It’s not about tradition for Galion Church of the Nazarene.
The church decided to shift its focus in an effort to better meet the needs of the community.
“We decided to use different approaches.” Pastor Rick McCartney said. “Our focus is more community than high steeple. Many churches are interested in preserving their tradition, but our focus is reaching the community.”
Because of the change, the church’s attendance decreased.
“We’ve lost people because we’ve changed,” McCartney said. “But He (God) will build us back. The Bible says in Zachariah 4:10, ‘Do not despise these small beginnings for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.’”
There are different programs that families can attend together.
“We want parents to be apart of what the kids are doing.” McCartney said. “I think it’s all about getting the kids into the programs.”
The Bible quiz program called Raising Up Arrows helps kids and adults memorize Scripture.
“We believe Scripture builds the inner person and builds values.” McCartney said.
The Christian Scouting Program teaches kids about values and to appreciate God’s creations. The Caravan Program equips a child to have integrity and the Upward Basketball program focuses more on value then competition.
“You plant a seed, it grows.” McCartney said. “Whether it be a good seed or a bad one. If you plant the Bible in a child it will grow. Scripture says if we teach a child the way they should go he will not depart from the truth. In other words the child can drift away but the truth will always be there. Eventually he will come back.”
The pastor said religion is not the key to knowing God.
“It’s about a relationship with God.” McCartney said. “How do you help a person be intimate with God. We’ve been missing it for years. We’ve been trying to create a name. It’s not about bringing in the masses, it’s about an intimacy with God. The difference between religion and Jesus is, God is long beside you instead of judging you.”