Crossroads

Crossroads – it’s a word you hear often. When you’re driving, it might mean prepare for a change in direction or slow down and be cautious. In life, it suggests a pivotal time, a time or season of decision. One thing is certain, crossroads are not meant to be ignored. You pay attention if you’re wise.

Moments like that come in our personal journeys. They also come in our corporate journeys. Companies who blow through an intersection might find themselves out of business. There were signs that change was coming; that awareness was required. Jim Collins, author of his classic research book entitled Good to Great, wrote about the vast majority of companies that wake up partway through life and realize they’re good not great.” He also catalogued the demise of organizations that no longer existed because they refused to change. They missed the intersections of opportunities.

In our personal lives, some transitions are expected and natural. Some intersections can be seen from miles away. Signage was plentiful; we are paying attention to where we are and where we are going. There are other crossroads that sneak up on us. Health issues that were unanticipated. Family and marriage crises erupt. Did we miss the signs? Were our bodies trying to tell us something we ignored? Were there cracks in the foundations of relationships we didn’t repair soon enough?

What about the church? Throughout church history, the church has been at a crossroads. Look at Acts 15, the great council of Jerusalem. Would the Gospel be available to all people? Would the mission work of Paul and Barnabas be validated or dismissed? For the Church and for churches, Christians have faced many intersections. We missed too many or didn’t recognize the significance of the crossroad we just passed. Think of race relations and the civil rights movement.

Wouldn’t it be great if we led from the front? When the church does that, the church shines.

For a church like Wieuca, there have been plenty of crossroads – moments of which we are proud, moments that bring us regret. I believe we face a crossroads today – a crossroads of opportunity. The trajectory of our church could indicate that this small family living in a big house will continue to struggle onward. Many of our resources are utilized maintaining spacious but demanding facilities. Our membership has not grown in number as we have hoped. We have actually seen a slight downturn in the number of households who tithe and give regularly. While we have no debt, funds that have been set aside will not last forever.

We might as well as pull off the side of the road, raise the hood, and abandon our vehicle, right? I don’t think so. Over the next few weeks, I am going to list some of the reasons for renewed hope, opportunities for more of us contribute, and signs of healthy and exciting life among us. Why don’t you do the same? We are in this together!

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About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

One thought on “Crossroads

  1. Frank Blount

    Thanks Mark for reminding us of our challenges and that we can, with God’s help, turn them into opportunities.

    Reply

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