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March 9, 2008

The Church is Built for New Believers

   Or is it?

    I went to a conference this weekend where a lot of time was spent talking about planting new churches and how important it is...especially in this region.  One guy was so excited about the idea and made the statement that I used as the title for this article.  It really made me think a lot about why we start new churches all the time. I have a friend who knows a lot about the happenings of the Southern Baptist churches in Wyoming and they basically open and close about the same number of churches each year.  My friend Matt found statistics that indicate that the trend is pretty much the same throughout the United States. 

   Even for churches I've attended, it seems that most of the people are simply moving from some other church to ours, while others take off from ours and go to a different one.  It's been that same sad story for every single church I've gone to.  It's like playing a game of spoons.  Everyone sits around the table and they pass cards one after another after another.

   After giving myself a day or two to think it over, I don't think I'm any closer to solutions.  The church has to be about more than just shifting existing believers back and forth.  How to we change the way of thinking so that people are willing to take a stand and commit to a church through the good times and the bad?  How do we change people to stop thinking of what the church can provide them and realize the church is there to equip them to do the works that God has called them to? 

   I don't have a good answer.  The best I can do is stick with Emmaus until God calls me somewhere else and encourage those around me to do the same.  If you read this, think about where you are planted and pray for strength to stay there until God tells you to move.  Time spent waiting in the Lord is not time wasted.