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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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Church Models

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  • Church Models

    PLEASE let's have a serious discussion and not derail this into jokes and silliness. PLEASE?

    As many of you know, I'm serving in a Church that is in need of "revitalization". (and, so far, it's working! )

    I've been to a number of conferences on Church Growth, and I've been paying attention to what other Churches are going, just out of curiosity, because I have LONG believed that I need to lead the Church according to how I feel God is directing, rather than the current fad.

    Long story short, our Church had been a "traditional" Church for many years, then the Pastor resigned after 30 years, and they felt like they needed "younger" and "more dynamic".
    They called a guy right out of seminary, and he DRASTICALLY changed everything to the "praise and worship" and the "jeans and t-shirt" preaching, etc... like a lot of churches are doing.

    As a result, MOST of the older folks left, and NO NEW people came, and the Church nearly died.

    I'm not a "fad" person, so I came to fill in while they looked for somebody, and I just "preached Jesus", and we sang the hymns of the cross. The Church began to grow, not necessarily from "old folks coming back", but new people coming in. To my pleasant surprise, YOUNG FAMILIES came, too!

    In all of this, "Men's Ministry" has been on my heart for a number of years, and I keep feeling that, while other Churches seem to be trending (or "fadding"?) toward "family Church" models, I seem more and more convinced that my focus needs to be on men. The Early Church was built on men. OTHER religions (like Islam) have MEN as the active "agents", while, in Christian Churches, it seems like women are the predominant force, and many of the men are "on the fringe".

    I've been reading a lot of Barna lately, and don't remember if this comes from him, or from some of my other sources, but I remember reading that "if you get the 'Mom", there's a 17% chance you'll get the family ---- if you get the 'Dad', there's a 93% chance you'll get the family.

    This obviously would not be to the EXCLUSION of women and children, but I just have this gut feeling that our focus needs to be on men.

    Comments?
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

  • #2
    Here is the model:
    Originally posted by 1 Cor 1:17-31
    17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.
    Christ the Power and Wisdom of God

    18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:

    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
    And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”

    20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks[b] foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
    Glory Only in the Lord

    26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”
    Trying to make the church 'attractive' in order to spur 'growth' is penny wise and pound foolish IMO.

    Focus on helping the people you have (in other words, helping those who are sick - that is, everybody), and welcoming those who enter. Leave the job of attracting to the Holy Spirit.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

    Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
    sigpic
    I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

    Comment


    • #3
      1) Preach Christ, and Him crucified.

      2) Minister where needed (pretty much everywhere, really): look at your congregation - are men reasonably represented or do you notice a group that's absent?

      3) Men's ministry can start with amazingly small things. Look around the church. If you were a bachelor, would you have doilies everywhere? Then why are they in the parlor. You have a lovely picture of Jesus stroking a lamb - where's the one of Him driving out the money changers? Does the bulletin board every week have a message about love with cute hearts or some such? Where's the Christian armor? Plenty of fruit and vines everywhere - but no shields or swords. We girls tend to do the decorating - but we sometimes make it too feminine. Change out doilies with arm covers (assuming you ever use the parlor - otherwise, just stick the doilies in a drawer somewhere). Find pictures that show Jesus doing things other than playing with kids and petting lambs and put them on the walls, too (the Men's Sunday School classroom being a good place to start). Et cetera - plenty of things we can change without being 'trendy' that make things more welcoming to men.

      "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


      "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

      My Personal Blog

      My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
        1) Preach Christ, and Him crucified.
        Well, yeah, I said that....
        Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
        I'm not a "fad" person, so I came to fill in while they looked for somebody, and I just "preached Jesus",
        2) Minister where needed (pretty much everywhere, really): look at your congregation - are men reasonably represented or do you notice a group that's absent?
        The men are "nice", but they're not really involved - that's the point. And, yeah, other ministries would continue.

