The Fragility of the Church

My mother is aging and is becoming more and more feeble. For this reason, we are making more trips to see her. We did so this week.

One of the places I visited when I went home was the location of the first church where I served as a pastor. The church building was about 12 miles from my home. It was my first two years in college and I gained so much from getting to serve with those people.

I stayed with the church for two years and had wonderful experiences. As I’ve often said, they taught me almost everything I know about being a pastor.

I have very fond memories of those days and serving with those people.

My last visit to the church building was about five years ago when Martha and I pulled into the parking lot, walked on the porch, and looked into the building. It seemed that it had not changed since I was 18 years old.

At that time, we noted the church sign and the name of the pastor.

None of that happened this trip. We were shocked to note that the sign was down and the whole area around the church building had grown up with huge wild bushes and trees. I can’t tell you how sad that made me.

Somehow I had missed the announcement that the church had closed its doors.

I’ve often noted how resilient churches are. It’s always amazing to me what churches can go through and survive and sometimes even thrive.

I have also noted through the years how fragile churches are. Obviously, the Searight Baptist church had struggled in many ways. I wonder what was the final cause of the church simply closing its doors.

That makes me want to encourage all of us to love, care for, and pray for those places where we serve God.

Everyone’s church is fragile. Every church depends on pastors and leaders, but they also depend on every individual member of the church. We all have responsibilities. For all of us, it is “our“ Church. And, our church depends on us.

The apostle Paul said we are individually members of the church and that each of us has a special gift that the church needs to do its ministry.

If members don’t use their gifts, the church and its ministry suffers.

And, sometimes they close.

May we be the people who love God and love His church and do our best – – by giving, praying, serving, and having good attitudes – – so that God‘s church can carry out its special ministry in the world.


  1. Joe Urick
    Apr 27, 2019

    I read this and today I am still thinking about it. I have been concerned where our country is going. I truly believe there are folks that just don’t hold the values of Christ and the Bible to guide them in their decision making. Of course I pray that people all over will come to Christ seams fruitless but I still do.
    I can only believe the church you spoke of lacked in leadership maybe it lacked the demographics of our times. I know our church must have drawn folks from other churches as Jean and I came from another church. I guess the little fish is eaten by the big fish is still the rule of law. I’m happy where I am and so is Jean. We love our church and all that is in it. God bless.
    Ps. Still hurts, still thinking about it.

  2. Bruce Kite
    Apr 28, 2019

    I wondered as well when touring the 7 churches of The Revelations in present-day Turkey. Stationed in Izmir as an Air Force chaplain, I was privileged to lead our Airmen, soldiers, sailors and Marines to those sites. The churches’ letters had strong warnings and the threat that their candle would be removed if they failed to heed Christ’s words of caution. How many churches today fail to properly support their pastoral leadership prayerfully, financially, and obediently. And another candle is removed . . . .

  3. Robert Lyster
    May 01, 2019

    When we moved back to Waco, Texas, in 2012, we ended up joining a church in order to help family who needed a ride to church. There were good facilities but less than 20 people. We started praying that God would continue to use the facility and He did. Two years ago we found a church that had outgrown their space and we gave the church to them. Their old church was given to a Spanish speaking congregation and both churches are doing well. We meet in three rooms of our old church and support the outreach efforts of the other church. The entire community is being blessed and we are glad to have a part in God’s work.

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I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, — Colossians 1:9 (NIV)