Saturday, November 8, 2008

Accountability and Integrity

responsibility, answerability, blameworthiness, liability

honor, uprightness, candor, forthrightness, goodness, honestness, honorableness, incorruptibility, incorruption, principle, righteousness, sincerity, straightforwardness, virtue


I know of a church that used to have over 2000 people in Sunday School. Culture changed, the neighborhood changed, the church split, etc. A few years ago, they had a pastor who did not get along with many in the congregation, so many more left that church and went to other churches.

Three years ago, the church hired a new pastor. He is a nice guy, good preacher, but he does not actively practice spiritual reproduction. So the church is drifting, slowly dieing. A handful of members have worshipped together for over thirty years. But the "young people" have drifted away, and I can't blame them. You see, this church is in a large city and people have more options than they do in Alamo. A handful of "long-time" churchmen have their hands on the controls. The pastor preaches well and doesn't rock the boat. So they keep plugging along and member keep drifting away.

Even now, trouble is brewing. They are having to dip into the savings to keep the church programs going. Some say the church is dieing. But others will keep hanging on and hanging on, doing the same thing, yet expecting different results. Status quo wins and the people don't.

First Baptist Church of Alamo used to have no competition. But today, folks will drive to Jackson or to CrossRoads or to other churches in the area. They don't "need" FBCA. And they are flocking elsewhere.

When church leaders railroad their personal agenda (in the name of Christ) on a congregation, unless true accountability is asked, a man with a strong personality can get away with murder...murdering a congregation.

My father died a few months ago. My family has been members of First Baptist Church of Alamo since the late 1940s. I still call FBCA my church home. Yet in the ten long weeks of his illness, I only recall one visit by a staff member of the church. I was only there half the time so perhaps there were more visits. But considering what "ministry" is supposed to be, I think long-time church members have been on the losing end of ministry at FBCA over the past few years.

The church was packed, wall-to-wall, at his funeral. But why aren't those folks in church there every Sunday? Where do they go? I personally know many of them do not regularly attend church anywhere. So why does FBCA not have "wall-to-wall" attendance every Sunday?

Integrity and Accountability may be part of the problem. How would you feel if your dieing parent only received one or two visits from his church leaders in two months? What would that tell you about the integrity of the church leaders? Is anyone accountable for this non-ministerial behavior. Have other church members noticed this? Yes they have. They have told me about it several years ago, long before my Father became ill.

Is it any wonder that long-time church members have been disrespected and alienated by a handful of leaders at FBCA? Is it any wonder that church leadership allows a historic building to collapse "in the name of Jesus?" Is it any wonder that a building program is promoted while church growth is non-existent?

Where is the accountability among the businessmen of First Baptist Alamo? Where is the integrity among the staff. Is FBCA going to slip even more into the "non-effective" category where it now sits on the edge?

Is anyone honorable at FBCA? Is anyone worried about true, Biblical ministry? Or is the idea of new pews and softball-for-Jesus now the priority, masquerading as ministry?

Has any of the church leadership visited the former, long-time deacons, the men of God who led that church for a generation? Or have you just let them go, ignoring them, hoping they will die soon, like my Dad, so you will not be required to show genuine compassion?

Is anyone aware of the lost people who are NOT being reached by First Baptist staff and members? Five years from now, will FBCA still run 175 or so in Sunday School and still claim God is telling them to go into debt for a new FBCA Country-Club outside the city limits?

Who still claims it is "God's Will" to build that new church while others in the city are allowed to go to hell!!! Does anyone still claim "God's Will?"

When my Dad, a long-time ACTIVE member of FBCA, was very ill, softball-for-Jesus meant nothing to him. Is anyone at FBCA accountable for anything?


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