From guest blogger Pastor Keith Albert, Pastor of Missions for Family Church, formerly Pastor of Jog Road Baptist Church for 26 years
A Rich History
Since 1983, Jog Road Baptist Church has seen hundreds of lives and families transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many of our members have been serving with us since the beginning. So how does a church with a fruitful and faithful history hand over their $2,000,000 property to another nearby church? We made the decision to merge with Family Church of West Palm Beach in January of this year. Here’s why:
Plateau and Decline
Beginning in 2000, Jog Road experienced a slow and steady decline. Maybe we didn’t fully adapt to our changing neighborhood, maybe we were too inward in our ministry, maybe we didn’t pray enough, maybe it was the preaching or the music or the building or…the list could go on. Regardless, with a declining attendance and lower offerings, we needed change! Our purpose wasn’t to just survive, but to advance the Kingdom of God and to spread the Gospel.
Realization and Renewal
Over the last several years, we made a significant effort to renew and revitalize our church. We were unified and made changes to our ministry and to our facilities. In 2014 Jog Road initiated two successful outreaches: a strategic Easter outreach and a school lunch box giveaway, which brought hundreds of new people to our campus. However, despite our effective engagement of our community, we had a big problem. Most of our attendees spoke Spanish, not English. We learned that even with effective outreach, we would not see fruit or growth unless we adapted to the Spanish-speaking majority.
Sharing a Kingdom Vision
This insight led us toward a two-part vision:
- We understand that any long-term ministry requires ministering in Spanish.
- We believe that Family Church shares our values and purpose to spread the Gospel.
I had a healthy relationship with Jimmy Scroggins and Steve Wright at Family Church, and that created opportunities for dialogue about how our churches could help each other. I, along with our church leadership and church family, began to share the vision of Family Church to reach South Florida with the Gospel. We came to the conclusion that our property would best be used as a Spanish-language Family Church campus.
Jog Road Baptist needed revitalization. We needed to recreate ourselves to best serve the Kingdom. Family Church came alongside us and partnered with us to help us do that. We are definitely better together!
Coming Soon: Part 2, “We Weren’t Taken Over”