Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Does Church Need Change?

by Mike Matthews with Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr.


What can church and parents do to stop our young people from leaving?

Mike Matthews, editor of Answers magazine, spoke with Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, about one of the most pressing questions in the church today: “With so many children leaving the church by their twenties, what are we doing wrong, and what solutions can the church and parents implement?”

Statistics indicate that around two-thirds of children who grew up in conservative churches are now leaving by the time they reach their twenties. What seems to be the problem?

The pattern of young people leaving the church is different than it was even in some recent generations, where it was more temporary. It now appears, in the lives of millions of young people raised in our churches, to be a rather permanent alienation from the church and from the truth claims of Christianity.

Their worldview was evidently not shaped adequately by biblical truths such that they were able to withstand the tide of the secular culture and the allure of the other worldviews around them.

You raise the issue of a secular culture. Does the church need to change its strategy, recognizing that we’re fighting a postmodern world?

We’re not really in a postmodern age. We’re just kind of in “post-modern moods” because we still live in a world shaped by the Enlightenment as well. A lot of what we face in the battle over science and origins, in academic debates and the new atheism, most of that is really not postmodern.

It’s the same old arguments going all the way back to questions of how we can know that something really happened. How can we know there really was a Christ? How can we know these things? Those are old Enlightenment questions, and they are still around.

So we are really going to have to be sophisticated enough to be able to fight something like a two-front war.

What is the church doing wrong in this “war”?

Churches in many ways have actually, I think, added to the problem. They promote the idea of the church as a full-service entertainment and activity center, where you take children away from their parents and just put them in a different peer culture. Now it’s a church peer culture. What happens when they grow out of that?

Kids are spending a very small amount of time in church activities, and many of those activities have very little theological, biblical, or spiritual content.

Kids are spending a very small amount of time in church activities, and many of those activities have very little theological, biblical, or spiritual content. As a result, we have a generation of young people who believe that there is a God, but they don’t have any particular god in mind.

We should be exhorting each other, helping each other, equipping each other. Christian young people should be drawn into the church, but not in a way that isolates them with other young people.

What steps can the church take to do better?

  • Focus on expository preaching, and teach how to think biblically.

    The pulpit has to take responsibility. In far too many churches there is just no expository preaching [teaching that expounds on a particular text of Scripture]. There isn’t the robust biblical preaching that sets forth the Word of God and then explains how the people of God are going to have to think differently and live differently in order to be faithful to that Word.

  • Show the seriousness of church, including personal accountability.

    The local church must be a robust gospel people. It must be a warm fellowship of believers. It must be a fellowship of believers who are really living out holiness and faithfulness to Christ, and being mutually accountable for that.

    Otherwise, our kids are going to get the message: “You talk a lot about sin, but it’s really not all that important to you.” Or they will think the gospel is simply about moralism.

  • Give answers about current issues.

    We’re not giving our kids adequate information on some very crucial issues. Look at the questions that the average teenager is facing, “Why aren’t you having sex with your girlfriend?” “Why don’t you believe in evolution?” “Why don’t you accept this worldview?” “Why won’t you accept this lifestyle?”

    If we aren’t giving them intellectual material, intellectual knowledge, fiber, and confidence, we shouldn’t be surprised they’re going to go with the flow. That is the way the tides work. It picks up the stuff, and they become the flotsam and jetsam of the cultural movement.

  • Explain how the gospel is unfolding through real history.

    There is another big failure. We speak of propositional [objective] truth as if oftentimes it’s an outline to put up on an overhead projector. The Christian faith, the Christian truth claim, the gospel, is first of all a master narrative—a true story—about life, about God’s purpose to bring glory to Himself. It has four major movements: Creation, Fall, Redemption, Consummation.

    The only way to understand the great story of the gospel is to begin with the fact that God is the Creator and He is the Lord of all.

