One of the consistently reported statistics I love is the one that shows us that new churches have a much greater percentage of new converts to Jesus Christ then the more established churches. This doesn’t mean that I am pleased that new churches are doing better then the more established churches. Evangelism is certainly not a competition. But it does excite me to remember that this reality is a wonderful blessing that every new church can take advantage of.
This last Sunday, we were studying Galatians chapter 2. Paul is going to Jerusalem to meet with some of the “church leaders”. In the first six verses of chapter 2, Paul is somewhat sarcastic as he refers to “those who were of reputation” ( v. 2) and “to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour” ( v. 5) and “those who seemed to be something…whatever they were it makes no difference to me” ( v.6).
Just think of it….the church was less than 25 years old and already people in the church were struggling over “who will be in charge”.
It is a shame that history shows us that new churches start out focusing on reaching the lost – sharing the gospel message with just one more person is the highest priority – and then, the church becomes larger and more established and the focus begins to change. The church constitution that was kept in a file is all of a sudden brought out. People begin to struggle over who is in charge. People begin to debate the differences between bishops, pastors, elders and shepherds. Robert’s Rules of Order is mentioned for the first time. And overnight instead of “reaching out” the church becomes focused on “controls, titles, money and protection of the status quo”.
Last Sunday while our new little church was singing and studying Galatians chapter 2, according to recent statistics, approximately 25,000 people were worshiping in some church in Johnson County. Praise the Lord !
But…… 116,000 people last Sunday, in Johnson County were not in any church!
I can hardly wait for the day to see Village Bible Church send out its first 100 people to start “one more church” in Johnson County. Wouldn’t it be fun to help plant another 25 evangelistic/ bible teaching churches in Johnson County during the next 10 years?