Below are links to our most recent messages:
Follow this link to our sermon archive—Sermon Archive.
- Senior Adult Retreat ~ May 14-16 at the Camden Hotel in Branson, MO
- Deacon Ministry Team Meeting ~ May 20th at 12:30 PM
- Advisory Board Meeting ~ May 24th at 6:30 PM
- Special day of prayer and fasting for Central Church ~ May 25th
- Special Advisory Board Meeting ~ May 26th at 10:00 AM
For the latest news and prayer requests about our international Free Will Baptist missionaries, click here.
Missionary Spotlight: Rusty & Brenda Carney
Bible Reading Challenge: Ephesians5:1-21
Bible Memory Challenge: Ephesians 6:2 (ESV)–2“Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise)…
Just a quick reminder, this Sunday is Mother’s Day! If you haven’t started preparing for this day that is set aside to honor your mother, it isn’t too late. But you do need to get started!
I heard a disturbing statistic this afternoon. In America, for every one person who joins a church, four are leaving. Most churches in America are stagnant or declining. If we look at Central, we see the same thing happening. Whatever the reasons—we aren’t effectively reaching into our community. Most of our members don’t live in Grandview (we have become a destination church). Our average attendance, so far this year, is running 10 less than last year. That is a 20 percent decline in attendance. If something doesn’t change, and change soon, we will be in peril of losing our ability to impact the community. In other words—we will close our doors and cease to function as a church.
Now, as you’ve read that paragraph, you probably had one of the following reactions (perhaps even a combination of one or more):
The first is that the pastor has simply adopted a Chicken Little philosophy; you know, the sky is falling. It probably isn’t nearly as bad as he thinks. We can safely ignore the warning, he’s probably just paying too much attention to a seasonal fluctuation in attendance.
The second is that the pastor is a negative Nellie. He shouldn’t be saying such things about the church; God is in control and Central isn’t going to close its doors anytime soon. You may even be wondering if the pastor shouldn’t seek a little medical treatment for this kind of negativity.
The third is that you believe the pastor is correct. In fact, since he is correct you probably better start looking for a new church—Central isn’t going to make it.
The fourth is that you believe I am correct, and are deeply concerned about the health of Central Church. You wonder what we can do to change this—and you sincerely want to be a part of the solution.
If the first two descriptions are the closest to your actual response, what should you do? Well, either ignore the warning and do nothing or pray that I seek medical treatment for my obvious case of depression (unfortunately, I’m not clinically depressed). If the third response describes you and your family, then make a decision. Please let me know about that decision as soon as you make it—don’t just walk away.
If the fourth response is yours (or close to it), then I have some challenges for you. First, I would ask you to commit to a day of prayer and fasting on Friday, May 25th. The Advisory Board and I will be meeting with Stan Bunch to discuss church health and hopefully begin working on a plan to help Central reach a better state of church health. Second, dream small—then dream big! By dreaming small I am asking you to think about what contributions you can make to help Central become healthier. I’m not talking about financial contributions, I am talking about putting your gifts to use. If you don’t know what your gifts are, come and see me and we’ll do a little exploring about your spiritual gifts. In dreaming big, I am asking you to seek God and His dream for Central. What do we think God wants Central to accomplish in the next five years—ten years—fifty years? Finally, pray some more! Pray for me and for the Advisory Board. Pray for the Sunday school teachers and other volunteers. Pray for our Vacation Bible School. Pray about how you can be a part of turning Central into a healthier church.
In the meantime, here’s a tool that may help you engage in some active evangelism with your neighbors. Go to blesseveryhome.com and sign up to be a light. Begin to pray for your neighbors, by name. Seek ways to show them that you care about them. Seek opportunities to share Jesus with them. It’s a great way to be the church!