by Rev Dr Bruce Hart (Baptist Pastor, New South Wales, Australia)
The small Baptist Church was stuck. Fred Smith, a 75 year old farmer and faithful Christian was the senior deacon. He sat on the church steps one summer’s night after the monthly deacons’ meeting, having a yarn with Bruce Tapper, the 35 year old pastor who had come from Theological College two years before. A cool easterly blew across the wheat stubble.
“You know, Bruce, I’ve been in this church for 50 years, but over the past 20 years the number attending church has declined and we are getting older. If we keep on going at this rate it won’ t be long before we have to close the door. How can we increase the number of people attending our church?”