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Today’s Issues, From a Biblical Perspective!

Alex McFarland & Josh McDowell

Posted by truthtalklive on September 7, 2007

How do we turn around a declining church?

Todays Guest host is Alex McFarland (www.alexmcfarland.com)  and Guest:Josh McDowell (http://www.josh.org/)


6 Responses to “Alex McFarland & Josh McDowell”

  1. onegodfaith said

    <a href=www.freewebs.com/onegodfaith””

  2. How do we turn around a declining church?

    Recover the gospel:


  3. kandace said

    To Josh McDowell,
    I agree 100% with the issue on the radio. It isn’t enough to proclaim the message to reach the mind. It must reach the heart also – relationships matter!

    We must demonstrate How to bring the living Word of God to our every day lives without doing what only the Holy Spirit of God can do.
    Show us How to apply God’s Word to the issues of the day. This is best done in small discipleship groups – i.e. Sunday School classes. This demands that the leadership adopts the role of the shepherd/advisor rather than the lecturer. Leave the sermons for the formal worship service. Instead, discuss the Biblical topics in ways that involve the emotional side of man along with the intellectual side of man.

    My church – First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida – is a prime example of how to grow a church. Space does not permit me to expound a great deal of the specific details. Our website is: http://www.fbcjax.com.

  4. With all due respect, Kandace, I believe if you’ll take a look at your numbers reported to the FLBC you’ll find that less than half of your members come to church on any given Sunday. Is this “growing a church?”

    I may be mistaken, and I hope I am, Kandace, but I believe the ACP stats for your church look something like this:

    27905 members
    21555 resident members
    982 baptisms
    683 other additions
    9035 primary worship attendance

    28325 members
    21686 resident members
    801 baptisms
    720 other additions
    9186 primary worship

    28837 members
    21987 resident members
    774 baptisms
    652 other additions
    8828 primary worship attendance

    29349 members
    22189 resident members
    774 baptisms
    667 other additions
    9168 primary worship

    In 4 years, according to the ACP, this church baptized 3331 people and had 2720 other additions. This means that 6051 people joined the church from 2001-2004. Yet, the primary worship attendance in 2001 was 9035 and in 2004 was 9168 or a total increase of 133. The resident membership increased from 21555 in 2001 to 22189 in 2004, a total of 634.

    In 2004, only 31 percent of the members showed up to church on any given Sunday. If this is your church, Dear Sister, is a prime example of how NOT to grow a church.

    Your church, Dear Sister, is precisely the sort of church that Jim Eliff had in mind in his article to which I linked above.

  5. kandace said

    Numbers alone do not prove the genuineness of a person’s relationship with Christ. All that any Church can do is to proclaim God’s Word and assist people in daily application of God’s Word in everyday life. The website listed in response #2 does not provide me with any answers on how to grow a Church. All it does is to discourage me because I know that I am a fallen creature – totally dependent on the Holy Spirit of God to live the Jesus lifestyle in and through me.

    Rather than condemn churches, provide encouragement for any gains made. Regarding public invitations, Jesus called His disciples publicly. A secret disciple does not exist according to the New Testament words of Jesus.
    I do agree, however, that some evangelists misuse the time of invitation. All that is needed is to declare the Gospel, call for a response, and counsel those who have responded to see that they understand what they have done and lead them to implement the needed changes in their daily life. Don’t just reach them in the mind but reach them in the heart as well – like Josh McDowell said.

  6. ADB said

    Interesting discussion. To say that the problem is just apathy in the church, or decline in the church is simplistic. Conservative Christians (I am one) always tend to believe that their generation is in decline. Though I’m not Baptist (Methodist/Wesleyan) the article above linked by Gene was insightful. Looking at the Great Awakening, particularly the Methodist movement, the impression of personal guilt was considered just the first small step toward conversion. Too often, that is considered not a small step but a guarantee of it. One of my own personal pet peeves is the use of “repeat after me prayers,” that are so common in many denominations today. The combination of salvation being merely a repeat after me prayer, decrying as legalism anything resembling admonishing folks to attend worship, study, give to the poor, etc., a rapture mentality where we just wait to be beamed up, and possibly an over-emphasis on perserverance is a great recipe to create lots of still-born believers. Christ merely becomes a “get out of Hell free card” rather than our sovereign Lord. Well time to get off my soap box.

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