I lost my dad to cancer in 1999, there was a tumor in his kidney that causes him to loose blood. He began to loose blood faster than his body could replace it, and he bleed to death over the course of a month. It was slow, it was crippling but not painful. He became weak, he became tired and his lost some mental facilities. Towards the end, he couldn’t lift his glasses from his chest and put them on his face. One day he went to sleep and woke up with Jesus.
Bleeding to death from something like what my dad has is an interesting process. At the beginning, he knew he was bleeding but did didn’t know he way dying. Aside from the pain of the cancer and being sick from the chemo, he didn’t know he was terminal. Some days I feel like the SBC in terminal and doesn’t even realize it. We are bleeding out, losing our most precious resources, people.
Think about it, kids are graduating and leaving the church, we are closing churches faster than we plant them. Many church plants don’t survive. In ministry, we know that most pastors don’t make it in ministry, many are either forced out or fall out. The stress, high expectations, always on call together with the sometimes less than ideal pay causes many to walk away. I hear news of men who are forced out of positions because of business reasons, personality conflicts, other reasons that end up hurting the SBC in the long run.
With the exit being so much larger than the entrance, I worry we are bleeding out faster than we are growing. Combine that with the feuding about things like the C/T debate which could possibly split the convention, we may we a time when the SBC is close to death. Will we get past our issues enough to save it, or are we so proud that we will continue to ignore the loss, thinking that we are too big and strong to fall? I pray we will be a little more open and a little less prideful.