Why Churches Need to Stop Family Ministry

It is a topic that is generating much interest these days. First the church realized that ministry to children was important, yet often neglected in the church. Children’s ministry became mainstream, not just a forgotten part of youth ministry.

Then someone read Deuteronomy 6 and realized that it was not the church’s place to be the primary influence in a child’s spiritual walk, it was the parents. Now the church sees parents as ill-equipped to teach their children and seek family ministry to help them. So has the church once again forgotten the importance of reaching children and are reaching mainly adults again?

Please note that Continue reading

Is Heaven for Real?

There is a well known book and now a movie entitled, “Heaven is for Real”. heavenisforrealIt is the account of a young boy named Colton Burpo who says that during a life-saving surgery, that he visited heaven. The story is very convincing as Colton shares information he normally would not know unless someone had to him.

His father, Todd Burpo, is a small town pastor. I sense his struggle to share this story and how it would be received.

I am very skeptical about the account. Continue reading

Film It and They Will Come

Movie_Reel_2I surprised the youth one evening as I was speaking to them. We were taking time and sharing about favorite movies, actors, music, etc. The topic turned to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I shared that I enjoyed the movie until the end when the director and/or writer of the movie changed the ending and I was trying to find out what social point they were trying to make through the movie to the viewing audience. I said that I cannot go and enjoy a movie, I analyze it to see what agenda they are trying to “push” on the viewers. What message is the movie sending? They were surprised and you may be too at the statement. After all, can’t a movie, a book, a play, just be entertainment and carry no hidden agenda? My answer is no. Continue reading

Dwindling Attendance in Churches – III

In this series, we’ve already looked at a couple reasons why churches decline:

There is a positive side to the decline of churches as the article notes, “The drop in membership is pushing the churches to do more direct outreach. It starts in the surrounding streets, …..“. As membership declines, they need to go out and seek more people to join the church. They begin to have a greater outward focus. Sadly, the focus become getting “giving units” to meet expenses and not people committed to living for Jesus.

I find it interesting tha the article says, “We do know the neighborhoods are very interested in preserving all of the churches in their neighborhoods,” ….. “It makes a very definite difference in the neighborhood when they disappear. It makes for an empty shell.” It seems that people see the need for churches, maybe God, in their communities, but they are not a part of the faith community. Again, could this be the result of nostalgia in people, wanting to hold on to memories of what once was in their lives?

The first part of this final quote from the article I’m going to share is true, but has a twist at then end.

“The problems of these downtown churches are in such a state that they are not going to be able to solve them by themselves,” she said. “I think the city needs to be engaged too.”

Yes, the churches will not be able to solve the problems  by themselves, they’ll need God and to focus on Him. But that’s if you look at the spiritual aspect of the church and their need.

The article and so many others look at the material side of the church. How to save the building, how to pay the bills. The main reason for the decline in the churches the article talked about is the decline of the city itself as people move out. It is happening in cities across the United States. The government can help rehab the facilities, but they can’t help the heart of the church.

Are city churches declining in attendance because we’ve abandoned the cities themselves?

May we focus on God, not facilities and may we reach into the cities, not to save buildings, but to save people.