Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


Granddaddy's Church

  • Jim Townsley
  • Aug 6, 2018

One of the many reasons we need to start new churches is the stagnation of established churches. As a church matures it loses its energy and often people become complacent. I have heard people refer to their church as belonging to their granddaddy. It’s their granddaddy’s church. Of course, it is God’s church not a man’s church! The children and grandchildren have fond memories of the spiritual fervor of a grandfather or perhaps a great grandfather but the spirit that once existed is no longer there. A church can become a family church with no outreach and no vision to win the lost in its community. The end result is for members to establish a tradition where family attends a service followed by a family meal at a local restaurant or at the grandparent’s home. This pattern is also referred to as playing church.

Sadly, a once vibrant church over time can become dull and stagnant by losing its original focus of winning the lost. Sometimes these churches can be revived and other times they are a lost cause. Often the roots are so deep in a family church that it is impossible to change the structure of leadership. When a church has ceased to reach its community and no other church exists it becomes necessary to start a new one.

            A new church may have members related to each other but no family will have control of it. A compelling reason to start a church rather than take over an existing one is the ability to be the leader. Most new believers have little concern for the budget or the daily operations. Their concern is usually spiritual in nature. It is a blessing to not have to fight with the leadership of an established church. Problems in a new church are usually of the pastor’s own making but I would rather try to solve the problems I have made than to solve the problems others have made.

Establishing traditions in a church is not a bad thing in itself. However, when the tradition becomes more important than reaching the lost it is the beginning of the end. It is sad that churches lose their zeal, but it is a fact. The end result is grandchildren can become so accustomed to status quo that they may not even get saved. I often wonder how many children reach the age of accountability and get baptized without ever coming under conviction of the Holy Spirit. When a new generation subsists in a dead church it is understandable that many people become members and attend regularly without the true knowledge of salvation.

If you are a member of a granddaddy’s church you should pray for leadership that will change the direction. If the church does not change you may be forced to consider changing churches or starting a new one. God does not want us to play church. He desires us to show that Christianity is real in our lives. Granddaddy may have been a godly man but no person can live off of the spirituality of their parents or grandparents. Every church continually needs to renew their vision that is a vision for the future.