As I continue to read and to study about the condition of our churches in the United States, I have been very alarmed. Statistics show that 85% of the churches in our country are either plateaued or declining. Another statistic shows that an average of 100-200 churches close their doors every week. These are extremely disturbing numbers and a cause for great concern and even more prayer.
In the midst of this declining trend, God has chosen to do something very special right here in Winnie, TX. Over the last several months, First Baptist Church of Winnie has been steadily growing. God has been moving in the lives of the members and they have united with a vision to reach the community. As individuals, they are beginning to spend more time in prayer and daily bible study, they are attending church services regularly and are asking God to use them to reach our community.
Anyone driving down Hwy 124 on Easter Sunday could tell that something was stirring at FBC. The parking lot quickly filled up as parking attendants helped to park cars in the empty lot next to the church. A light breakfast was served at 9:45 while people continued to gather for the 10:15 Easter Program. With people still pouring in, the children began to lead everyone in singing followed by the praise band, hand bell choir and adult choir. It was quickly evident that none other than Jesus The Risen Savior was the star of the show. After all of the singing, I shared about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and explained how we have hope through Christ. The day ended with dozens of children lined up to participate in an egg hunt with over 3000 eggs. At the end of the day, I was told that over 350 people had been in attendance. It is my understanding that this is a record attendance for Easter in a church that has been around for almost 100 years! God is truly doing an amazing thing at FBC Winnie.
Due to the continued weekly growth, FBC Winnie is now going to offer two Sunday morning Worship services. One for the “early birds” will begin at 8 am and the other will begin at 10:45. Sunday school will be at 9:30. The service will be exactly the same.
I have been asked several times why I thought the church was growing at such an exciting pace. As I began to ponder the question, I knew it wasn’t because of me or any other individual, but rather because God was wanting to do something great in our community. Maybe He is answering all of the prayers that have been prayed for almost a century. Maybe, He is honoring those who have labored faithfully through the years. Regardless of why God has chosen to move in our community, I for one consider myself blessed to be a part of what He is doing. If you want to be a part…. simply feel free to join us!
If you are like me, then you have no problem finding things to do with your time. Between work, chores, sleep, family events, and a little recreation, it seems like there are hardly enough hours in the day. No doubt about it, our society has become extremely busy.
Let me ask you a question. Since we all have the same 24 hours in a day, are we making the most of these hours? More specifically are you making the most of the hours in your life. I mean after all, the Bible clearly teaches us that our days are numbered by The Lord and that we are to make the most of every opportunity.
As you consider your use of time and how you schedule your week, have you considered taking the time to regularly attend church? I have heard many say that the local church is no longer relevant and that it is not a priority. Maybe you even feel this way yourself. Statistics show that 80% of churches in America are either plateaued or declining. Clearly lots of people no longer go to church. I however, believe that the local church is just as relevant today as it ever was and that your family and life would be better if you made regular attendance a part of your routine. I can not speak for every church, but I can speak for First Baptist Church of Winnie where I am the Senior Pastor. Below are some of the ways that Attending FBC will enhance your life.
1). You will make friends
While this isn’t the number one reason to attend church, it is a great benefit. This old world can be a very lonely place. If we are completely honest with ourselves, most of us would agree that we could use a few more great friends. Not the kind that just say hello in the grocery store, but the kind you can truly connect with. Deep friendships like this are hard to find. During my short time at FBC Winnie, I have already begun to form this type of relationships and I have seen others do the same. As visitors come to our church, they tell me that everyone is friendly. I truly believe that if you attend here regularly you will also form these types of relationships that are so important in life. Remember that we were not created to live in isolation, but rather in a community. FBC is a great community.
2). There is something for the whole family.
At FBC, we offer something for everyone. We strive to minister to every age group. From our amazing nursery to our shut in ministry and every age in between, we don’t want to leave anyone out. We have opportunities for children, youth, young adults, middle aged adults and senior adults. Our goal is to share the love of Jesus with everyone. We have bible studies, camps, retreats, and seminars designed to meet you exactly where you are in life. At FBC, we want to help you be the best version of you that is possible!
3). We have scripturally sound Biblical teaching
Unfortunately, not every church preaches The Truth these days. At FBC Winnie, we believe that Gods word is inerrant, infallible, and doesn’t change with the times. We believe that If you study God’s word, It will point you to a relationship with Jesus Christ. This is why we study the Bible verse by verse and book by book. We aren’t interested in the latest and greatest teachings of the world. We want to know what God’s Word has to say. We believe that His Word is the ultimate truth and that your life will be better if you follow It. Join us and we will not only teach you the Bible, we will also help you apply it to your life.
4). We will give you an opportunity to serve.
I have wasted much of my life just living for myself. I did things that I thought would make me happy or bring me joy. However, I found out that I was my happiest when I began to serve others. Jesus set this example by the way that He gave His life for others. We believe that God gives every believer special gifts that can be used to serve Him. At FBC, we will help you find out what your God given gifts are and then provide opportunities for you to use them. We believe that you will be the most fulfilled when you are serving God and serving others as well.
Although this list is not exhaustive, it is a good start. If you don’t currently have a church home or are looking for something more in life, I invite you to give us a try. Maybe you have been in the past but no longer attend. I encourage you to come see what is currently happening. God has been doing a new thing at FBC Winnie and I believe that you will be blessed if you join us.