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TOPIC: Is our Church Dead?

Is our Church Dead? 1 year 5 months ago #58496

This has been something I've been thinking about lately. I'm not saying it is dead completely, but think about it. In all you tears at church, have you really seen it grow. You get people baptized, but the same amount of people probably also stop attending.

Something else which worried me was that in the general conference they announced that there had been 3000 baptisms in New York cuty because of evangelistic campaigns. But thats a little bit. There are 8 million people in New York City and only 3000 of those were baptized.

Just wondering what you think about this.
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Is our Church Dead? 1 year 5 months ago #58514

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I really don't know what to say... I honestly think the opposite. It's great that 3000 people were baptised and that is alot of new members to add to our church. I think our church is getting better and growing.
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Is our Church Dead? 1 year 5 months ago #58527

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Yes and no. Let me explain.

As a whole, the growth of churches has stagnated in North America. People are warm enough to go to church, but too cold to serve their communities. This is what Jesus meant in Revelation when He condemned the lukewarm state of the Laodicean church. They were in between on fire for God and aloofness. Jesus warned the Christians of Laodicea that if they failed to commit to either being on fire for the Lord or not, He would literally vomit them from his body.

On the no side, the growth of churches depends on demographics. The Adventist Church's largest regions by population are in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. In North America, the growth of Caribbean, African, and Hispanic churches is so rapid that new missions and churches are being created monthly. The churches that struggle the most with growth and decay tend to have mainly white populations, a trend that is being seen across the United States in churches of all denominations. In the United States, Regional Conferences, which are mostly people of color, have never struggled with growth. State Conferences, which are mostly white, although that margin is shrinking as more people of color are baptized into these conferences, have struggled the most with growth. For example, the Florida Conference has seen stagnation among its white churches, but the Haitian and Hispanic work is so potent that new churches are sprouting monthly.

In 1996, church membership was roughly 10 million. Today, the church's official membership count is over 18 million. This does not include children who have not yet been baptized or regular church attendees who have not been baptized. These two groups would bring the count to around 21 million.

You mentioned the NY-13 initiative, which my father was blessed to have participated in, where 3000 accepted the Adventist message and were baptized into the Northeastern and Greater New York Conferences. As you mentioned, at first glance, 3000 out of 8 million is not an incredibly staggering number. However, cities are incredibly tough to evangelize, regardless of denomination. New York City is no exception. However, when one considers the membership of the church in North America, it is an excellent number. There are roughly 18 million Adventists in the world. Roughly 17 million of them live outside of the US, Canada, and Bermuda. The membership of the Northeastern Conference, a regional conference covering New York and New England, is about 55,000, making it the largest regional conference and one of the largest in North America. The membership of the Greater New York Conference, a small intra-state conference that covers New York City and Long Island, is 25,000. Between the two of them, 3000 new members in one year is an excellent goal. The church I regularly attend, a midsized church on Long Island, is steadily growing as well. Last year, we were blessed to reach 500 members.

Many people in large cities either do not care about religion, or are firmly established in one. Convincing 3000 out of 8 million to join your church is incredibly difficult anywhere. Accomplishing it is even harder. All in all, the number of followers isn't that important. Christianity started out with 12 disciples. Today there are 2.5 billion.
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Is our Church Dead? 1 year 5 months ago #58542

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Good point. I think that it's exactly like the Bible described it in Revelation 3:15-17.

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would that wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.

The question we should be asking is how to we come back alive. The prophecy in Ezekial about the dry bones coming back to life and dancing, I think is about us today. Our church is dying if not dead but God will speak life back into us. It's a promise. We just have to ask Him; and, seriously, when was the last time we got on our knees and prayed? Prayed as in confessing sins, asking forgiveness, and claiming God's promises. Not just for two minutes or maybe five but for a half hour, an hour, all night! God blessed Jesus' ministry (His church) because Jesus focused on God and prayed, often all night.

