7. StefanM

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    Tom Butler,

    You are right on. The church that Christ builds is the only one that can stand the test of time.
     
  8. Salty

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    As far as baptisms and folks not returning: I started another thread

    In the OP quote there was one sentence that caught my attention "Some blame a lack of funding".

    How much money does it take to go door knocking?

    Sure buying radio time, fancy brochures ect may cost; but how about old fashion one-on- witnessing.

    That is one area that Faith Baptist needs to work on. I trust that we will see many (true) commitments to salvation and baptisms in the year of our Lord 2009
     
  9. preachinjesus

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    Giant, denominational, programmatic, propositional evangelism campaigns don't work.

    We are blowing our money on these ridiculous campaigns one after the other and are idolizing the 1950s campaigns. Why is it we keep rolling new campaigns out year after year and usually are pronouncing them dead on arrival before we have seen them work.

    Anymore I look at what our denominational leaders are doing and laugh (not publicly mind you) at the squandering of the stewardship from our faithful people. Some of these men will have much to answer for one day.

    Until we see our leaders accept that the ways of yesteryear should be left in yesteryear and that we need to accept personal responsibility for reaching those in our neighborhoods and workplaces before the stranger across town we will continue to see frustration and failing results.

    Recently the SBC strategy for evangelism and missions seems like the college coaching carousel...on, off, change, change, change, on, off...its ridiculous. Its one of the reasons the church where I get to serve doesn't use SBC evangelism materials. We have created a simple program about learning to tell your story and emphasize that, not some crazily complicated acrostic or program.

    I still don't know how we can justify blowing so much money on pointless programs when we could use it plant churches, revitalize ministries, and support missionaries. Seems like horrible stewardship to me.

    When I read the article on USAToday.com I frowned at Avant's swipe about poor funding. That is just messed up. He should know better.
     
  10. Tom Butler

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    You can design all the evangelism strategies you want, and fund them to high heaven. But if they're going to be based on the same old easy believism, a corrupted Roman Road and Sinner's Prayer methodology, a "God has a wonderful plan for your life" pitch and using a hard-sell to manipulate people into "decisions," then we'll get eh same results we've been getting for a half-century or more.

    We'll get more churches with bloated rolls, more churches which can't even get half their members to church on any one Sunday, an emphasis setting goals for baptisms, an emphasis on pragmatic strategies to get people into your church, even it takes clown communion and a six-part series on How to Have Great Sex.

    Given the increasing hostility to anything resembling biblical Christianity, let's pray--no, plead--no, get on our faces and cry out to God to send an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on us--starting with me.
     
  11. Dr. Bob

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    The Founder's movement of the SBC is pushing heavy (grace) doctrinal beliefs of the original Baptists in the USA and their churches are growing, not dying.

    A return to sound doctrine will lead to a return of God's blessing on the SBC.
     
  12. sag38

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    The legalistic branch of the Calvinists that demands that all adhere to thier interpretation isn't going to build the SBC. It's going to tear it a part.
     
  13. Tom Butler

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    saturneptune asked me about the "corrupted Roman Road and Sinner's Prayer Methodology" when i saw him at church tonight--which means I was less than clear.

    The scriptures in Romans are in fact useful in helping to witness to a lost person.

    I firmly believe that if a lost person cries out to God for mercy, in repentance and faith, God will hear him.

    By "corrupted," I mean that they are often considered only as a sales pitch and closing the sale (we call it drawing the net). The Sinner's Prayer has been corrupted into some magic words which, if we really, really, really mean them, will get us saved.

    My comments were not necessarily a an attack on them--it was aimed at those who misuse them.
     
  14. sag38

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    I think a clear and missing component to salvation is belief. Without faith, no one can be saved. There's no fancy prayer. There's no check list, so to speak. It's belief. And, if you believe, really believe, it will be demonstrated by your actions. By the way many so called Christians act inside and outside of the church, we see no evidence of having believed on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. We see no resulting repentance. We see no growth. We see, many playing church and many who have supposedly fallen away from the faith.
     
  15. Tom Butler

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    Does that branch have a name? And does it have some distinguishing legalistic identifying marks? How can well tell a legalistic Calvinist from any other Cal?

    The reason I ask is that I've never run into one, and I thought we might have a CLC or two around here. A CLC is a Closet Legalistic Calvinist, henceforth.
     
  16. Tom Butler

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    This is oversimplified, but in a nutshell, the evidence of salvation is a transformed life.

    The evidence of an untransformed life is "they went out from us because they were never of us."
     
  17. sag38

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    I call it legalistic because there is a demand that one dance through the TULIPS or else. Now I may be wrong, but I see that's where the Founder's Movement would take the Convention. Either your in our your out. If I'm mistaken then I apologize but I see the split coming perhaps even in the next ten years as more and more pastors come out of seminary indoctrinated into the doctrines of grace.

    Personally, I cannot understand why we cannot work side by side, agreeing to disagree, for the sake of the gospel, but I don't see that happening.
     
  18. sag38

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    This is oversimplified, but in a nutshell, the evidence of salvation is a transformed life.

    The evidence of an untransformed life is "they went out from us because they were never of us."


    Correct, they never really believed.
     
  19. gb93433

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    In recent years I replanted one SBC church and pastored a SBC church that was never very alive. Both of them grew. I started discipling the people and teaching them how to make disciples by showing them how it's done. One church was almost gone and the other was plateaued for many years. The first church is continuing to grow and purchased soem land built a new building. The second church had exploded with growth but when the old guard realized they were losing control they asked me to leave. Along with me went many others and it is now dying a slow death.

    It is not the others who are pulling them away it is the death within the camp that smalles like burned flesh.

    "If there is not a magnet in your own home there is always one somewhere else."
     
  20. Tom Butler

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    .

    I think you have it backwards. The Founders followers have made no such demands. The anti-Calvinists are the ones seeking to rid the SBC of Calvinists.

    Your sentiments are exactly those expressed at the recent Together for the Gospel conference, initiated mainly by the Founders group.
     

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