    If we don’t anchor our children in that story, if they think that Christianity is merely a bunch of stuff to believe, if they don’t find their identity in that—in which they say, “Yes, that’s my story. This is where I am.” Then they are going to fall away.

    You know, they can fall away and still hold in their minds to a whole lot of Christian truth. They just don’t connect the dots. They never see the big picture. And they are easy prey for all the competing worldviews and ideologies around us.

What are parents doing wrong?

We’ve got to start treating young people as a mission field, not just assuming that mere nurture will lead them into Christian discipleship and into Christian faith. Parents need to take a big responsibility here. The one thing we know from the entirety of the Scripture is that parents have the non-negotiable responsibility to train, educate, nurture their own children into the faith, to confront them with biblical truth, to ground them in the Scriptures. We also have, on the part of many Christian parents, a buy-in to a new secular understanding of parenthood. We are letting our children make big decisions far too early. So, when you have a 14-year-old, 15-, 16-, 17-year-old, making decisions about whether he or she is going to participate in church activities, be at church . . . that’s a child who is making decisions that should be made for her, should be made for him. What steps can parents take to do better?

If you are a general and you’re responsible to lead an army, one of the most important things you do is brief your troops. You don’t just send them out. Unfortunately, we’re sending our kids out into the world with too little information, too little grounding, too little inspiration, too little self-identification as the faithful of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Teach God’s Word all the time, in everyday life

    This is not something that you can do once a day, once a week, and say that’s done. That’s why I go back to Deuteronomy 6. It is a constant teaching opportunity.

    I don’t mean a piece of chalk and a blackboard. I mean the kind of opportunity that comes from having seen something together and saying, “All right, how do we figure that out? What does that mean?”

    Having seen a movie or television show with a child, especially a teenager, say, “All right, what was going on there? What were the worldviews represented there? How are we going to respond to that?”

    Read together. I think one of the most important things that parents can do, is to read, especially with teenage children. Read some of the same things. As children get older, let them choose some of the things to read. Read it together and then talk about it together.

    Watch the news together. Talk about the news together.

    And yes, talk about the Scriptures and teach the Scriptures.

  • Help adolescents think through the big questions.

    Adolescence is the crucial point. For the first time they’re beginning to think about the big questions of life. When the lights go out at night, they’re trying to figure out, do I really know the meaning of life? Do I really know who I am?

    At that stage, don’t be afraid if your kid is asking questions. Far too many Christian parents are scared to death of their teenage child when on the way home from school, the kid says, “How do we really know that Christianity is true?”

    Be very, very careful to make sure your kids know you are the safe person to ask. Even when panic begins to set in the back of your mind, don’t let it show on your face.

    Create safe places, safe times when your kids can ask those questions. I used to pester my parents with questions late at night. And my parents were kind enough and loving enough that they let me ask questions when I think they would have rather gone to bed.

    Another issue that really becomes very, very important with all of these stages of life is: don’t be afraid to say, “I know there is a good answer for that. But I’m not sure right now I’m prepared to give the right answer for that. So we’re going to go find it together.”

Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has been recognized by Time and Christianity Today as a leader among American evangelicals. He hosts a daily radio program and writes a popular blog on moral, cultural, and theological issues. Dr. Mohler has authored numerous books, including Culture Shift.

Monday, September 28, 2009

"The Churchmen" Appearing
at Boonville Wesleyan Church
This Coming Sunday

Sunday October 4th, 2009

10:30AM Worship Service

Some Facts About the Churchmen:
  • Multiple nominations for "Gospel Group of the Year" by the Society of Preservation of Bluegrass in America
  • Performance at the Ryman Theater
  • Nominated for Two Dove Awards
  • Bluegrass Gospel Album of the year (2005)
  • Bluegrass Song of the year (2007)
"The Churchmen are one of the fastest growing,hottest new sounds in Bluegrass Gospel Music today. We have worked with these guys a lot, and they really live what they sing."
Jeff and Sheri Easter

For more information about the Churchmen, or to listen to samples of their music, click here:

The Churchmen were here back in the summer and are returning this Sunday morning. You won't want to miss them!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kid Fashion: Too Much, Too Soon

By Dr. Linda Mintle
Family Therapist

CBN.comI've got a car full of first and second grade girls singing the lyrics to the latest Britney Spears song and the radio isn't even on! I can handle the singing, but when they want to dress like her and Paris Hilton, the battle begins.

