Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Please update your blog!




I have heard several remarks lately that some people miss my blog postings.  For this reason, I am considering beginning to begin posting again. I now spend time on my Facebook page and the church Facebook page. 

Trustworthy Sayings plans to return within the next 30 days. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Are YOU ready to get wet?

The two pictures I posted today on the Facebook page of First Wesleyan Church in Gastonia NC: Sunday May 21st  will be a historic day at our church as we plan to baptize 7 people. 

The forecast calls for rain - which we will interpret as "Showers of blessings". Bring your umbrella and gather in the courtyard for the worship which begins at 11:00am with the baptism taking place near the beginning of our time together.

Remember - "Shall we gather at the river?" Tomorrow we gather in the courtyard to celebrate the work of God in our midst. Don't miss this Spirit filled time together!




































Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Eight Signs Your Church May Be Closing Soon

I'm Back!   After an extended time away - I have decided to renew my passion to extend trustworthy words by re-establishing my blog.   I am still deciding on the frequency and the format - but I am back.  

Please let me know if you find this helpful with a simple comment on my page...  Thanks.

Eight Signs Your Church May Be Closing Soon

  By Thom Rainer
We call it the death spiral.
I know. It’s not a pleasant term. I can understand if it causes you to cringe.
By the time I am contacted about a serious problem in a church, it is often too late. The problems are deeply rooted, but the remaining members have been blind to them, or they chose to ignore them.
There are eight clear signs evident in many churches on the precipice of closing. If a church has four or more of these signs present, it is likely in deep trouble. Indeed, it could be closing sooner than almost anyone in the church would anticipate.
  1. There has been a numerical decline for four or more years. Worship attendance is in a steady decline. Offerings may decline more slowly as the “remnant” gives more to keep the church going. There are few or no conversions. Decline is clear and pervasive.
  2. The church does not look like the community in which it is located. The community has changed its ethnic, racial, or socioeconomic makeup, but the church has not. Many members are driving from other places to come to the church. The community likely knows little or nothing about the church. And the church likely knows little or nothing about the community.
  3. The congregation is mostly comprised of senior adults. It is just a few years of funerals away from having no one left in the church.
  4. The focus is on the past, not the future. Most conversations are about “the good old days.” Those good old days may have been 25 or more years in the past. Often a hero pastor of the past is held as the model to emulate.
  5. The members are intensely preference-driven. They are more concerned about their music style, their programs, their schedules, and their facilities than reaching people with the gospel. Their definition of discipleship is “others taking care of my needs.”
  6. The budget is severely inwardly focused. Most of the funds are expended to keep the lights on and/or to meet the preferences of the members. There are few dollars for ministry and missions. And any dollars for missions rarely include the involvement of the members in actually sharing the gospel themselves.
  7. There are sacred cow facilities. It might be a parlor or a pulpit. It could be pews instead of chairs. It might be the entirety of the worship center or the sanctuary. Members insist on holding tightly to those things God wants us to hold loosely.
  8. Any type of change is met with fierce resistance. The members are confronted with the choice to change or die. And though few would articulate it, their choice by their actions or lack of actions is the choice to die.
Churches with four or more of these signs have three choices. They can embark on a process of change and revitalization. Or they can close the doors for a season and re-open with a new name, a new vision, and some new people.
Of course, the third choice is to do nothing. That is the choice to die.
Thousands of churches will unfortunately do just that the next twelve months.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Have you noticed?


Have you noticed?


  A few days following my birthday this year, I made a decision to take a break from my blog postings for the Lenten Season. Since Resurrection Sunday I have noticed no comments or response about my lack of posting. For this and several other reasons, I am discontinuing my blog at this time.  

Friday, February 17, 2017

Today in church history

I am an avid fan of Church History.  Recently I subscribed to a service of Today in Church History and enjoy reading the daily  reminders of those who came before us.

Here is the offering for today -  February 17, 2017

February 17, 661: Finan, bishop of Lindisfarne (an island off the eastern coast of England) who throughout his life sought to preserve Celtic customs against Roman influence, dies. Three years later, at the Synod of Whitby, Celtic Christians agreed to abide by Roman traditions. "Peter is guardian of the gates of heaven, and I shall not contradict him," said the Celtic King, Oswy (see issue 60: How the Irish Were Saved).


February 17, 1858: Waldensians, ancient "Protestants" from the Italian Alps who survived through persecution for 800 years, are finally guaranteed civil and religious rights. They began with the teaching of a wealthy merchant named Pater Waldo in the late 1100s; thus they are considered "the oldest evangelical Church" (see issue 22: The Waldensians).


February 17, 1889: Former White Stockings baseball player Billy Sunday preaches his first evangelistic sermon in Chicago. By the time he died in 1935, he had preached to an estimated 100 million people, and about 1 million "walked the sawdust trail" to become Christians at his invitation.


February 17, 1898: Francis Willard, crusader for prohibition and women's suffrage, dies. She served as dean of Northwestern Women's College before becoming president of the Women's Christian Temperence Union.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Every Pastor Needs a Plane!


Kenneth Copeland, Jesse Duplantis,
defending their private jets...






In a commentary on this video,  Drew Dyck
Senior Editor CT Pastors , said the following:


In the exchange, they talked about the hassle of being recognized and approached by strangers wanting prayer on commercial flights (as a celebrity newsletter writer, I get this All. The. Time.) One of them described the horrors of flying commercial as getting into "a long tube filled with demons."
(I guess he'd flown Spirit Airlines).

Like many, I was horrified by the video. How could a pastor cope without a private jet? Now that I think about it, I've attended many churches over the course of my life and not one of my pastors owned a plane. Not one! Where is their faith?
But let's not lay all the blame at the feet of planeless pastors. Those of us in the pews have sat idly by and ignored these pastors' planeless plight (that alliteration was for the pastors, by the way). I for one intend to do something about it.
Maybe it's a pledge drive. Or a Kickstarter campaign. But we have to do something. In the 1920s, President Hoover proudly promised Americans a "chicken in every pot." I can't help but wonder if this is my President/Chicken moment. But instead of promising poultry, my rallying cry will be "a plane for every pastor!"
Please give generously. Unless you want your pastor in a "tube filled with demons."

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

How Do We Glorify God in All We Do?




God reveals Himself to us, and we are to mirror Him.
He created, and at the end He said, “It was good.”
So whatever it is that you do—do it well.
Do it with purpose. Do it for Him.
And at the end of the day, you can say,
“It was good.”