So maybe instead of asking “what’s cool?”, “what’s relevant?” or even “what’s new?” our churches ought to be asking people “what reality are you living in?” and “what better reality does Jesus have for you?” People will always say one thing when they really don’t mean it.
Every new pastor that comes into a new church, the church will usually take on his personality and ministry.
When I came to ROJBC in July 2008, I took the church with some doubt, I knew coming in that the church which had a good run, and many people (200+) had come over the years. When ask to fill out a questionnaire I knew that I would not have the right answers. So I would not do that.
The only reason that I even came to ROJBC was due to my father-in-law. When the last pastor left, which was 18 months before I came. And the last Sunday before I came, two of the leaders walked out and quit and took 90% of the offering and leadership. The last two deacons left standing had no choice but to close the doors. Which was what they really wanted to do.
When I came I did not hold in information in which I would do if I came the pastor. I have tried to do what I said I would do.
While what the church was doing was not necessary wrong, and certainly was 100% Baptist, Fundamental Baptist. And as a matter of fact was well like by most people for sure.
What hurt the church was not necessary the pastor leaving, but was a part. In a period of 12 months the pulpit committee tried out five preachers, and none of them received the necessary amount of votes. As a result most of the people just left the church.
Its not that some Fundamental Baptist churches are not doing well, of course there are many good churches that hold to the Baptist tradition.
So what was different that I did when I came:
First, my style of preaching was totally different: I am not saying that the other two preachers preached wrong, I just preach-teach in a different style.
Second, my style of administration was going to be different. I believe in Elders rule, not membership rule. I don’t believe in Pastor rule, apart from that the Bible and church give him authority.
Third, I was not a King James Version 1611 only believer. I do not believe that if you preach from the NASV that you should not preach and that you are not really preaching the Bible.
Fourth, when ask if I was a soul-winner, I said no. They ask if I went on visitation door to do. And I said no.
Fifth, even though I did not mention that my doctrine was in the camp of John Calvin, and Doctrine of Grace, and Sovereign of God, TULIP and Election of the Saved, I certainly preached it from the first sermon series I taught.
Sixth, when I talked to the deacon, about the altar call and invitation, he said that they had so few to ever come to the altar. While if done right there is no law again an altar call. But I believe that there should not be one and six verses of Just As I Am. I don’t push for people getting saved, with out a clear teaching of the Gospel of Salvation.
Seventh, I did not believe that the pastor should always be asking for money for every thing from the people.
Eight, I had been sour on bus ministry and going after the poor and children just to get a crowd. I was not trying to build the attendance but to build up people in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thought that the leaders or teachers should at least be in one service on Sunday morning, while there were some that did not necessary like the kinds in the service.
I could mention more of course.
So with all that, over the first few years, many left, and they still continue to leave. Some for varies reasons. Then they leave and say, Its not like the old ROJBC. (They must not remember 90% left before I got there)