What's the concern? It's too much too soon for these young girls. It's as if clothing manufacturers want to eliminate the time between childhood and adulthood.

If you are like me, you are disgusted with the clothing choices at most stores. The teenage and adult clothing styles are repackaged for young girls. Media and advertising encourage girls to look a certain way to be accepted.

I don't want my seven-year-old daughter wearing platform heels, mid-drifts shirts and half-cut dresses. I don't want her emulating teen idols that don't stand for modesty and wholesome living. At seven, I know she's imitating behavior she really doesn't understand. However, it's never too soon to teach modesty and appropriate dress.

Teaching Modesty

Parents must set limits no matter how much whining and complaining they get in return. At a young age, you are setting the stage for later discussion of this topic in puberty. Use good taste and modesty as a guideline. First graders don't comprehend the sexual implications of provocative dress, so you don't have to go into details. Simply say something like, "These shoes are too high and could make you fall at recess" or "this longer top is a better choice right now."

You don't have to get in power struggles over clothing (that will come soon enough in the teen years). Be firm about guidelines, but don't make a big deal about the overt sexuality involved. Young kids don't understand it.

As you teach your youngsters respect for their bodies, incorporate dressing as an outward expression of that respect. This doesn't mean they can't be fashion conscious. It means they have to stay within certain guidelines. Be clear on what those guidelines are in your opinion.

Fashion is only one front in which your child will be culturally challenged. Look at any magazine at the checkout counter and you will quickly see the overt sexual messages to which kids are exposed. Your job as a parent is to be the cultural guardian of your family. This means you have to guard your child's mind and heart starting at an early age, help them process what they see and hear through a Christian filter, and discuss why certain cultural influences are not congruent with Christian values. Prepare them to make good choices as they grow by starting early.

More Parenting articles on

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Dr. Linda MintleDr. Linda Mintle is a author, professor, Approved Supervisor and Clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, as well as a licensed clinical social worker with over 20 years in psychotherapy practice.

For more articles and info, visit

Monday, September 21, 2009

Weekly Online Bulletin & Photos

We had a great time of special music with special prayer around the alter yesterday at Boonville Wesleyan Church, followed by the preaching of God's Word by guest minister, Rev. Sue Lochmueller. Special music was provided by the Hess family and Teresa Walker. Don't forget about our trip to the Creation Museum coming up in October...still room if you want to go. We are having a Bake sale at Posey's this coming Saturday as a final fundraiser for the trip. For more info type Creation Museum in the Speedword box at the top of this blog.

The men of the church also sang a special, "Is is No Secret, What God can Do"... that great old song by Stuart Hamblin. (Pictured Right)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Wesleyan General Board Rethinks Church...

General Board Challenged to Rethink Church35867 BGS web.jpg

July 6, 2009

Wesleyan Life Magazine

The 114th session of The Wesleyan Church General Board was characterized by a reflection on its rich heritage and an excitement about its promising future. Board of General Superintendents Chair, Dr. Jerry G. Pence, said following the May 5-6 meetings. "From personal testimonies of healing to accounts of dramatic church growth, from stories of baptisms to stirring examples of Christ-followers of all ages who are on the frontlines of Kingdom ministry, the Board rejoiced over evidence of lives being transformed by God's grace through Wesleyan ministries." A live video feed from Dr. Benji Kelley, senior pastor of NewHope Church in Durham, North Carolina, which has doubled in size since moving to its new facility, was typical of the reports.

