Hopefully, you were bewildered by the title of this article. Why would this question be asked in the publication of a ministry that helps start churches? Good question. Let me explain.
I have been surprised by the number of Christians (including some Pastors) who aren’t convinced that we need more churches. Here are a few examples.
Sometimes when we promote a town or an area that needs a church, I will see a message that says something like this, “I searched for churches in that town in google maps, and I found a lot of them. Does that area really need ANOTHER church?” Sometimes they will even include a screenshot in case I don’t believe them. Very helpful.
From time to time a pastor will bristle at the idea of another church in a city with more people than they can reach in a lifetime or in a county with more area than they will ever cover. One pastor told a would-be church planter, “This town already has a church. You can go somewhere else.” That pastor left and the church is no longer in existence. The town is still on our list. Hopefully, it will get a good church one day.
Yes, we really do need more churches. Lots more of them in fact. Hundreds more. I believe God can use us to do it. Do you?
God uses churches to do His work in this world. The more churches there are in New England being faithful to God’s Word and Will, the more people we can see saved, discipled, and serving for His glory.
How can there be confusion about such an obvious truth?
Your definition of what a church is and does will drastically affect your ministry philosophy.
Is a church merely a social club? Is it a pep rally to encourage people once a week? Is it a place where the faithful gather to wait for other “elect” to find them? None of these.
A Church is a group of believers called out to worship and serve God together in a community. The church is commissioned to do God’s Work as revealed in the Bible.
There are a lot of churches in New England, but we need many more. This is the cradle of Christianity in America. Unfortunately, many church buildings are nothing more than grave markers of what used to be.
There are three types of unbiblical churches you will find in New England:
1. Counterfeit churches
Not every building with a sign that says “church” is truly a church. Like the church in Sardis, they have a testimony of life, but they are dead. Most churches you see in our region are nothing more than social clubs. Some never preached the gospel. Many of those that did have forgotten the gospel long ago. You couldn’t find the Truth in them with a magnifying glass.
Not every building with a sign that says “church” is truly a Church.
2. Corrupt churches
These are churches that have the true Gospel but are full of false doctrine. Like the churches of Pergamos and Thyatira, they have good points and make sincere efforts, but the false doctrine is crippling and destructive.
3. Compromised churches
These churches believe the gospel and fundamental doctrines of the faith, but have lost their distinctiveness and spiritual power. Like the church at Laodacia, their lukewarm approach sickens the Saviour.
They are compromised in holiness. The world has changed them instead of them changing the world. Spiritual power has been replaced by secular promotion. Holy Ghost conviction takes a back seat to humanist comfort. Powerful preaching has been dethroned by popular exposition. Sincere worship in spiritual song has been rejected for worship teams modeled after rock concerts.
Making no difference between the holy and the profane, they dishonor God.
They are compromised in ministry. Bible methods of two by two visitation are mocked. Personal and confrontational giving of the Gospel is rejected. Proven methods like Sunday School, bus ministry, scheduled soul winning times, and special evangelistic events are abandoned.
Unbiblical ministry philosophies abound in these churches. Calvinism destroys a church’s motivation for outreach. After all, they reason that God will send the elect to them. Not. Lifestyle evangelism stifles a church’s boldness. You don’t want to push people away, you know. They are already going to Hell. Not much farther you can push them.
Instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and man-hours to birth a new church, imagine what we could do if just 50 of these compromised existing churches returned to holiness and soul winning as God intended. Wow! It would be a revival! It is our prayer that this magazine would stir a fire in good people who have become discouraged, distracted, disillusioned, or derelict.
To be clear, I’m not merely advocating for more churches. We don’t need any more counterfeit, corrupt or compromised churches. There is an abundance of those.
We need more of the RIGHT churches.
Here are 10 characteristics of the churches we need.
If you don’t have the Bible, how can
you have a healthy church? Many churches are too loose on the Bible issue. Save New England is a King James Bible ministry. Curtis Corner Baptist is a King James Bible Church. I am a King James Bible preacher.
Don’t fall for “newest / best” Bible fads. I wouldn’t use a Bible from corrupt texts. Additionally, the KJV translators abilities and expertise dwarf every other Bible translating committee in history.
The King James Bible has been used in every significant movement of God in the English speaking world since its creation. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
I believe that a thorough study and understanding of the Bible leads a child of God to become a Baptist. Baptist is not a meaningless label. It represents fundamental Bible truths held by believers since the book of Acts.
Passionate Bible preaching is God’s method to expose sin, save sinners, and purify the redeemed. Don’t replace it or diminish it. Preach the Word.
Holy Spirit power is necessary for God’s work. Don’t even try to represent God in the power of the flesh. You will crash and burn. Only God’s divine power enables us to accomplish God’s work effectively.
God’s people are to be different than the world. A strong church must draw lines of morality and modesty that are uncomfortable and unpopular. Worldly Christians will rebel. The world will ridicule. God will be pleased.
6. Soul Winning
Souls only get saved one way. They must hear a clear presentation of the glorious Gospel and an invitation to believe. Strong churches promote and practice personal soul winning. It is God’s plan.
A church must look beyond itself and practice the “both mentality.” Reach your community and the regions beyond at the same time through an organized missions program. A selfish church is a dying church.
Our Lord was always looking to the next towns that needed the Gospel. Don’t get stuck in a rut. See what could be through the eyes of faith.
Every healthy organism reproduces. Healthy Christians produce more Christians through soul winning. Healthy churches produce more churches through church planting.
We need churches that will last. If we hope to save New England, we must start new churches and keep the ones we have already. We need pastors who come here to live and be faithful until they die. We need church members who will put down roots, stand with their pastor, and weather the storms of life and ministry.
We need churches who don’t wait until they are almost dead before they ask for help. We want them to last until Jesus comes!
Yes, we need more churches. Do you agree? If so, what are you doing about it? Let’s get busy praying, giving, and working. God will give the increase.
This article was originally published in the September 2018 issue of the Save New England Quarterly Magazine. Learn more about this ministry at SaveNewEngland.org.