Tag Archives: attend
For years church leaders tried to convince us that being a hip, trendy, and relevant church was the key to doing church right. It was about professional bands, cool video graphics, and more ministry choices than you can fit on one bulletin page. But after many years and many failures even the well-respected church growth guru’s are admitting that it’s really about the preaching.
But not just any preaching. The trendy “talks” that cite one Bible verse then shares stories, jokes, and illustrations for 40 minutes are also failing. What people are really looking for is teaching from the Bible that expounds the Scriptures and connects them with daily life. In other words, expository preaching. What exactly is expository preaching?
It can often be a frustrating thing to watch one church in town grow at an exponential rate while another struggles to keep its doors open. Such a curious experience leaves people wondering what the growing church has going on that makes it so attractive to people. And why don’t people find the other church as equally attractive?
Those are, I think, the wrong questions to be asking. The reason those are the wrong questions is because it isn’t our job to make the church attractive to anyone. Once we fall into the trap of trying to make church cool and culturally relevant there is a danger that the church will become soft on sin, theologically shallow, and little more than a Sunday club.
Don’t get me wrong, there is value in updating our style, utilizing modern resources such as technology, and abandoning traditions that no longer work. But these efforts should only be accomplished with a central focus on reaching people with the Gospel and making disciples. If creating a cool church or even simply church growth is our goal we’ve already lost sight of the mission of the church.
I came across an article this week discussing some specific reasons why it is harder today to grow a church than in years past. A few of the points given are accurate and reflect the struggle I’ve witnessed over the last decade. One in particular is worth noting for every church leader:
Church “experts” and analysts seem to be in a frenzy trying to figure out how to keep millennials from walking away from the church. There’s a panic to discover the strategic secret to making sure those younger generations stay connected, attending, and active in church.
The result has been a whole-sale failure on the part of the church.
Before anyone gets too mad at me, understand that I was part of the problem. I watched church trends and attended really cool conferences and seminars to learn new tips and tricks to bringing young families in and keeping them. What I’ve come to realize is that no matter how hard the church tries to keep millennials – they will eventually walk away IF they’ve never had a life-changing encounter with Jesus.
You see, the problem is not the church format, or ministries, or anything inside the church. The problem is what’s going on inside the people inside the church. Too many people inside the church have never encountered Jesus and been saved from their sin.
Now, don’t get me wrong. If you’re still preaching topical sermons from a King James Bible after you sing every verse of 5 hymns from a dusty hymnal then your church has some problems. But those problems are just symptoms of a larger problem. The root cause can be found by looking into the hearts of the people and seeing that many that claim to be saved are in fact lost.
So trying to start new – really cool – ministries, or change the format is like putting a band aid over a gunshot wound; it simply won’t help.
I was encouraged by a recent article in which a young millennial encouraged the church to stop trying to be cool and simply preach the Gospel and address tough issues from a biblical perspective. There’s a novel idea.
The following article was written by Matthew Hosier, pastor of Gateway Church in the United Kingdom, for The Gospel Coalition. The homosexual culture has been more overt and prevalent in the UK much longer than it has here in the United States. For this reason I find Hosier’s article compelling. His use of Scripture to present a clear picture of marriage and give an introduction to a biblical sexual ethic for believers is spot on. Hosier doesn’t claim to have all the answers or say his position is the best one, but he does give a great place to start the discussion because, as he mentions, it won’t be long before every Christian will face this question.
Take a few moments to read through the article and be sure to visit the original article here.
Should I Attend a Same-Sex Wedding?
Probably sooner than later, every Christian must decide whether or not you will attend a same-sex wedding. Those of us who are pastors will also need to be ready to give advice to church members. I’ve chewed this one around, in my own thoughts, with my elder team, and with others. I offer these preliminary thoughts, in the form of Q&A, to help you make your own decision.