So yes, our church is dying. Yes, God will resurrect it. And yes, He's waiting for us to be ready to receive it. :)
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Is our Church Dead? 1 year 5 months ago #58544

Hmm...I kinda agree with you about how our church doesn't seem to be growing much. To be honest, sometimes it seems like a tradition. I mean, I know it is, but it sometimes seems like JUST a tradition. We do the same thing every week. Then we go home, eat lunch, and do our own thing. Our family keeps the Sabbath and we rest and enjoy creation...but the actual church part doesn't really seem so alive. This is a little bit off topic, but something that my pastor said during a sermon really stood out to me. He said if you look at prophecy, you can see the the church that stays faithful in the end is the SDA church...ummm...anyone else get a weird feeling? It almost feels like he's saying that the SDA church is better than anyone else's...which our beliefs line up with the Bible (except I don't agree with ALL of em) but when it talks about the faithful church, it's not talking about a denomination right? I believe that it's talking about the group of people who stay faithful and follow God...we're not supposed to be just another religion...we're supposed to be true followers of Christ who share His love and grace to all people. Honestly, I don't feel like out church is doing much on that. I mean, we haven't had a sermon on transgender, homosexuality, or anything and isn't that what's going on around us? Especially now???? When Paul preached, it wasn't in a little white church...it was in the market place and places where PEOPLE were. I'm not saying cut off church, I'm just saying that we need to get out there, stop being so judgmental, and share the good new with the people around us.

Whew! That was a mouthful....haha...well, there's my opinion! :)
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Is our Church Dead? 1 year 5 months ago #58568

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InspiredThinker wrote:
Yes and no. Let me explain.

As a whole, the growth of churches has stagnated in North America. People are warm enough to go to church, but too cold to serve their communities. This is what Jesus meant in Revelation when He condemned the lukewarm state of the Laodicean church. They were in between on fire for God and aloofness. Jesus warned the Christians of Laodicea that if they failed to commit to either being on fire for the Lord or not, He would literally vomit them from his body.

On the no side, the growth of churches depends on demographics. The Adventist Church's largest regions by population are in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. In North America, the growth of Caribbean, African, and Hispanic churches is so rapid that new missions and churches are being created monthly. The churches that struggle the most with growth and decay tend to have mainly white populations, a trend that is being seen across the United States in churches of all denominations. In the United States, Regional Conferences, which are mostly people of color, have never struggled with growth. State Conferences, which are mostly white, although that margin is shrinking as more people of color are baptized into these conferences, have struggled the most with growth. For example, the Florida Conference has seen stagnation among its white churches, but the Haitian and Hispanic work is so potent that new churches are sprouting monthly.

In 1996, church membership was roughly 10 million. Today, the church's official membership count is over 18 million. This does not include children who have not yet been baptized or regular church attendees who have not been baptized. These two groups would bring the count to around 21 million.

You mentioned the NY-13 initiative, which my father was blessed to have participated in, where 3000 accepted the Adventist message and were baptized into the Northeastern and Greater New York Conferences. As you mentioned, at first glance, 3000 out of 8 million is not an incredibly staggering number. However, cities are incredibly tough to evangelize, regardless of denomination. New York City is no exception. However, when one considers the membership of the church in North America, it is an excellent number. There are roughly 18 million Adventists in the world. Roughly 17 million of them live outside of the US, Canada, and Bermuda. The membership of the Northeastern Conference, a regional conference covering New York and New England, is about 55,000, making it the largest regional conference and one of the largest in North America. The membership of the Greater New York Conference, a small intra-state conference that covers New York City and Long Island, is 25,000. Between the two of them, 3000 new members in one year is an excellent goal. The church I regularly attend, a midsized church on Long Island, is steadily growing as well. Last year, we were blessed to reach 500 members.

Many people in large cities either do not care about religion, or are firmly established in one. Convincing 3000 out of 8 million to join your church is incredibly difficult anywhere. Accomplishing it is even harder. All in all, the number of followers isn't that important. Christianity started out with 12 disciples. Today there are 2.5 billion.

Beautifully and well said Inspired Thinker.
So let me sing for the love
Let me love for the lost
Let me lose all I have
For what I found on the cross
Let me trust you with my life
Let me live to give you praise
Lord, let me praise you
For the grace by which I'm saved
Lord, let me sing

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Is our Church Dead? 1 year 4 months ago #59136

Same with my church. My church is so small i have to wait till the other girl can go to juniors. :-( my brother has to wait till her brother is old enough to go to primary. Those are the younger people in our church. Everyone else is old. I want to move to the bigger church but mom and dad don't want to.

Witnessing sounds scary to me. What about you.
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Is our Church Dead? 1 year 4 months ago #59137

Other counties are growing more than North America. I think we should look at the counties that are growing and learn from them.
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Is our Church Dead? 1 year 4 months ago #59186

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I would not go as far as to say that it's dead, but it certainly is sleeping. We need God to awaken us again, especially in North America. As for my home church, we don't really do any outreach and don't help others, so pretty much yeah
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