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

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