An open letter to a dying church

By Adam Wyatt

Dear Church,

I cannot remember your name. And I am sorry. Because if I could, I would encourage you to take a step of faith—or gigantic leap actually—and take the plunge into change. You are averaging 12 people. You are not making budget. You do not have a pastor. You have no credible ministry in your community. You have lost your vision, and along with it, your hope.

You recently came into some money and have almost $80,000 in the bank and this may be your downfall because it has given you a false sense of security that things are going to be okay if you simply stay the course.

If I could talk to you for a minute, I would urge you—no, I would plead with you to embrace replanting. I know you are tired. Stressed. Defeated. However, I know something that you may have forgotten: Jesus died for you and has a plan for your church. I would urge you to take that money and pay a pastor that would love you and serve you and shepherd you. You cannot afford not to do this. By doing this, you might see something that you have not seen in years. You might see your youth group be full of teenagers and not faithful saints in their 60s. You might have to get that leaky baptistery fixed. You might have to figure out how to minister to people of different ethnicities. You might have to do things that you have never done but if you would trust the God of the Bible you might just see experience something that you haven’t in a while: hope.

I truly believe that we are about to experience a movement in the SBC unlike anything that we have experience in recent decades. As we seek to honor the local church and faithful saints that have gone before us through replanting, I believe that we are going to see churches reclaim their former glory. We are going to see churches redevelop their mission and purpose. I really want you to be a part of it.

We love you. We believe in you. We want to serve you.

You are worth the effort. You are the Bride of Christ.

Published June 16, 2016

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Adam Wyatt

Adam Wyatt is the senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Leakesvile, Mississippi. A second-generation pastor, he has developed a love for the rural church in the Southern context. He loves his wife, his three beautiful daughters, good conversation, books and coffee. He is also pursuing his PhD in Biblical Theology from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City. Connect with Adam @pastor_adam