Please read carefully Stetzer’s article in the Washington Post entitled, If it doesn’t stem its decline, mainline Protestantism has just 23 Easters left.
I am grateful that at Wynnbrook Baptist (where I serve the Lord as pastor) our first of five core values is “The Bible.” We believe the Bible to be the inspired, immutable, and infallible Word of God. Our second core value is “Love.” The Bible defines Love. The greatest commandment is to Love the Lord and the second is like it – love your neighbor… Please visit our website for the other Core Values.
The article by Stetzer is very interesting. I realize that simply having theologically conservative Core Values is not enough to reverse a trend in a church or denomination. We must flesh them out. We must also be willing to embrace new methods while staunchly standing on the Gospel message.
While there are many opinions as to why “mainline Protestantism” is in decline, one cannot deny the harsh fact that it IS in decline. Let’s also keep in mind that as is often the case in human nature, it is only when the Doctor gives the patient an ultimatum (change diet, habits, and exercise OR die) that most people are motivated enough to change! And so it may be with most churches.
I also think our motivation is a key. WHY do we want to see the church flourish? I believe God will only honor a heart motivated by a love for the souls of people and the desire to see Christ glorified through their salvation!!
What can you do? Pray for your church as modeled by Scripture. Pray for your church leaders as well as the unity of the church. Ask God to send out people into the fields (market place) that are ready for harvest. Be willing to be used by Him. Remember, be a part of the solution – not the problem!!