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.