The annual state conference has just concluded right here at our own church. We welcomed church leaders and representatives from all over the state to join together for worship, fellowship, prayer, business, and teaching. Wisconsin is a large state (geographically), so our central location makes an ideal landing spot.
The conference highlights that Brookridge is in a voluntary association of churches called the WARBC (Wisconsin Association of Regular Baptist Churches). The association has a leadership structure with paid staff, a council, an annual budget, a camp ministry, and various fellowship opportunities. The purpose is to help connect, equip, and grow like-minded (doctrinally) churches. For example, in the past several years, the WARBC has planted a new Hispanic church in Plainfield, WI.
One of the continuing concerns not only in our state but around the country is a lack of men going into the pastorate. There are a number of reasons that have led to this, but the fact remains that this is a serious problem. A recent statistic was given that for every five churches looking for a pastor, there is only one available, and that doesn't mean he's necessarily qualified or capable! Those seeking assistant/youth pastor positions are even more scarce. We know that God is building His church and this situation does not catch Him by surprise; however, there are things we all can be doing now.
1. Pray! Pray for God to raise up a generation of both men and women who are committed to serving Him.
2. Bring your kids/grandkids to church. Talk highly of the church and encourage them to participate in what's happening. If you are excited and positive, they are far more likely to want to come. If you complain and attend sporadically, they take notice.
3. Be a Disciple Maker. You hear that term a lot, but it's time to take it seriously. Prayerfully consider meeting with someone on a regular basis to help them grow in their relationship with Christ. Everyone can carve out a couple of hours a week to invest in someone's life. We, as a church, will help you with materials and support.
4. Is God calling you? Is your heart's desire to be used by God? Are you willing to go where He says to go? Perhaps He is calling you to serve Him here at Brookridge, or perhaps on the mission field!?
"The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few" (Matthew 9:37).
Pastor Brian Richard