What's next for churches?
October 19 2001 by Jim Royston , BSC Executive Director-treasurer

What's next for churches? | Friday, Oct. 19, 2001
  • Continue to acknowledge the tragedy and the feelings of fear, despair, grief and even anger.
  • Offer words of comfort and guidance in every way possible.
  • Provide specific resources such as books, magazines, videos, etc. - for individuals struggling with grief and anxiety.
  • Create special age and interest-level support groups to aid dialogue within the congregation.
  • Network throughout the community and utilize other organizations providing similar ministries.

    If the church ever needed to communicate a courageous, risk-taking faith, it is now! Just as our nation forever changed on Sept. 11th, so have our churches and the communities around them. We can no longer do business as usual.

    This is a perfect time for our churches to reach out to an anxious community. It is an opportunity to provide ministry to those who may be coming filled with fear and anxiety - and wondering if there is really anything for them at church.

  • Friday, Oct. 19, 2001

    What's next for churches?

    By Jim Royston BSC Executive Director-treasurer Church attendance nationwide noticeably increased the Sundays immediately following the September terrorist attacks, according to the Gallup Poll. Bible sales were up also 22 percent the last two weeks of September. This should be no surprise to most of us. People are looking for answers to very difficult questions and religious institutions are logical places to go for those answers.

    But beyond these first few weeks mixed with terror, anxiety, uncertainty and probably some denial, what specific ministries can and should churches be providing? If people are coming to find answers, what type of resources are we providing?

    Probably some of these "new" church attendees are inactive members or people who have been out of church for many years. In some sense, these are our prodigal sons and daughters returning from a far country and in need of our spiritual encouragement. We should welcome them without reservations, and certainly without criticism for their previous absence.

    People in crisis want to hear a word from God. They want encouragement and hope, not some attempt at a theological explanation for what has happened. Many of them come fearful and anxious, wondering if church people will really accept them and "let them in." Is church, they may ask, a place where I can find hope for my future?

    Eddie Hammett, leadership consultant with our state convention, writing in his "Deacon Ministry Newsletter," has listed several suggestions for churches to consider during these times of crisis:

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    10/19/2001 12:00:00 AM by Jim Royston , BSC Executive Director-treasurer | with 0 comments
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