First Baptist Church of Sulphur
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From the Pastor
A Message from Dr. Buckley

I Laughed at This Story. A Pulpit committee went to hear a prospective minister preach.  The best thing they liked about his sermon is that it was only 10 minutes long.  They immediately called him as their new Pastor.  His first week in the new church he preached a 30 minute sermon.  The next week his sermon was almost 2 hours.  The Deacons met with him and asked him to explain.  His response was, that the first time the committee heard him preach, he had a new set of dentures in his mouth that hurt him terribly so he could barely preach 10 minutes and had to stop talking because of the pain.    The second time he preached, he said that his dentures felt fine so he preached a normal 30 minute sermon. They said that explains those 2 sermons, but please explain to us this last sermon that was 2 hours long.  He said that's easy, I got up that particular morning and accidentally put My Wife's Dentures in my mouth, and when I started talking I couldn't shut up! 

Why Do Members Leave Baptist Churches? The phenomenon of people leaving the church is called the “back door.” This term is a metaphorical way to describe the loss of members. Why do people leave the church? There will always be the anticipated themes of relocation or personal crises. But all the research studies identify one major cause to explain the exodus of church members: a sense of some need not being filled. In other words, departing members have ideas of what a local congregation should provide for them, and they leave because those provisions have not been met.

Certainly we recognize there are many legitimate claims by church members of unfulfilled expectations. It can undoubtedly be the fault of the local congregation and its leadership. However, many times, members’ leave a local body because they have a sense of entitlement. Did you hear that? People leave a church is because they have an entitlement mentality rather than a servant mentality.

Look at some of the direct quotes from people who left Baptist churches:

  • “The worship leader refused to listen to me about the songs and music I wanted.”
  • “The pastor did not feed me.”

  •  “The sermons should be more entertaining.”

  • “No one from my church visited me when I was sick.”

  • “I am not about to support the building program they want.”

  • “I was out of church three weeks and no one called me.”

  • “They moved the times of the worship services and it messed up my schedule.”

    Every church member should expect some level of ministry in their church. But, for a myriad of reasons, we have turned church membership into spiritual country club. We pay our dues and therefore are entitled to certain benefits.

    The Biblical basis of church membership is clear in Scripture. The Apostle Paul even uses the “member” metaphor to describe what every believer should be like in a local congregation. In 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, Paul describes church members not by what they should receive in a local church, but by the ministry they should give.

    The solution to closing the back door of our church is to move our members from an entitlement mentality to a servant mentality. Let’s close the back door and change our thinking about membership. The result will be spiritual health and lasting growth for our church.

    Dr. Andy Buckley

Contact the Interim Pastor at Dr. Andy Buckley.


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