Thursday, January 7, 2010


Photo taken from

Marc has been preaching at a very small church in Waco for the past few weeks. The only problem with the situation is that the church is dying. It is no secret to those still sitting in the pews. In fact, they are passionate about saving the church, they just need direction. But with only two to four regular attenders, what can a church do to keep from closing its doors, packing up and selling out to a land development company?

Christianity has not done a very good job of addressing the issue of what to do about dying churches. I know there is no easy solution - no "one size fits all" panacea. But I still wish that we wouldn't simply turn a deaf ear to the problem.

In the past week I have been reflecting on the problems facing this tiny congregation as I go about my daily devotional time. I keep coming back to a deep conviction that we, meaning American Christians, have a fascination with the new, the now, the hip and the large. We like our churches hip, relevant and housed in a new building with all the bells and whistles that we should expect from a place of entertainment. And ultimately, isn't entertainment what we often come to church expecting?

If that last statement stung, maybe it needed to. Maybe we need to all wake up to the disease of complacency that has taken over our hearts - and pews - and do something about it.

Why is it that so many churches are starting up ministry teams to do church planting when we have churches begging to be rescued?

I know that not all dying churches are alike. I know that many have stick-in-the-mud members who would die before letting go of some of their traditions - not that saving a church means letting go of tradition, rather it may mean letting go of pet issues that we think are traditions. When churches refuse to be rescued they will eventually die. But what about the many churches who would welcome rescue?

I don't know if rescue will come for this small church. What I do know is that it has already begun rescuing my vision for ministry.

What would happen if more young people- for that matter, more "seasoned" people, and in-between - decided to widen their vision and view church restoration with the same passion as church planting?

Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.
- Psalm 71:20


Anonymous said...

Your words are touching, insightful, and as always spot on. I had no idea that the church was changing your view of, well, church.

While I do not know what this time will bring, I do know that I love approaching it with you.


Anonymous said...

I am so touched by your words. Many times we do go to church expecting to be entertained and/or fed. Worship should be adoration of our God and should be all about what we bring to God and to one another as God's people. Thank you for your words which cause me to rethink my own outlook.

As you mentioned God is using this experience to open your eyes and expand your vision for ministry. I am sure that right now you and Marc are a blessing to this remnant that God has preserved. We pray that you and Marc will be an encouragement to these people as they look to what God has in store for them.

We pray daily for you and Marc and the ministry that God has for you now and in the future. May you go forth in His strength.

Blessings and love,
Mom and Dad :-)

Bekah said...

Thank you for sharing. I will be praying for God's direction in this situation.

Anonymous said...


This particlar blog has been "haunting" me since I first read it last week! Wow! I am thrilled that you and Marc get ministry and I can't say I am at that point yet! Thanks for the challenge. God isn't into numbers, he is in to relationships. It will be exciting to see with your support of Marc and Mom's and my continual praying for you guys I am convinced that God will reveal His will in this and other situations! Thanks for sharing so deeply from your heart.

Your Proud Dad!

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