Pastor's Blog: Budgets, Buildings, Baptisms - The Metrics of Baptist Life
Budgets, buildings and baptisms are numbers and pragmatic concerns that Baptists have long held dear, counted, and utilized for various purposes. These are some of the metrics that we use to feel good or bad, as the case may be, about ourselves and our churches. Counting is not bad; in fact, it is critical to measure our progress in the things God has give the church to do. If our motive is pride, we are counting for the wrong reason.
Somewhere back in the 90’s it became trendy to not keep the score in youth sports. Some reasoned, tomorrow they will forget what the score was anyway, they are more likely to remember the ice cream they were served after the game. Not so fast! The reality is that the real world keeps score. There are winners and losers. The objective, in my opinion, with youth sports would be to teach them how to play the game and how to demonstrate good sportsmanship, win or lose.
Should the church keep a “scorecard?” I believe the answer is a resounding yes. We need to hold ourselves accountable, we need to know where we have been and whether what we are doing is accomplishing its goal. Churches who have been successful at revitalization have realized that they must take seriously their mission to the community where they serve. Intentional efforts to go from an inward focus to an outward focus requires that we look at the numbers.
We will be doing that, from a budget perspective, in our Wednesday night study, on February 5. This will coincide with our Sunday morning two-part series on stewardship. Last week I preached a message entitled, “Good Measure, Pressed Down.” This coming week, Lord willing, I will bring my message, “Giving Away What You Cannot Keep.” The question each of us needs to ask is, “Am I being faithful to my calling as a Christian when it comes to my stewardship of the financial resources God has given to me?”
Our new men’s Bible study, the MFL, or Men Fearing the Lord, is off to a great start. Men, please plan to join us this week. We’ll meet in the Great Room right after the evening service each week, and be done by 7:30.
As always, I am looking forward to what God will do at Tabernacle this coming Sunday. Please be present with your Bibles in hand as we worship the Lord together.
Blessings, YFJS, Bro. Tom