        3) Men's ministry can start with amazingly small things. Look around the church. If you were a bachelor, would you have doilies everywhere? Then why are they in the parlor. You have a lovely picture of Jesus stroking a lamb - where's the one of Him driving out the money changers? Does the bulletin board every week have a message about love with cute hearts or some such? Where's the Christian armor? Plenty of fruit and vines everywhere - but no shields or swords. We girls tend to do the decorating - but we sometimes make it too feminine. Change out doilies with arm covers (assuming you ever use the parlor - otherwise, just stick the doilies in a drawer somewhere). Find pictures that show Jesus doing things other than playing with kids and petting lambs and put them on the walls, too (the Men's Sunday School classroom being a good place to start). Et cetera - plenty of things we can change without being 'trendy' that make things more welcoming to men.
        I'm just interested in discipling men to be the spiritual heads of their homes. I think that's what's missing. In many churches, the women know more about the Bible than the men do, and are more involved in the work. If men were proper spiritual leaders in their homes, the women and children would be.... I'm still formulating this in my head.
        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
          Trying to make the church 'attractive' in order to spur 'growth' is penny wise and pound foolish IMO.
          I agree! If I were interested in making the church 'attractive', I might be more interested in what other churches are doing to grow. I don't want artificial or shallow growth.

          Focus on helping the people you have (in other words, helping those who are sick - that is, everybody), and welcoming those who enter.
          Yeah, that will continue.

          Leave the job of attracting to the Holy Spirit.
          I think Jesus wants us to be fishers of men, and I'm particularly drawn to that "seek them that are lost" part.
          "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

          Comment


          • #6
            subbing. will make comments later
            "If you can ever make any major religion look absolutely ludicrous, chances are you haven't understood it"
            -Ravi Zacharias, The New Age: A foreign bird with a local walk

            Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
            1 Corinthians 16:13

            "...he [Doherty] is no historian and he is not even conversant with the historical discussions of the very matters he wants to pontificate on."
            -Ben Witherington III

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Raphael View Post
              subbing. will make comments later
              Meanwhile, you'll share your popcorn?

              Looking forward to your input.
              "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                I think Jesus wants us to be fishers of men, and I'm particularly drawn to that "seek them that are lost" part.
                I think that takes rather less effort on our part then many people seem to think. As long as we show we care (and we should be on the lookout for opportunities to do so), and are willing to let the Holy Spirit work through us rather than attempting to direct everything ourselves, the lost will be drawn to us (or, rather, to Him who is in us).
                Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
                sigpic
                I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

                Comment


                • #9
                  Argh - not what I meant. I have to run - I'll be back to play tomorrow!

                  "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                  "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                  My Personal Blog

                  My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                    I think that takes rather less effort on our part then many people seem to think.
                    And I agree, but I think many people use that as an excuse to do precious little. "Maybe, by living the Christian life, they'll see Jesus in me, and ask of the hope....." That works where people are actually living a Christian life, but so many times, there isn't a whole lot of difference between the "Christians" and the "lost".

                    As long as we show we care (and we should be on the lookout for opportunities to do so), and are willing to let the Holy Spirit work through us rather than attempting to direct everything ourselves, the lost will be drawn to us (or, rather, to Him who is in us).
                    I still think the picture of "fishers of men" is a little more active than passive, but I most certainly agree that the Holy Spirit hsa to do the "work".
                    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                      And I agree, but I think many people use that as an excuse to do precious little. "Maybe, by living the Christian life, they'll see Jesus in me, and ask of the hope....." That works where people are actually living a Christian life, but so many times, there isn't a whole lot of difference between the "Christians" and the "lost".
                      I agree. I can count on maybe two hands the number of Christians I've known who live such a life. Somedays I think the attitude was invented by people who wanted to feel they were doing something without actually doing anything.

                      Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                      I still think the picture of "fishers of men" is a little more active than passive, but I most certainly agree that the Holy Spirit hsa to do the "work".
                      There is something more active about being fishers of men than just living a life. The Holy Spirit has to do the "work" (yeah salvation is an act of God) but there is some piece of human participation in the "work." I just can't put my finger on it or describe it very well.
                      "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


