Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Friday, July 11, 2008

We'll see if this pig can fly

Ever since being a blood bought, water immersed Baptist, and becoming fully active in church life, I had a pronounced conviction that there was something severely wrong about a church who boasted of having 3,000 members on its rolls, but only 1,100 people showed up on a weekly basis.

The same can be said about smaller churches where 450 members are listed on its rolls, but only 185 show up on a weekly basis.

Oh, call me old fashioned, but I thought such a set up was deceptive, if not outright lying on the part of the leadership.

Sure there are probably reasons for it. Laziness with discipleship, cowardice on the part of the leadership to discipline church members, and of course the unwillingness to hurt someone's feelings by removing his or her name.

Hopefully this will begin to change in the SBC specifically,

Because the resolution was sponsored by Tom Ascol of the Founders, however, I think its supporters will have a difficult time getting this porcine to take flight. That's because Tom is perceived by a good portion of the SBC pastors as a "disturber of the peace." He's all into Calvinism and Bible exposition and that Reform stuff that kills soul winning, and those traits will be excuse enough for pastors to ignore the resolution. In fact, SBC president, Johnny Hunt, expressed caution with the idea of purging rolls. His attitude alone in dismissing the resolution before it is even really initiated, demonstrates my point.

But greater miracles have happened, so we will see.

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Blogger David lEE said...

Isn't the SBC being a little (as Ralph Wiggum puts it) 'deceptive' with their numbers..not taking dead people off the rolls..I mean come on..

And don't get me started on the "sheeps and goats" comment by the SBC president


1:43 PM, July 11, 2008  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

A lot of this problem could be solved by the use of simple record keeping with the use of Excel or some other spreadsheet program. Have categories of active members, inactive, and dead. It is that easy.

Sadly, most churches don't have a standard list of what qualifies as an active/inactive member, just assuming that walking an aisle or having the pastor introduce them at the end of an evening service, automatically makes the persons members for life.

I honestly don't think churches will really begin to deal with this problem until they have a heart change about what it is to practice church.

8:13 AM, July 12, 2008  
Blogger Charles E. Whisnant said...

Having pastored shortly two SBC, I understand the problem. They like the light membership because they have more votes at the Convention.

When I suggested that we removed members who had not attended for twenty years be removed, they removed me.

It is the truth.

5:21 PM, July 14, 2008  
Blogger Hiraeth said...

I would note that it was a sign of the 'glimmers of twilight' for the strength of the churches here in Wales when the membership lists became larger than numbers attending church. I have always thought that the reverse should be true. The New Testament Church was a church which people hesitated to join themselves to, being aware of the serious nature of such a step. It was also a church that changed the world, its members having been changed themselves.

A church that looks for numbers and not commitment is a church that will be changed by the world.

12:46 AM, July 16, 2008  

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