The first session included a personal testimony by board member Rev. Patty Bray, followed by the State of the Church address by General Superintendent

Pence on behalf of the Board of General Superintendents: He called on the Church to ask itself three questions:

  • Who are we?
  • Where are we headed?
  • How are we going to get there?

He also challenged the General Board to rethink the purpose and direction of The Wesleyan Church.

Afternoon sessions of the General Board included the meetings of the Church's Priority Functions Task Forces:

  • Core Theology and Value
  • Vision Alignment and Accountability
  • Leadership and Ministerial Development
  • Healthy Churches
  • Internationalization

In other business, the General Board received reports from:

  • General Treasurer
  • Wesleyan Investment Foundation
  • Wesleyan Publishing House
  • Communications/General Secretary
  • Education and the Ministry
  • Evangelism and Church Growth
  • Global Partners
  • Spiritual Formation
  • Wesleyan Pension Fund
  • Wesleyan Women
  • Wesleyan Medical Fellowship
  • Hephzibah Ministries

Honored Dr. David S. Medders, who is resigning after 19 years as president of Bethany Bible College in New Brunswick, Canada.

Adopted the 2010 fiscal year budget (that is 7.4% less than the 2009 fiscal year budget and includes a wage and salary freeze for The Wesleyan Church World Headquarters employees).

Approved a restatement of the Articles of Incorporation.

Approved an Investment Committee Policy update.

Approved Rev. C.K. Chitty as new CEO/General Director for Hephzibah Ministries.

Elected members of a Faith and Public Life Think Tank:

  • General Superintendent Jo Anne Lyon, Chair
  • Charles Massey, professor of urban ministries, Houghton College
  • Peter Gillotte, recent seminary graduate with concentration in social justice, in transition for urban ministry, and member of Spring Lake Wesleyan Church in West Michigan District
  • Anthony Graham, pastor, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Jon Wiest, church planter,

The Colony, TX

  • Mike Fullingim, professor of global ministries, Oklahoma Wesleyan University
  • Mindy Dunn, social worker, Indianapolis
  • Chris Accornero, chair of religion department, Southern Wesleyan University, Urban Specialist

Elected college and university trustees:

  • Rev. Robert MacCallum, Bethany Bible College (alumni representative)
  • Mr. John Lee and Mr. John M. Lyon, Houghton College (representative-at-large)
  • Dr. Steven DeNeff, Indiana Wesleyan University (General Board nomination), Mr. Donald Thomason, IWU (representative-at-large)
  • Mr. John Powell, Southern Wesleyan University (district representative nomination), Mr. D. Ken Whitener (representative-at-large)

In a meeting with world headquarters employees following the Wednesday conclusion of General Board business sessions, General Superintendent Pence highlighted Board action and then reminded them that they are a "mission force that is spreading hope and holiness that transforms Christians, communities and cultures." •

Friday, September 18, 2009

Do We Dare?

by Jamie Friedrich
Missionary to Uganda

The needs around us are so great. The 5:00 news is quick to tell us everything that is wrong with our world. We are bombarded for 30 minutes about economic woes, corrupt leaders, war across borders, and unemployment. Depending on where you live, even the sports segment can break your heart. And the thing that gets me is that after all this, at the close of the newscast, we are told to “Have a good night.”

As I prepare to move to Uganda, there are many issues that are heart-breaking and seem insurmountable. But in the midst of them, I am challenged to choose to believe that God is still a God who is full of compassion and mercy, doubtless intending to work everything together for good. This is the only way to avoid living defeated in the midst of hard times.

In John 4:50, a man came to Jesus, pleading for his son, who was close to death. Upon hearing his plea, Jesus replies, “You may go. Your son will live.” And with that, the man “took Jesus at his word and departed.” No questions. No more pleading. He chose to believe that what Jesus said had come to pass. And he did not receive confirmation until the next day. The man dared to believe that Jesus’ word was enough. He dared to believe Jesus had to power to do what he said.

