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Discussion on matters of general mainstream Christian churches. What are the differences between Catholics and protestants? How has the charismatic movement affected the church? Are Southern baptists different from fundamentalist baptists? It is also for discussions about the nature of the church.

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Building a Strong Church

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  • Building a Strong Church

    By a strong church, I mean one where the membership is commitment to living their lives as Christ directs them. Yes, this is a broad definition, but since everyone is gifted differently and has a different personality, I need to leave room for that individuality within the community.

    I recently finished reading Rod Dreher's Live Not by Lies. While I don't agree with everything he says, I think he is spot on for why the American church is so weak. We don't have the fires of persecution and suffering to purify us. We have allowed comfort to be the most important aspect of our church life. Not that we are called to seek out persecution or suffering, but we tend to quickly fix it instead of letting it work through us. For example, instead of learning how to live when society disagrees with us and remain true to our beliefs, we engage in the political process to change society to conform to our beliefs. We should be evangelizing and bring people to Christ which will then change society as the people change. Instead of learning how to be with people as they suffer, we offer up well-meant but probably false hopes of healing. Pay attention for a while how much of the preaching you hear is to entertain or comfort instead of calling us to conform to the image of Christ.

    Would I say to not preaching healing or comfort? No because both are Biblical. In both though, I keep in mind a Jewish expression I heard: "Hope for a miracle but do not plan for it." We need a better theology to allow for when God says no, or God doesn't deliver.

    Society has changed since the 60's and 70's but how we do church hasn't. I'm not saying to eliminate the Sunday service, Sunday school, outreach, etc. I'm trying to say we need to rethink what we say. Stop preaching to make it easy to digest or understandable to a seeker. Stop preaching life-counsel sermons: how to manage your money, deal with your anger, etc. Preach like you're talking to genuine Christians who are seeking to grow.
    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

    "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

  • #2
    I don't see "Sunday Morning" as "outreach". I see it more like an armory where the soldiers come for training, equipping, instruction....
    Then there are exercises where we go out and meet the enemy (and potential allies and friends and converts) in the marketplace.

    But, good points you raise!
    The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
      I don't see "Sunday Morning" as "outreach". I see it more like an armory where the soldiers come for training, equipping, instruction....
      Then there are exercises where we go out and meet the enemy (and potential allies and friends and converts) in the marketplace.

      But, good points you raise!
      I agree. Unfortunately, I have been in seeker sensitive churches and an evangelical church, where the aim of the Sunday Service is to bring the people in the audience to Christ.
      "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

      "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post

        I agree. Unfortunately, I have been in seeker sensitive churches and an evangelical church, where the aim of the Sunday Service is to bring the people in the audience to Christ.
        I don't really believe that the first century church was about "evangelism" so much as it was fellowship -- and that the "evangelism" happened outside the walls of the (house) church, then you bring the new converts to meet the rest of their new family.
        The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

          I don't really believe that the first century church was about "evangelism" so much as it was fellowship -- and that the "evangelism" happened outside the walls of the (house) church, then you bring the new converts to meet the rest of their new family.
          I worded that poorly - I mean the "assemblies", not the Church in general. "The Church" most certainly WAS (and should be) about evangelism.
          The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

            I don't really believe that the first century church was about "evangelism" so much as it was fellowship -- and that the "evangelism" happened outside the walls of the (house) church, then you bring the new converts to meet the rest of their new family.
            That sounds about right to me. I just remember there was a movement a few years ago to make the worship service the evangelical service. All that did was let the membership be lazy about evangelism.

            I would leave an altar call at the end of the service for those that get convicted and want to be saved plus members who have prayer requests.
            "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

            "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

            Comment


            • #7
              I came up with an anlogy for church teaching. If the average member is at the 4th grade level of Christianity, the church teaches them at the 2nd grade level.
              "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

              "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post

                That sounds about right to me. I just remember there was a movement a few years ago to make the worship service the evangelical service. All that did was let the membership be lazy about evangelism.

                I would leave an altar call at the end of the service for those that get convicted and want to be saved plus members who have prayer requests.
                Yes, while I'm thrilled if somebody "gets saved" in my Sunday Morning service, it's not the primary reason we meet - and the altar call allows for that, or for anybody to respond for any reason - even just to come to the front and kneel and pray without interacting with me at all.
                The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                Comment

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