Greetings on behalf CBC of Granada, MN, population – 317. Our church is a geographical anomaly. Situated on the banks of Center Creek, our church is surrounded by corn and soybean fields. Martin County has some of the richest dirt in the world and hog production in our county rivals anywhere in the world, but only 20,220 people live in the whole county. Some of our missionaries have neighborhoods or suburbs of greater population than our whole county. Many high-rise apartment buildings have a greater population in one building than my whole community.

Most people coming to our church drive at least ten to fifty miles to attend our services. Many of the small communities around us used to have thriving Baptist churches decades ago. Vernon Center, Garden City, Huntley, Truman, and Madelia, just to name a few, have closed their doors. Many Independent Fundamental Baptist churches have gone by the wayside. Some believe it is because our stripe of Christianity has become culturally irrelevant. Personally, I believe we are losing our candlesticks because of losing our first love. For a church to boast of doctrinal purity and not have the grease of love for God and a passion for the souls of our fellow man is to have dead orthodoxy. Simply participating in weekly meetings without motivated willing ministry participation is Christian malpractice and it is deadly and deadening. Christians on the perpetual receiving end are like sponges that become saturated with all the good things the Word of God has to offer. Everyone knows the cleansing power of a sponge saturated with a good cleaning solution. But what happens to a saturated sponge left sitting in a corner un-squeezed?

smelly spongeTo be receivers without being givers is to be like a mildewed sponge. Selfish “Christianity” is not only oxymoronic, it becomes malodorous. Cultural relevance is not our problem. Western culture is rapidly degenerating into a cesspool of existential relativity bathed in the doctrine of secular humanism. “We” as a culture cannot even figure out what gender we are, let alone come together as a nation “Under God” to figure out who to vote for. Some want to blow their Trumpet, others want to Cruse along, some are standing at the bottom of the Hillary, and perish the thought of trying to build a foundation upon sinking Sanders. I personally do not see any salvation for our nation in the political process. But praise God we have the good news of Jesus Christ and the power of the gospel. Where the night is the darkest, the light can shine the brightest. What a tremendous opportunity to reach out to a lost and disillusioned generation. But without a vision the people perish and so do our churches. May God help all of us who know Christ to take courage and cast out the old lifeline.

We only have the power and ability to support others on the home and foreign field to the degree we labor in our local field of influence. If we fail in our responsibility in Martin County, we lose our candlestick and privilege of being fellow laborers in the Lord’s harvest field. So then we ask for prayers of fellow laborers. May the goodness and grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be poured out upon us that rivers of living waters flow out from us and bring life to a lost and dying world.  (Psalm 121).

Laboring together  in Christ’s Harvestfield,

Pastor John Schofield