By Steve McNeil

The 2019 emphasis in our Mile Markers 2025 vision has been pointing us toward Evangelism and Revitalization. I mentioned last month that hardly a week goes by that I do not hear stories of people coming to Christ and following Him in believers’ baptism. We rejoice in those stories.

We are now in the middle of summer, which means that this year is half over as well. Your SCBI staff team is in the middle of camp season, mission trips, VBS and yes we too go on much-needed vacations. I hope that you are praying for your church, your associational churches and our SCBI family of churches as we all seek to help Jesus “seek and save that which is lost.”

I truly believe that the Lord has shown us His favor as SCBI and the larger SBC family are emphasizing this much-needed area of ministry at the same time. While we are encouraging our churches in evangelism, our SBC family primarily through the North American Mission Board is also emphasizing “Who’s Your ONE!” I hope that your church has chosen to be part of this process. We all live by, work with, associate with lost people. That is the primary purpose that your church exists – to glorify God by worshipping Him and telling others about His great grace and salvation.

Evangelism should be an important emphasis in your summer plans as your church engages in camps and your own Vacation Bible School or Back Yard Bible Clubs. These are great places to invite people who do not know Jesus so that they can be exposed to the truth and power of the gospel.

It is my prayer that this year we would see every one of our 445 churches baptize at least one person. I still dream of the day when we would see at least one person come to Christ each week of the year through the ministries of our 445 churches. Then one day to see every church experience someone coming to Jesus every week.

Contact Dr. Rick Hillard if you would like more information or help about how to step up the evangelistic efforts in your church (rhillard@scbi.org).

Our SCBI team is also working to help our churches with efforts to revitalize our churches. All this means is we hope and pray and yes we believe that it would be God’s desire for all of our churches to be “vital.” To be vibrant, alive and relevant in our communities where our churches exist and to bring glory to God by a lost world seeing churches that care, that minister, that teach and preach the Word of God and worship Him above anything else.

This month our Church/Leader Development Team has been involved in four Revitalization conferences around the state. Bob Weeks has been working hard to help our churches take a good look at their ministries and to evaluate the health of their church. Contact Bob for more information or if you would like to talk about taking a church health assessment for your church (bweeks@scbi.org).

You will want to check out the SCBI web site to see more information about another Revitalization conference coming in September (https://www.scbi.org/events/trainings/revive-a-revitalization-replant-scbi-regional-conference).

I am looking at numbers today as the 2018 Annual Church Profile (ACP) information has just come out.

I have found that numbers do not lie, and they always tell a story. What are the SCBI numbers for 2018? One thing to remember is that these numbers have to be evaluated through the realization that not every one of our SCBI churches filled out an ACP. That skews the story, but we can still see some interesting things.

Year Total
Members
Total
Baptisms
Other
Additions
Sunday
Worship Attendance
SS
Average
Attendance
Church
VBS
2014 67087 2,071 1996 27454 17608 14670
2015 64,521 2,047 1909 26929 15583 12874
2016 66171 2217 1755 35149 20338 13752
2017 61813 1652 1265 31289 18914 13550
2018 60233 1592 1136 30744 17160 12364
Dif -6854 -479 -860 3290 -448 -2306

 

 

Undesignated
Gifts
Total
Receipts
Cooperative
Program
Annie
Armstrong
Offering
Lottie
Moon
Offering
Great
Commission
Giving
33916110 41544204 2101612 250699 417340 3276382
34664263 44501024 2024280 292986 429563 3339002
38955043 50519117 2072703 311118 524485 3343962
35991327 50,329,279 2109509 335348 475603 3015367
37526540 47293030 2047703 293810 440149 2830337
 $       3,610,430.00  $  5,748,826.00  $ (53,909.00)  $  43,111.00  $  22,809.00  $ (446,045.00)

 

The story tells us that we are down in membership, baptisms, Sunday School/Groups attendance, other additions and VBS. It is interesting to see these numbers because that says to me as a church culture, we have chosen to be more about the Sunday morning worship experience rather than a group emphasis. This is a decision we have been making for the past 10-15 years.

In the second set of numbers, we see our SCBI family giving. The total giving has gone up over the past five years, but it is down from the last two years. Giving through the Cooperative Program is fairly flat. Our churches are good givers to our missions’ organizations, and that shows in the numbers as well.

As Jeannine and I travel around our state, we get to meet some really great people. Pastors who work hard and want to do the right thing and to make a difference. We meet really good people in our churches. People who are faithful to their church, savior and the friends who attend with them.

It is my prayer that we will all choose to work together to impact the communities where we live with the gospel. I pray we will see people saved, and that we will see His spirit work to restore His church and revive it.

Will you join me in prayer? Will you join me in inviting someone to your church this Sunday? Will you join me to pray for a person that you want to see follow Jesus as their savior? Will you join me in praying for “Your One?”  https://whosyourone.com/for-you/.

Until Next Time,

Steve