Episode 371

IMB seeks Send Network partners to send NA church planters abroad; 5 Questions for Shrinking Worship Gatherings

Jun 6, 2023

The 2023 hurricane season is now open in the US. Forecasters are calling for a near-normal season in the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf Coast; 15 pastors and church planters from the North American Mission Board’s Send Network traveled to Frankfurt, Germany, to learn from and collaborate with International Mission Board missionaries and local partners; In an article at Baptist Press, Thom Rainer writes, “The trend toward smaller gatherings was slow but perceptible prior to the pandemic

Transcript

The 2023 hurricane season is now open in the US. Forecasters are calling for a near-normal season in the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf Coast.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami will be using a new tool to predict storm surge this year. They hope it will help residents if they had to prepare for a storm.

A total of 16 tropical cyclones developed during last year’s season and 14 of them intensified into named storms. 

15 pastors and church planters from the North American Mission Board’s Send Network traveled to Frankfurt, Germany, to learn from and collaborate with International Mission Board missionaries and local partners.

These Send Trips are part of a newly formed partnership between the IMB and Send Network. The partnership also includes collaboration and training on engagement strategies for leaders in the U.S., as well as an IMB missionary leader presence at the regional Send Network gatherings.

Three other trips are scheduled for this year to South Asia and two to Europe – Germany and Bulgaria. The goal is to send 50 church planters this year. For the next two years, 100 North American church planters will travel on 10 trips.

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In an article at Baptist Press, Thom Rainer writes, “The trend toward smaller gatherings was slow but perceptible prior to the pandemic. That trend is much more noticeable now.

Church worship gatherings are getting smaller.

Two major factors are contributing to this trend. The obvious factor is an overall attendance decline in churches.

The second reason for smaller worship gatherings is “horizontal growth.” That means, in addition to multiple services on Sunday morning, churches are moving to multiple campuses, multiple sites, multiple days, and multiple venues. In other words, attendance is spread over potentially several different places and times.”

He encourages church leaders to ask several questions related to church attendance. They include:

  1. Do you know why your worship gathering or gatherings are smaller? If your church has more than one service, we encourage you to follow the trends in all of the services. Of course, we also encourage you to follow the trends in a single gathering.

 

  1. Because smaller worship gatherings are more accepted today than in the past, has your church become comfortable or complacent with attendance decline? For sure, numbers are not our ultimate goal. But if a church is losing people faster than it is gaining, it could be an indication that the church has become inwardly focused.

 

  1. Has your church become less evangelistic as smaller worship gatherings are more accepted today? This question is similar to number two, but it focuses specifically on evangelism. We know from our research that evangelism is not a priority in many churches today.

     

     

                   

                  Pro-life advocates and others are awaiting a Texas judge’s ruling on whether an abortion pill approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000 should be prescribed to women. The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission has called on nine federal agencies to revoke a proposed rule it says would unduly burden the rights of faith-based organizations that take part in government programs. And, a Lifeway Bible study on Baptist Press speaks to the final moments before Jesus’ arrest and subsequent crucifixion. Jesus seeks to encourage his disciples as he knows heavy sorrow is just around the corner.

                  Pro-life advocates and others are awaiting a Texas judge’s ruling on whether an abortion pill approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000 should be prescribed to women. The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission has called on nine federal agencies to revoke a proposed rule it says would unduly burden the rights of faith-based organizations that take part in government programs. And, a Lifeway Bible study on Baptist Press speaks to the final moments before Jesus’ arrest and subsequent crucifixion. Jesus seeks to encourage his disciples as he knows heavy sorrow is just around the corner.

                  Pro-life advocates and others are awaiting a Texas judge’s ruling on whether an abortion pill approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000 should be prescribed to women. The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission has called on nine federal agencies to revoke a proposed rule it says would unduly burden the rights of faith-based organizations that take part in government programs. And, a Lifeway Bible study on Baptist Press speaks to the final moments before Jesus’ arrest and subsequent crucifixion. Jesus seeks to encourage his disciples as he knows heavy sorrow is just around the corner.

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