Christian churches are in decline in every corner of our land. Mainline denominations have been especially hard hit, and ours – the Southern Baptist Convention – certainly is not immune. Despite being the largest Protestant denomination in the United States and boasting over 15 million members, our denomination is being refined, little by little, even in our community of Louisville, Kentucky. We hear it; we see it; we feel it.
Statisticians report the reality in plain and harsh language; 3 of 4 SBC churches have plateaued, are in accelerating decline, or are in the process of dying. Many are already gone. Such numbers rattle our confidence, shake our security, sharpen our resolve. As His Believers, we are called to contend for the faith once for all delivered to the Saints (Jude 3). What shall we do?
In the Book of Revelation, Jesus judges the seven churches as He walks amongst them; He knows them, very intimately. He identifies strengths, weaknesses, and draws conclusions to challenge their healthiness and continuance as faithful brides. He is determinedly resolved in exhorting, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
With awareness of these macro trends, and with confidence that Jesus knows us too, in 2017 the people of Audubon Baptist Church and The Church at Louisville joined together. At that time, Audubon Baptist enjoyed a rich seventy-three year legacy; The Church at Louisville a much shorter four-year life as a church plant. Throughout many months of prayer and counsel, God’s Sovereignty shown brightly, yielding hope and peace as our heart cries for church revitalization were confirmed.
Today, we picture a future as ONE congregation with a peace that surpasses all understanding. God has been gracious every step of the way; His people have been wonderfully blessed. To God be the glory.