What's Next for Home Missions?
Rekindle: The Importance of Church Revitalization
by Jim McComas
Change is probably the word that best describes 2014 at Home Missions. In addition to major changes in the administrative staff, many of our current programs have a new look and intensive planning has prepared us to launch several new areas of ministry. In fact, in the future you will hear our department referred to as North American Ministries because of the broad scope of our ministry. From the board and office staff to church planters in the field, a sense of excitement fills the air.
Not long after David Crowe became executive director of Home Missions, I joined the team to fill the position he held previously. I will never fill his boots, but I am honored by this opportunity. Because of the tremendous need in our denomination to help declining and struggling churches, my position received a new title—director of church revitalization.
Hundreds of Free Will Baptist churches are struggling to keep their doors open. Many more have plateaued and are on the road to decline. It is our hope and prayer that in the days to come, we will be able to provide practical help, support, and encouragement to these churches. Some of the projects being planned in this area are:
Leadership and Church Growth Seminars will be offered regionally to conferences or state associations interested in hosting them. Along with Brad Ransom, director of church planting, I have compiled a list of subjects our staff can offer in these conferences. We will tailor each seminar to meet the unique needs of those attending.
Ministry Database. When fully implemented, this database will allow us to connect small churches without pastors with trained Free Will Baptist ministers who have a heart for revitalizing churches.
National Church Growth Conference. We are planning the first nationwide Free Will Baptist-sponsored church growth and leadership event, the “Acts 1:8 POWER Conference.” This historic event will take place Monday and Tuesday, May 25-26, 2015, at the beautiful Stone Castle Hotel and Conference Center in Branson, Missouri. Hotel accommodations will be reasonably priced, and there will be no cost for the conference. We are excited about this event.
Legacy Church Plants. We are developing a program where we can place a Home Missions church planter into an existing, struggling church to save it from closing its doors. We already have one of these plants, with another happening soon.
Evangelistic Outreach. I am personally committed to a ministry of encouragement to pastors, their families, and churches. I have enjoyed visiting churches across the country for revivals and conferences, and in the short time I have been traveling for our department, I have been blessed to see hundreds of decisions made by Christians, and at least eight precious souls come to Christ.
All of these exciting ministries will be provided at no cost to our churches, and they will all be financed from the Home Missions general fund. That’s why we are praying for a record offering in the Mission: North America Offering, Sunday, November 23.
As I travel across this country, I am finding great interest in this ministry of church revitalization. A host of our pastors have said, “This is something we’ve needed for a long, long time!”
It’s an exciting time in the Home Missions department. Please pray for our staff as we continue to minister—not only to our church planters but also to existing churches facing significant challenges. We have a need. I believe we have a plan and the tools to help.
Will you help make it happen and stand with us by contributing to the Mission: North America Offering this November?
About the Writer: Rev. Jim McComas was senior pastor at Canaan Free Will Baptist Church in Creston, Ohio, for 21 years before joining the Home Missions staff in March as director of church revitalization. Learn more about Home Missions at www.homemissions.net.