Over the past few years, Dr. Randy Davis and the leadership of the Tennessee Baptist Convention (TBC) have researched the spiritual conditions in our state. Their studies show that more than 60% of all Tennesseans do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ (over 3.3 million people), and 35,000 Tennesseans die every year without Christ. Unless trends change in the next ten years, only 1 out of 10 members of Generation Z (those born after 1995) will come to know Christ as their Savior. Of more than 3,000 Tennessee Baptist Churches, 75-80% are plateaued or declining, with over 500 churches in danger of closing their doors for good in the next five years.
Those are sobering statistics which has led to changes in the TBC. In an effort to stem the tide of lostness in our state, in 2014 the TBC launched “The Five Objectives” :
- OBJECTIVE 1 – Seeing at least 50,000 Tennesseans annually saved, baptized and set on the road to discipleship by 2024
- OBJECTIVE 2 – Having at least 500 Tennessee Baptist churches revitalized by 2024
- OBJECTIVE 3 – Planting and strategically engaging at least 1,000 new churches by 2024
- OBJECTIVE 4 – Realizing an increase in annual local church giving through the Cooperative Program that reaches at least 10 percent by 2024
- OBJECTIVE 5 – Realizing an increase in annual giving for the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions that reaches at least $3 million by 2024
You can read more about the Five Objectives here.
Objective #2 was of particular interest to me. Unfortunately, Magna View is among the 75-80% of churches that are plateaued or declining. Though we occasionally see growth, we also occasionally experience loss. Realizing our need for revitalization, and in an effort to do our part to fulfill the Great Commission and reach and disciple the people of our community and state, we will be among the first group of churches in Tennessee participating in a church revitalization process. Seeking the leadership of the Holy Spirit, we will be entering a thirteen-week process of evaluating the condition of our church that will lead to changes that will enable us to become a healthier church. We will be discussing the marks of a healthy church and making necessary changes to see our church become a church that is “…healthy, growing and full of love.” (Ephesians 4:16 NLT).
Please join us Wednesday night, August 17th, as I will be outlining the Healthy Church Initiative. And then, beginning Sunday, August 28th we’ll be meeting on Sunday nights as we pray, seek the Lord, discuss conditions and changes that we will need make to become a healthier church. Each Sunday night we will meet in the Fellowship Hall and enjoy a time of food and fellowship along with our discussions. Every member and attender who has an interest in our church and in what the Lord is doing among us is welcome to come and participate with us in this process.
I look forward with excitement to what the Lord is going to do in His body of believers in the coming days.