God is lovingly causing a reblooming of life at Bethany Baptist Church in Wilmington, Del. A beautiful picture of revitalization and rebirth, the church increased from 40 regular attendees in 2015 to more than 200 in 2018. They’ve seen 127 new believers baptized in the last three years, and a thriving new student ministry has taken root. And all it took was hundreds of hours of prayer, an unfathomable display of the power of God — and a basketball.
Pastor Jack Weight came to the church a few years ago and brought his son, Jack III, with him as a student minister. At this time most of the small congregation was over 50 years old, and the church was struggling with the decision about whether they should close their doors and sell their building or take a step of faith and reach out to a new pastor for a desperately needed church revitalization. They prayerfully chose to contact Weight.
“I believe the church had many of the pieces in place to thrive,” says Weight. “They just needed some vision and leadership.”
Weight firmly believes that “the church needs to be outward-focused. So many churches are inward-focused, and that leads to churches plateauing and ultimately to dying.”
The church fully bought into Weight’s vision and began looking for new ways to reach out. The unlikely solution was found in a basketball hoop in front of the church building. Teens gathered to play, but no one was engaging them. Weight got his game on and headed out to shoot hoops. The teens enjoyed the competition and relationships formed. Others from the church joined in. Soon there was a consistent, unreached group that the church was engaging on a regular basis.
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Source: Baptist Press