The Death of Dying Churches in the Context of Church Planting: 6 Reasons That Motivate us To Seek Church Planting Versus Church Rehabilitation

September 5, 2016 by  
Filed under Featured, News

church dying

6 Reasons That Motivate us To Seek Church Planting Versus Church Rehabilitation

With the ever growing trend of Church planting, we have lost sight of the reality that too many churches are dying. We try to pretend that churches are not closing down everyday by creating hype with campaigns to rally around the numbers of new churches being started.

But if one church opens while another closes, what’s the benefit towards the Kingdom?  The math simply does not add up.  If a church is opened and has five people saved in the first service and 11 baptized the following week, but we close the doors of two other churches that same month, and this translates in an entire frustrated generation of youth exiting the church into a secular world of drugs and alcohol, then the Kingdom economics is lacking.

When there is a birth, we rejoice. When there is a death we cry.  Death is damaging, painful and entangles us in a multifaceted web of emotions and responses.  Sadly Christian churches today are dying for six major reasons:

  1. The Bible has been abandoned: “Feel-good” preaching replaces fundamental Biblical principals, morals and truths.
  2. We listen to too a multitude of church experts instead of hearing from one Divine voice.
  3. We treat the Church as a social club paying our 10% membership dues.
  4. There is more emphasis on evangelizing social media than the evangelizing the lost.
  5. We like the church box and the comfort of the walls and forget about the hurt and dying world beyond.
  6. It’s at times easier to close a church down to avoid dealing with the real problems.

Death is so damaging to the entire body of believers.  Should we not focus on church care rather than closing, and reevaluate the effectiveness of putting more money into opening new churches? What is it that motivates us to seek after church planting versus church rehabilitation?

  1. Money is in church planting vs. debt is in church maintenance.
  2. The honeymoon period of a new church is much more glamorous vs. the trials of a struggling church.
  3. The problems of church planting are limited compared to the problems of dying church.
  4. We all want to rejoice in a birth instead of caring for the sick or morning the dead.
  5. A grand opening celebration is more appealing than a long and strenuous rehab process.
  6. Positive reinforcement and recognition comes with church planting. Negative reinforcement, and at times rejection, is associated with church care and problem solving.

If you work with people you will have problems and the more people you have the more problems you will have.  And the more time you have these people, the more likely you are to have bigger challenges to overcome.  But this is no reason to give up and avoid the hard times.  Let us not let our existing churches dye while we have our eyes on starting new ones. It is when we embrace unification and restoration that bones come together, flesh develops out of past nothingness, skin covers the flesh out of former defeats, breath enters the bodies to all replace past failures and unforgiveness, and a vast army stands up stronger than ever.  What some see as a dying church, Christ sees as His resurrected and indestructible army!

Ivan Voronaev: The Death of a Hero is a Legacy to Remember

March 10, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured, News

ivan-voronaeffTHE LIFE AND MINISTRY OF REV. IVAN VORONAEV NOW WITH A SPECIAL ADDITION OF THE (UN)FORGOTTEN STORY OF THE VORONAEV CHILDREN

A more recent research, which came out after the writing of this first paper, proposed the discovery of a letter documenting Ivan Voronaev’s death on November 5, 1937. Such claim, especially coming from a single document, is the least to say suspicious, as it undermines the findings of leading Pentecostal historian, Vincent Synan (mentioned above) and the testimony of over 500 Russian Pentecostal national leaders placing Voronaev’s death some seven years later. It also contradicts the testimony of Voronaev’s wife and children, who continued to speak in defense of his release in churches all over the United States well pass 1937 (especially pass 1940).

If such document was indeed authentic, it is quite questionable that it has never surfaced before regardless of the numerous writers and researchers, representing at least a dozen of institutions and that many denominations, over the period of 100 years never came across such letter. Our team itself spent over ten years, with the help of friends and colleagues both in the United States and Russia, researching archived materials and documents, which had not been taken out of the boxes and shelves for decades, and we were not able to find even one concrete reference as per Voronaev’s time or cause of death. Not even his family knew, not even his children.

It was not until the 2010 Society for Pentecostal Studies meeting in Minneapolis, when this present research brought about that Voronaev could have in fact, under severe physical a psychological pressure, signed a document refuting his faith and work as a Pentecostal minister. This is part of history, which none of us would like to believe, but was completely possible under the Communist Regime and did occur time and time again in the lives of many Pentecostal heroes of the faith, making their testimonies not one bit less believable or inspirational. And though we strive to estrange from any conspiracy theory, this all looks very much like a political cover up and a clean house operation.

But who then, would have had such an increasing interest in recent years to go so deep into Bolshevik KGB archives, gaining access in offices and places where no one has been able to penetrate before? Certainly defending the honor of Rev. Voronaev was not at stake here, as no one, not even his most fervent critics for one moment believed his denial from the faith, as stated by the Communists. Such action was strongly refuted by his wife upon her arrival in the United States and even if it occurred in truth and reality as historical evidence, makes very little difference in the rich heritage Voronaev has left in Eastern Europe and global Pentecostalism.

So if Voronaev’s legacy was not at stake here, then whose? Perhaps, someone else’s honor had to be defended. Like the honor of an organization felt threatened by a story of its own, kept as a cold case for years now, but coming alive resurrecting memories and livelihoods and guilt? Or perhaps a party so mighty, so powerful, so strong that it could not bear the burden of martyrs it buried below? In all cases, such defensive and definitive action can come only from human organization based on man made polices and rules, which Voronaev rejected and fought from the moment he was saved from this world to the moment he was sent into the world to come.

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