By Ken Blue
Churches, like individuals, have birth, growth, maturity, and death. For a church to have birth and growth, it must be outward focused. This ought to be obvious. It is also necessary for a church to mature as pastors and teachers do their appointed ministry. However, unlike individuals, most churches don’t have to die. They begin to die as soon as the pastor and people change their focus.
I read years ago that the average church, twenty years old or older, has turned inward and has shifted from a mission outreach to inward ministries. That is, buildings and programs become center stage. The pastor and the people are busy, but their busyness has little or no consideration for the lost or church growth.
Activities and ministries, in many churches, are for existing members only. How to use that ministry to include outreach is seldom considered in the planning, if any planning is done. Sermons are crafted for the members as pastors dive deeper and deeper into the hidden mysteries of the Word. In other words, the church has shifted from a growth mentality to a maintenance mode.
The pastor’s job is unique. He must maintain a red-hot outreach ministry. He must improve the buildings, and he must mature his congregation. But, he need not let the church die. How can that be prevented? Don’t allow the church to turn inward. Keep an outward focus in everything you do.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.
Alice Renfro says
Thanks for the post and the reminder that the lost world outside the church is why we are here in the first place.
Sammy Tabuena says
“Nail on the head” – I was meditating concerning that thought this month. I noticed that there were a couple of months this year that our church was in the “maintenance mode”. This article is so timely – a great encouragement and a “go signal” from God. Amen, Dr. Blue!
Jason Lieberg says
very easy to read and say “amen” to it, But it is quite another thing to say amen and do it! how easily the focus can shift, becoming keepers of the aquarium rather than fishers of men!
Tim soulis says
We have been working in the community to join mahy activities and have started to become an Outward focused Church. One way we did this is by joining in with the village in participating in their events rather than just holding our events on our own. This has really made us part of the community.
My question is this,
Now that we have been becoming an outward focused Church, some of our members feel we are not doing anything to help them feel the love inwardly. I am not sure if it is a couple of isolated cases or if we are missing something. Any thoughts
Ken Blue says
Tim, I sent you a blog that has not been posted yet, and it deals some with this subject. I will post it soon. However, you may contact me by email if I can be of help.
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