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                        And I agree, but I think many people use that as an excuse to do precious little. "Maybe, by living the Christian life, they'll see Jesus in me, and ask of the hope....." That works where people are actually living a Christian life, but so many times, there isn't a whole lot of difference between the "Christians" and the "lost".
                        True - but when there's precious little difference between the "Christians" and the "lost", will active preaching by the same do much good?
                        I still think the picture of "fishers of men" is a little more active than passive, but I most certainly agree that the Holy Spirit hsa to do the "work".
                        Yeah, that's why I stuck in the bit about looking for opportunities to help. They're out there, but most times we're all too practiced at looking the other way.
                        Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                        Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
                        sigpic
                        I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Teal
                          Originally Posted by Teallaura
                          Originally posted by Teal
                          1) Preach Christ, and Him crucified.
                          Originally posted by CP
                          Well, yeah, I said that....
                          So you did - I’m just affirming it.
                          Originally posted by CP
                          Originally Posted by Cow Poke
                          I'm not a "fad" person, so I came to fill in while they looked for somebody, and I just "preached Jesus",
                          It’s the most important part - always bears repeating!
                          Originally posted by Teal
                          2) Minister where needed (pretty much everywhere, really): look at your congregation - are men reasonably represented or do you notice a group that's absent?
                          Originally posted by CP
                          The men are "nice", but they're not really involved - that's the point. And, yeah, other ministries would continue.
                          Okay - gotcha. So it’s not that all the young men stay home, it’s that they are ‘going through the motions’, at least in terms of involvement.
                          Originally posted by Teal
                          3) Men's ministry can start with amazingly small things. Look around the church. If you were a bachelor, would you have doilies everywhere? Then why are they in the parlor. You have a lovely picture of Jesus stroking a lamb - where's the one of Him driving out the money changers? Does the bulletin board every week have a message about love with cute hearts or some such? Where's the Christian armor? Plenty of fruit and vines everywhere - but no shields or swords. We girls tend to do the decorating - but we sometimes make it too feminine. Change out doilies with arm covers (assuming you ever use the parlor - otherwise, just stick the doilies in a drawer somewhere). Find pictures that show Jesus doing things other than playing with kids and petting lambs and put them on the walls, too (the Men's Sunday School classroom being a good place to start). Et cetera - plenty of things we can change without being 'trendy' that make things more welcoming to men.
                          Originally posted by CP
                          I'm just interested in discipling men to be the spiritual heads of their homes. I think that's what's missing. In many churches, the women know more about the Bible than the men do, and are more involved in the work. If men were proper spiritual leaders in their homes, the women and children would be.... I'm still formulating this in my head.
                          Okay - but first find out what’s putting them off. People don’t engage if they feel they don’t belong - and a decor that screams femininity will make men feel put off. It’s a place to start.
                          Other places are the types of ministry the church does. Is it all visitation over tea or do the guys get to get out their lawn tools to help someone unable to do for themselves? To feel involved you need to be able to contribute - and few men can put together a formal buffet (some hyperventilate when they see their wives pulling out the good china! ).

                          "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                          "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                          My Personal Blog

                          My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            FYI: The formatting thingie hates me.

                            "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                            "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                            My Personal Blog

                            My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                              Okay - but first find out what’s putting them off.
                              I think, to a large extent, we don't challenge them. I have, in the past, used "Church work days" to challenge them to get involved, and that has often spilled over into their involvement in worship. I'm just thinking about a more direct way.

                              People don’t engage if they feel they don’t belong - and a decor that screams femininity will make men feel put off. It’s a place to start.
                              I've been to Churches where "the ladies" have "homified" the Church -- hanging their quilts in sunday school rooms, "decorating" the foyer, pictures of "sissy" Jesus... that really hasn't been the problem with any Church I've gone to, except one, and that changed shortly after my arrival with the blessings of the congregation.

                              I think, sometimes, the music "screams femininity -- like the deer song -- makes me want to get my rifle out. : rant : (Tweb is to cheap to allow me to use more than 4 precious smilies! : rant :: mob :: rant :)

                              Other places are the types of ministry the church does. Is it all visitation over tea or do the guys get to get out their lawn tools to help someone unable to do for themselves?
                              In other Churches, I have started a ministry I called "The King's Men", and we did all kinds of projects - even replacing the roof for a senior adult couple who was "home bound", digging trench for gas lines, "cutting back the forest" that had engulfed one home.... so, yeah, that's one of the things I can institute here.

                              To feel involved you need to be able to contribute - and few men can put together a formal buffet (some hyperventilate when they see their wives pulling out the good china! )
                              We have had "wild game night", where the men bring the dead animals they've killed and grill them, along with some skeet shooting, archery competitions, stuff like that --- that always goes over well.

                              I guess I'm not really communicating what I want to know.
                              "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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