This particular newsletter focuses on prayer. You will find specific things to pray for. And as you pray, I wonder if you, like the man in John 4, will dare to take Jesus at his word.

Will you dare to believe that He is still able to heal the sick, redeem broken lives, and bring light to darkness? Will you dare to believe it in your own life as well?

Jamie was our missionary speaker at Chandler Camp this year.You can find her blog link in the left hand column of this blog, or click on the World Gospel Missions link under her name at the top of this post for more info. She would appreciate your support. God bless,keith 1 Cor 13...Maranantha!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Does Your Church have a Plan?-It Should!

Security is Prayer Heard in House of God

September 8, 2009

by: Brooks Blanton

Pastor Rick Stathum talks about a time he refers to as “Mayberry” when his neighbors knew one another, murders were rare and churches had an almost “divine” protection against crime and the outside world. He realizes everyone may not remember the past that way, but for this small town pastor, it was a time he knew. Instead Pastor Stathum sees increasing crime rates and churches like his are no longer left untouched because of who they represent.

Stathum is the pastor of Salem Baptist Church in McDonough, Georgia. It is a medium-sized church with a congregation of about 2,000 in this far suburb south of Atlanta. He is very aware that the world has changed along with his role as Senior Pastor is to keep his church, himself and the members of his congregation safe.

“I think that we have all seen the national news, the shooting of a pastor recently in his church when he was speaking before his congregation,” Stathum said of an incident that happened earlier this year at an Illinois Church. “In fact I have shared with our church before and messages in the past that those kinds of things were coming and basically that we need to do everything that we can to be prepared.”

Since taking over as Pastor of Salem Baptist Church, Stathum has had to deal with theft from cars in the parking lot, medical emergencies during church services, non-custodial parental disputes in the daycare center and even a road rage incident that ended with a man pointing a gun at a woman on the front steps of the church.

“The fact is we have got to be pro-active rather than re-active and the kind of world that we live in and what people are doing, it was only a matter of time until tragedies found themselves happening in the church,” Stathum says.

Henry County Georgia Sheriff Keith MacBrayer is very familiar with the safety and security challenges facing 21st century churches. Although Henry County has not seen a rash of crime in and around churches, MacBrayer says all places of worship need to be prepared for the worst. But what he found when he talked to church leaders in his count was completely the opposite.

“It just got me thinking that every church ought to have some type of plan for this situation,” MacBrayer said and then referred to a scenario he presented to churches about what to do when a threatening looking person enters the church. “There really was no plan. Do you call the police? Do you not call the police? Do you escort him out? Do members of the church talk to him and ask if they can help him?”

MacBrayer was so concerned about the lack of security or even a basic plan of how churches would deal with a threat or emergency, he created a Security and Safety Seminar for churches.

“Many churches have members of their congregation who are active or have law enforcement backgrounds and some are retired military,” MacBrayer said. “We help them set up a security team and it may just be two or three people that are designated members to take action if something would happen.”

Both Pastor Stathum and Sheriff MacBrayer say having a security team in place, along with locking doors and installing security cameras can help reduce the number of crimes and speed up reaction to other emergencies that have become reality in places of worship all over the country.

“All around us there is evil, all around us there is trouble and there is difficulty and that also happens in the church,” Stathum said. “We do our very best to provide an atmosphere not only for children, but all the way through senior adults that is safe and a safe haven in a difficult world.”

This is something many churches do not want to think about. Small steps are better than doing nothing at all. Simple things can begin with locking side exits during a service. Ushers can be eyes and ears, not just ushers and greeters. Do those in nursery have a cell phone or know who to contact? Yes, we can trust God to protect our churches.Answers in Genesis Ministries offers some excellent resources on this matter. Just like putting legs on our prayers, I believe He expects us to do some things on our own also. How does that verse go? "Be wise as..." What do you think? God bless, keith 1 Cor 13

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Church Happenings-Online Bulletin-September 13, 2009

Ron Knirs ,Sr. is currently residing at Warrick Hospital Boonville in Room 231. He will be there the next week or two while he undergoes therapy. Andrew Walker begins classes soon at Trinity College of the Bible in Newburgh Indiana. Andrew is Pursuing a career in the ministry. Andrew is the son of Jim and Teresa Walker.

