February 2012

Asking for trouble

February 27 2012 by Dudley B. Stallings, Knightdale, N.C.

The Erik Stanley [guest column] in the February 18 BR urging pastors to preach promotion of the marriage amendment will cause problems for the pastors that do so and may very well split churches. Churches have no business promoting the passage of this controversial and polarizing amendment. As you well know, many clergy are totally against such an unnecessary action. He can have his opinion about what pastors should do and what  they are permitted to do by the IRS but to urge pastors to preach, encouraging congregants to vote for  the amendment is asking for trouble in the churches.
Dudley B. Stallings
Knightdale, N.C.

2/27/2012 2:04:42 PM by Dudley B. Stallings, Knightdale, N.C. | with 2 comments

We should always be about sharing the gospel

February 13 2012 by Carson D. Hilburn, Forest Acres Baptist Church, Lumberton, N.C.

The question should not be either/or. In the guest column (“SBC needs greater focus on revitalizing dying churches” by Paul Roberts) of the Biblical Recorder on January 21, the writer was discussing resources and energy being spent on church planting versus revitalization of dying churches. It should not be either/or, but it should be both/and. The matter should always be about sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ whenever, wherever, and however we can do so.
Do we have plateaued, or dying churches? Yes! Should we be planting new churches? Of course we should! What about our existing churches? Here is where we face a real challenge, but also have a great opportunity. We look at a congregation that has aged. Many of its younger members have moved on. Hope of church renewal in the congregation is dwindling. Now we face a stern challenge that none of us ever hope to face. We are posed with the following question: does this necessitate the need for the congregation to disband, and for this church that has served its community to close its doors forever? Maybe! However, if we flip the coin, so to speak, and we see this as an opportunity, then perhaps this is not the correct course. What if the answer to the challenge for the plateaued, or dying church is in fact an opportunity to return to its original dream? Proverbs 29:18 tells us “where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” 
We live in a changing world, in changing communities, but one need remains: people need the Lord. All churches need to see this. Pastors need to have a vision and a burden for the lost, and must be brave enough to communicate this to their flock. Every Christian in every church should be committed to that growth: inward and outward. Rather than looking around in our communities and back yards and saying, “it cannot be done anymore,” we should be praying, believing, training, witnessing, and stepping out in faith.
Carson D. Hilburn
Forest Acres Baptist Church,
2/13/2012 4:40:59 PM by Carson D. Hilburn, Forest Acres Baptist Church, Lumberton, N.C. | with 0 comments