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hope for churches in stress

Setbacks to New Strength

After an extended season of growth, Millersville (Pa.) Brethren in Christ Church encountered a series of setbacks, coming in quick succession.

As the church and its leaders were called upon to use their time and energy in order to work through these issues, other ministry areas lost momentum, and a sense of discouragement began to set in.

Some distresses require a major overhaul. At other times, as church leaders at Millersville BIC are gratefully realizing, only some recalibration is needed to restore vision and fresh energy. Like an engine that needs tuning, small adjustments here and there can make a big difference.

As a first step, church leaders are being intentional about maintaining a perspective of faith and hope. They are turning their concerns into prayers (Phil. 4:6-7). They brought in an outside person for an objective analysis and viewpoint.

They are also taking steps to nurture generosity, to be proactive in outreach, and to strengthen small groups—all modest refinements in otherwise good church life and practice.

The leadership team is developing an action plan to address two pressing needs. One need is to make optimum use of their facilities, opening them to the community as an initial step toward the longer-term goal of a fully-utilized ministry center.

Another need is to strengthen the executive function of the church. Leaders are pushing themselves toward quicker decisions and action, trusting the Lord for His provision and grace. They are working to identify and deploy people with expediting skills to lead projects and implement plans.

As the shockwaves from the setbacks subside, church leaders are regaining perspective. They realize that the church, though shaken, is, at its core, healthy and strong. By intentional prayer, recalibration, and action, they are doing their best to ensure that Millersville BIC moves forward from strength to strength.

Click for more of this unfolding story.

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