Thursday, August 25, 2005

Rick Warren and the SBC

From The Baptist Press...Rick Warren dispels rumors, says church committed to SBC

Part 1
Even though Pastor Rick Warren supports the SBC, he doesn't agree with everything they do:

Warren, though, doesn't agree with everything Southern Baptists do. He told BP the SBC's 2004 vote to withdraw from the Baptist World Alliance was a "major mistake." He spoke at the BWA's Centenary Congress this summer in Birmingham, England.

I point this little blurb out to remind SBC folks that it's OK to disagree with the SBC and still support them. This is not about theology; it's about relationships and evangelism. The problem with the SBC (and CBF for that matter) is the typical mold they put themselves in: Pressed suit, tie, and shiny shoes. Can you reach the homeless, the hurting, the sinner in this attire and presence?

My guess is no.

Pastor Warren is not afraid to tell the SBC what he thinks and what he does for the sake of Christ. The SBC would do well to listen and take notes.

Part 2
I love what Pastor Warren has to say about church growth, since I am often asked this question when interviewing with churches. He hits the nail on the head:

"The problem with many churches is that they begin with the wrong question. They ask, 'What will make our church grow?' This is a mistake. Instead they should be asking, 'What is keeping our church from growing?' All living things grow. You don’t have to make them grow. If they are healthy, they grow automatically. Since the church is a living organism, it is natural for it to grow. It is unnatural for it not to grow."

Wow! This puts the accountability on who? Yup, the church. Imagine that...

Oftentimes church members get so set in their ways that they don't want to reach out. The church begins to fester and no one understands why. Soon, what was once a living organism, is now dying.

Pastor Warren is right: When we start looking in the mirror, taking responsibility, and reach out to those in need, then the church will begin to grow.

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