Another Bake Sale is being planned for Saturday September 26th, 2009. Proceeds will go towards the trip being planned to the Creation Museum in October of this year. Thanks to those who cleaned the church this week. A job well done!

Please keep Shannon Marts Martindale (Shelbyville) in your prayers. She is underging some tests tomorrow for a medical condition. Also remember Chris Ames (Indianapolis) as he undergoes treatment for cancer. For other requests please scroll down on the left hand side of this blog to prayer requests.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."-John 14:27 NIV

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Remembering September 11, 2001

It was one of those crisp, sunny, nearly perfect September mornings. I was working at Sears in Evansville that day. Sometimes I would listen to the morning news as I prepared myself for work, both mentally and physically. Those of you you have worked in sales know what I'm talking about. Then those images flashed across the television screen. I still remember them as the planes hit the twin towers and then the Pentagon.

They say you always remember what you were doing when events like these happen. Believe it or not, I remember what I was doing when John Kennedy was assassinated. I was at recess in third grade at Oakdale Elementary. The teacher called us inside and gave us the news. I remember the live black and white images on our television. I remember watching the funeral procession with my parents as most people were not working the day of the President's funeral.

Flashing back to September 11, 2001, I remember some other things also in the weeks after that day.. I remember that the late night comedians weren't hurling the usual crude humor at us. I remember American flags everywhere as people showed their support for our country. Words like God and prayer were even mentioned by the nightly newscasters. Party politics were set aside for a while as senators and congressmen and women came together as one voice. The new President that so many of the comedians had been making fun of amazed many with his leadership. It didn't matter whether or not his grammer was as polished as some. The nation listened to the message he gave the world as terrorists around the world realized there was a new sheriff in town. Those in the military were heroes once again.

Then a few weeks passed...The comedians gradually started telling their jokes again. We didn't hear so much about God, prayer, and love of country from those in mainstream media. The American flags started coming down one by one in our towns and across America. Shades of Viet Nam come to mind when the media discussed those returning from war and offered their "expert" advice. Experts came out of the woodwork as it seemed that anyone who had ever been a miltary commander was now on the payroll of big media. ...How soon we forget. We forget that God still loves us and is still in control, even when the world is falling apart all around .We as a nation forget about the One who made the ultimate sacrifice that we might live...forever...God bless-keith 1 Cor 13

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Boonville Wesleyan Now on Facebook

Boonville Wesleyan Church now has a Fan Page on Facebook. For those of you familiar with Facebook, a fan page shows up on your page when you follow it. This allows those who choose to follow news, prayer requests, and other events going on at church. There is also a topics section where you can post or discuss already posted topics. The first one is,"Will our pets be in heaven?" This provides yet another witnessing tool as millions view facebook daily. I'm reminded of the words of the Rev'd John Wesley, who was always looking for new ways to reach the lost.

“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,

In all the ways you can,

In all the places you can,

At all the times you can,

To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”

Check out our page and let me
know what you think...God bless...keith 1 Cor 13

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Weekly News and Blog Updates

I just added a news link and RSS feed for World Gospel Missions. You can find it in the left hand column of this blog. This group is supported by The Wesleyan Church. Also Jamie Friedrich, our missionary speaker from this year's Chandler Camp is from this organization.

Gary Bratcher, Jr will be editing and compiling the weekly church bulletin. If you want anything
in the Sunday Morning bulletin, be sure to contact Gary. Gary

and I will be working together to keep everyone informed by
coordinating the bulletin and this blog. Always appreciate
your input and comments. God bless...keith 1 Cor 13