As the Director of Church Revitalization for Free Will Baptist North American Ministries, it is my job to lend a helping hand to our struggling churches – to provide practical ideas to bring health and hope back to congregations who desperately need it.
Because of the task that I have been given, I do a lot of studying, analyzing, and dissecting of the methods and ministry of the local church. We spend a lot of time talking about the deficiencies of many of our congregations, trying to bring the needed change that will help them turn things around.
That is not the purpose of this article, however. Today, I have no bullet points, no suggestions, no criticisms.
Today, I just want to rise and simply say, “I LOVE THE CHURCH!”
This past week, I was reminded of how much wonderful work the church in America does. I was reminded by watching my own home church here in Tennessee (New Hope Free Will Baptist in Joelton) reach out to a grieving family in a multitude of ways in their moment of greatest need. I was reminded as dozens of our churches provided “back to school” supplies for the needy students of their communities. I was reminded when I saw facebook posts the other evening from pastors of two of our churches in different states who were both challenging their congregations to provide home furnishings for families who were homeless and needed a fresh start.
The fact of the matter is, with all of their faults, Bible believing Churches in America are still one of the greatest forces of good today. In their community, across the country, and around the world.
Does the church have problems, issues, and scandals from time to time? Yes, and they are well documented and advertised. But I guarantee you that for every one bad congregation or pastor, there is at least 100 who are quietly, faithfully serving God without praise or plaudits.
I love the church. Christ died for the church.
The fondest memories I have, the best and most blessed times I’ve had in my life, have all happened in the church.
I met my wife in church, I raised my family in church, I receive life giving faith and fellowship in the church.
So to our pastors, their wives and families, and their loving congregations, I salute you for all the wonderful ministry you are doing. You are doing the most important work in the world. The Good news of the Gospel you preach, backed up by your Godly deeds, is literally the hope of of our country – not some politician from Washington.
And yes, I still believe this statement:
“The church at its worst is far better than the world at its best.”