Each year more than 900 Southern Baptist churches cease to exist. That’s more than 15,000 churches in the past 20 years. The vast majority of the churches that ceased to exist were in communities that had experienced population growth in the previous decade.
Make no mistake, when Southern Baptist lose over 15,000 churches in one generation the enemy is at work attempting to rob God of His glory and limit the impact of the Gospel on the lives of people. The declining and death of churches in the midst of communities of people who need the gospel is an act of spiritual warfare. Thousands of churches have been buried by the enemy in such a way that they can no longer effectively provide a source of life-giving hope.
I am praying for and willing to give my life to realize a generation of brave and faithful young men who will dig again the wells that the enemy has stopped up. I am not willing to leave those wells sealed up when life-giving water can once again spring forth and bring life-giving water to a parched and thirsty land.
I have personally experienced the toil, the danger, the frustration and the unimaginable joy of unstopping a well. Our church, Wornall Road had long ago been filled in by the enemy. Long ago they had lost their focus and passion and no longer did they serve the neighborhood. But it was still a church. There was indeed life-giving water if the work was done to dig again the well.
Replanting is digging again the well. It is the most challenging and personally costly task I have ever undertaken. It has been and continues to be worth every ounce of effort to bring life to a dry land for God’s glory and our joy.