Change or Die

In his recent farewell speech, Rev. Frank Page, the outgoing president of the Southern Baptist Convention, gave a stern warning. A warning that all in the Church would be good to heed....change or die.

"If we don't start paying attention to the realities … by the year 2030, we will be proud to have 20,000 rather than 44,000 Southern Baptist churches,'' Page said.

"You've got massive numbers," he said, "maybe not a majority but massive numbers of evangelical churches out there, yes, Southern Baptists also, who are small groups of older white people holding on till they die."

I applaud Page. Read more about his address at the Tennessean.

Change is difficult, yet so important. All living, growing, organisms change. If there is no change, there is no life. Our culture is changing at a dizzying rate. If the Church does not respond in like manner, and change to meet the growing and increasing needs of our world, we are in trouble.

I am proud of my church. We at Grace Point are in the midst of some major change. Not just for the sake of change, but for the purpose of doing a better job of ministering to our culture (both within and without the church) and for the purpose of creating more mature disciples for Jesus Christ.

As we are finding, change is a slow and sometimes painful process. Do I think we will die if we don't change? Not necessarily. Will we be more effective in living out the mandate God has given us? I believe so.

Don't be afraid of change. Change is good.

Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 1 Corinthians 9:19-22. Change.


Matt Singley said...

Excellent! I hope in the coming weeks/months you'll share with us some of the specifics of the changes you are going through, and offer what you are learning along with each change.

Adam McLane said...

Preach it Brian. You're a great leader. Keep up the good work.

Adam Gonnerman said...

Good stuff. One change I hope for is great outreach on the part of evangelical in general to the marginalized. There is already quite a bit of activity, but very individualized and usually involves strictly a message of personal salvation that fails to include social redemption. It needs to be understood that a personal and systemic approach is possible without falling into an empty social gospel.

I loved the point about older white people hanging on. That's what I'm getting at. The church is meant to be multi-ethnic and engage society on all levels.

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