MONROE, MI – Every church has strengths and weaknesses. It helps us to be encouraged when we focus on what God is doing in our church and to be diligent daily.
For the first eight years of Heritage Baptist Church’s existence, the congregation met in a school, and then we rented space in another church’s building. Two years ago we moved into our first permanent facility. The building’s location just west of town has allowed us to reach people from throughout Monroe County. The location on a main highway, M50, has given the church visibility and resulted in first-time, walk-in guests almost every Sunday morning.
God has blessed the church financially through the faithful giving of our members. In spite of payments for the new building, the church has also continued to give generously to the Cooperative Program. For many years the church gave 15% to CP. Two years ago, 1% was set apart to help church members participate directly in missions and the church continues to give 14% to CP.
One thing God is doing in our church is that we are “getting younger.” Even though the church began with a diversity of ages, the church reached the point where it was made up mostly of older adults. That did not bode well for the long-term survival of the church; every church must reach the next generation. God has been blessing the church with more younger adults. We just restarted a group of young, single adults and the attendance of that group is better than we have ever had. One positive change in ministry that has helped the church “become younger” is a transition to more contemporary worship. Initially, the church used video-driven contemporary music and piano accompanied traditional hymns. God has since provided the musicians needed to have live music with a single team leading all of our music, contemporary and more traditional. As the music quality has improved, more musicians are joining us.
Even though the church is getting younger and transitioning to more contemporary music, God is still using the church to reach older generations, too. We have senior adults attending and joining the church. In fact, over the last two years, two adults over 70 years old have made public professions of faith and been baptized. God is still working among senior adults. So we are seeing God’s handiwork regardless of age.About the pastor: Bob Wood is pastor of Heritage Baptist Church in Monroe. Previously he served as a state missionary with the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. He has been in vocational Christian ministry since 1983. Sharon, his wife, and he have five grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bob Wood is pastor of Heritage Baptist Church in Monroe. Previously he served as a state missionary with the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. He has been in vocational Christian ministry since 1983. Sharon, his wife, and he have five grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild.