Monday, February 16, 2009

Further questions about church

There were a few comments on last week's post about church. I'll narrow the point down further: What do you think the purpose of church services are?

For example: Is the purpose of Sunday Morning church to strengthen church members? If so, then those members are the ones who should guide the development, formation, and planning of the service. The manner of preaching should relate to how they live and what they understand, the music style should be what they are comfortable with.

Is the purpose of Sunday Morning church to win lost people to Jesus Christ as Lord? If so, then the thought processes of unchurched and unsaved people should be our determinant. What schedule will appeal to the world around us? What music? How do we preach?

Now, most of you are going to say that the church should both disciple the saved and evangelize the lost. But in a lot of these things, can you have it both ways? Are you discipling the saved by going over the elementary things of Christ every week? Are you reaching the lost by assuming on their knowledge? Or by demanding they show up at the same old time and in the same old place?

Then there's subject matter. There's no point in preaching to the lost that some are called to be prophets, teachers, evangelists, or about raising children to follow Christ, when they will have no basis to understand these things without a saving faith in Christ. So, what should we preach?

Now, try to fit all of that into an hour to an hour and 15 minutes. And you'll see why some preachers get stressed.

What do you think? Share your opinion, disagree respectfully. If you think it's Biblical but can't reference it, say so. Somebody else may be able to find it.


  1. Hello Doug,
    Lots to "chew on" in that post. When looking at the biblical model for the church (worship,evangelism,
    edification and ministry-thats the way I remember them) it is very difficult to stuff all that into a couple of hours a week. My opinion, worship,evanglism and ministry can and should take place at any time. Edification(which includes the strengthening and discipling of those already saved) thru SS, small group Bible study and special bible study as well as personal bible study has to been done at a more disciplined
    approach (my opinion).

    Of course, it ALL has to be done, but getting it all done in a way that palatable to the people and purposeful to the Church- the willingness of people to kneel before our Savior in humble submission, seeking His will and HIs Word, with the abandonment of self in hand- will ultimately bring clarity to all this. This is my prayer.

    "This is the confidence which we have before Him,that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
    And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him." 1st Jn5:13

  2. correction: 1st jn 5:14-15 NASB

  3. I tend to see worship, prayer, fellowship, discipleship, evangelism as the main things we do.

    But you can't worship without prayer, and if you haven't heard the gospel (been evangelized) you can't be discipled, and don't know who to worship, and without truth there is no basis for fellowship.

    And evangelism that just sells 'Get out of Hell Free' cards isn't Biblical, but must be followed up with what we call discipleship.

    Which is why we need to be constantly thinking and praying over these things. How do we balance? Partly by expanding our understanding of church: it's not just something we go to Sundays and Wednesdays!

    How do we know? We ask!

    5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
    James 1:5 (NASB)

    And then we also prayerfully discuss with those we also know are praying. Who can sometimes be found on blogs! :)


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