Looking Outward; Looking Forward

  • There are 20,000 people in Miamisburg, Ohio. 16,000 of those don’t attend church on a regular basis.
  • 80% of the churches in the United States are plateaued or declining…we are one of them.

These two truths were the call to action for Miamisburg First Church of God. Because he knew they needed help to get to a new spot, Pastor Roy Maxwell and his team pursued the HGC Champions Scholarship last year. One year later, things are changing, energy is mounting, and the church is growing.

After the consultation weekend at the end of 2016, Miamisburg entered what they called “40 Days of Relentless Pursuit”. This was an extended time during which everyone in the church joined together to pray over a renewed vision for the church and decisions that needed to be made to get the new lifecycle.

One of the first changes that Miamisburg made was to ratify new bylaws which included a new governance structure. The church shifted from a two board structure — Board of Trustees & Church Council — to a single Elder Board. Pastor Roy says that this has been a huge blessing for himself and his staff.

“We are getting more done around the church than we ever did when we had big meetings to talk about getting it done.” says Pastor Roy.

Pastor Roy has thoroughly enjoyed building out this new leadership structure. He sees his leaders embracing the change, helping to make the transitions and being patient with the process. Eliminating layers has made everything quicker and made it easier to respond to needed changes. Pastor Roy and the church prayed over who should be the new elders during the 40 Days of Prayer. At the end of the time, he had identified three individuals in the church. He asked all three to serve on the new board and all three accepted with enthusiasm. Pastor Roy shared that he is excited about this new group and the new diversity it brings to the leadership of Miamisburg.

Another change that is happening around Miamisburg is an increase of outward focus. Pastor Roy has been focusing on building an outward focus in to all aspects of their ministry and language using a basic model: Hear it, See it, Do it. He says that this has been one of the biggest points of eduction for the congregation.

“Until you teach people what it means to be a disciple, they wont’ be in their communities sharing Jesus. The leaders are catching on and I can see things starting to change.”

This change of focus has brought growth, both numerical and financial, to the church and new energy to the congregation. Roy shared that the timing for this is, of course, divine.

“If we had done this even a few years earlier, this would have split the church. We are at a perfect time to make the change. Our readiness for change started even before the consultation and now we are discovering a new way to move forward.” shares Pastor Roy.

Miamisburg is still in the early days of working toward a new lifecycle and change can often be slow and tricky, but they are changing. The congregation is learning how to look more outward and adopting a leaner, more effective leadership style. And all this is coming together at this time due to the generosity of you, our champions, who have sponsored this opportunity. I hope you will join me in praying for the impact Miamisburg First Church of God will have on the 16,000 people in their community who don’t attend church.