Thoughts of a Country Preacher

The Monday morning ruminations of a pastor.

Monday, March 05, 2007

A Cause for Pause

Last June, after graduating from seminary and a long search, I began my duties as pastor at my current church. In many ways I was excited to come here – the town was nearly a carbon copy of the one I grew up in, the population was growing, the church was well established, the people in the church were loving and kind. In many ways it was an ideal situation to go into straight out of seminary.

There were a few small things that bothered me, but they could be easily changed, so I was not overly concerned. One of the things that bothered me about the church was the fact that the church had no existing outreach program, no plan to contact visitors or prospects, no evangelism budget, nothing.

So, the first few months here I built bridges. I got out and met our members in their homes, and worked to build trust and relationships. Then I started slowly. We had an outreach event once a month. They were well attended and the church got excited over it. Now, I am in the process of writing a curriculum to train people for outreach. Our three-week training program will start on March 18, and hopefully we will have teams doing visits the week after Easter. I am at the moment, very proud of my church.

But disappointment still abounds. Not so much over my church but the state of the churches in general. Last week my Director of Missions stopped in and took me out to lunch. Our conversations wandered a bit until I started asking him about what he thought of my program. He seemed to like it, but then told me something that absolutely shocked me. The week before he had lunch with another area DOM & he asked him how many of his churches (34 in all) had active outreach programs. His answer – zero – not one single church was trying to reach its community. My reaction was a combination of both shock and sorrow. But then he said "Guess how many churches in our association (21 churches) has an outreach program." The answer again, to my surprise, was zero – not one single church. He went on to tell me that in our association, there were only 3 pastors who get out to meet prospects & to witness – myself and two others.

So, what that means in a nutshell is that there are 55 churches in Mid Missouri that has no plan to reach a growing area. This might just be a guess, but do you think that this is why so many of our churches are declining?

So what can be done? Well it all begins with you – right there – the one reading this blog. Does your church have an outreach program? If it does, go be a part of it. If it doesn’t, start one – bug your pastor until he lets you. Get out and start doing it on your own – if you lead them they will follow.

If you need a program for training people in evangelism, contact me. I will send you all of my materials, the training curriculum, tips on building prospect lists, everything – free of charge.

The fact of the matter is that we need to get boots on the ground - Romans 10:13-14 says, "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED." 14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?

Who have you told today?


Post a Comment

<< Home

Site Meter