Thursday, December 15, 2011

Band-Aid On A Puncture Wound

As the talks heat up a recommendation is surely coming concerning changing the name of the Southern Baptist Convention/Denomination.  It seems to me just one more step down the road we have been on for awhile now.  Membership in most all religious groups is down and has been falling so the powers at be scramble to try anything to stop or at least slow down the skid.  How exactly will a name change help?  Oh I have read the articles and heard the arguments about how "Southern Baptist" carries so much baggage or other peoples preconceived ideas may turn their heads.  If the denomination continues to stand firm on their beliefs then all we are really doing is putting on a disguise until they get in the door then right?    Was there a survey taken somewhere that is guiding this issue?  Is this seeker sensitive taken too far?  What is on the horizon....if teaching and preaching that Jesus is the only way offends the majority will that then be toned down as well?  Where does scripture say that majority rule should guide the church anyway?

Our world is all about trying to fix the external things because fixing the internal problems are hard and take much time and effort.  When churches began changing the name of Sunday School classes to Life Groups and everything else under the sun, did the attendance rise dramatically?  The church has changed through the years and certainly our methods may need to if it will equate to reaching more people for the kingdom.  That being said I have witnessed so many changes that came about because it is what the people wanted and not necessarily what God had revealed to the leadership.  Where do we ever find in scripture the people staying on the right road on their own or coming back to God without a Godly leader who comes on the scene to lead them back?

There are many smart folks out there with all kind of degrees who would point to this or that as the reasons for the decline of the church.  In my simple view it really comes down to one main thing and that is collectively we have not been making true disciples.  Now for this to happen the church must be intentional and invest much of it's time, money and resources.  When done effectively though the tremendous results can barely be measured.  What are the by-products of discipleship?  People give without any arm twisting, evangelize by sharing their faith, serve out of love, minister to those in need, are readily involved in mission work both here and abroad and use their gifts to the fullest extent.