preacherman

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

What does the church need to do in order to thrive in the 21st Century?

I have been thinking about how and what the church needs to do in order to make a difference in today's world. I believe the Bible never changes but how we do ministry and reach out to those who need Jesus Christ may not be as affective as the has been in years past.

In the past, we have been program driven. We have programs for Senior adults, college and young professionals, teens, and children. Are programs still affective? Do we need to take a more personal approach in asking what needs can be met and how we even do ministry? Is there a way to tailor ministry at the individual level in this century?

I remember growing up a child and the church would have gospel meetings that would last four or five days long. People are pressed for time and energy going in different directions, what once was affective may not be in the 21st century.



What do you think needs to be changed or done in order reach out and meet the needs of those who need Jesus Christ? Do you have anything that has worked for your congregation? Have you heard of anything that has worked for other congregations? Have traditional program in ministry stopped being affective? If so, why? What is your approach to affective ministry? How can we be the church of the 21st century, making a difference where we are in our communities? How do we communicate with members and elders that the methods of the past just aren't affective anymore? What does the church need to do to thrive in the 21st Century?

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

142 Comments:

Blogger Terry said...

Whether we eliminate programs or not, we could train and encourage our members to be the people in the community to take initiative to care for the people around us who are in need. When a co-worker is fired for drug abuse, we could be the people who call them or take them to lunch. We could be the people who offer help. When a neighbor is in the hospital, we could be the people who visit. When someone is having trouble, we could be the people who offer to pray and who offer to contact other church members to pray. If people see us as people who care, they will notice the difference that God makes. We should be quick to put in a good word for Jesus and quick to help both as individuals and congregations. I'm sure that caring will never go out of style, and that it will stand out in an isolated culture.

8:50 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

If you mean the church as a corporate body, I think reaching out to the community (rather than expecting the community to come to the church) would do wonders. To borrow an oft-used phrase, "Be the hands and feet of Jesus."

I guess it also depends on what you mean by "thrive." The above actions might bring more people to a relationship with Christ, but then there is the whole issue of keeping them in Christ. I think that is where individuals in the church need to step up and not only continue being the hands and feet of Jesus to these people, but cultivate genuine caring and loving relationships with them. Truly acting like family with those in the family of God does wonders to keep people in Him.

9:18 PM  
Blogger Terry said...

Excellent points, Karen!

6:32 AM  
Anonymous Stacie said...

I think we need to get out in the community. It isn't like a non-believer is going to wake up on Sunday morning and say to himself: "I think I'll go to church today. I hear the preacher preaches incredible sermons and the programs they offer are fantastic." No. I gree that we need to go out and invite the community.

9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Terry and Karen, This is something that weighs on my heart and the heart or our little church. I know what it is like to be a mother, working and caring for children and home. Little time for Church. I think that each of us need to reach out to and help as many people as we can --- real help ----- food, money, babysitters, be a friend. The church is pretty good at taking care of the seniors, but there is such a need in young families. I think that we have to have faith in God and sow seeds, some will take longer to sprout than others, but never ever give up on God. I thought at our little church that we should feed the masses on Friday night, or Saturday, have some praise music and a informal lesson, but some people started talking about being took advantage of! Whatever! Feed the people! I am one of the few that does not like segregation according to age at Church. Our children need to be able to interact with people of all ages, not just their peers. Many of my daughters peers, have never been to church, don't understand the language, don't understand the politics, are scared to death of it and the righteous people inside. Being humbled before God is one thing and being humbled before all the self righteous in a small community is another. How do we make our Church a rewarding experience for people that have never been? We have to understand that if someone new walks into the church God has sent them for us to mentor and we might just get one chance. I say we must shower on some Jesus love to everyone that walks through the door, we must humble ourselves that we don't intimidate anyone. We must start our days prayerfully that we can show love to everyone in our paths, that we can encourage each other and those that do not have what we have. I want people to ask themselves what does she have, I want that in my life too. I say feed the masses spiritually and physically! I would say get rid of the fancy chapel and get a big kitchen! Encourage the children to sing to Jesus, Children performing in front of people warms all hearts. Out with tradition and in with Jesus. Baptize on the spot, as soon as they accept Christ, dunk em!

9:52 AM  
Blogger Darin L. Hamm said...

Good question and discussion.

Thanks for asking Preacherman.

10:35 AM  
Blogger AncientWanderer said...

Yeah we could do all that and more. Maybe even open the "CHURCH MALL AND FLEA MARKET" or maybe we could put on our prettiest dresses and wave to the crowd and wish for World Peace after the non-mixed swimming competition. :)

OR:
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

Just A Thought.
You see I take that whole "end of the age" promise FROM GOD as a serious reality that His church will thrive until His return.

NOW, if you want to know what do we have to do to keep up with Christ's church in our lifetime... that's another post entirely.

11:15 AM  
Blogger Faith said...

We need to do the Great Commission!
We need to get to where the people are! Not wait for them to come in the church door.
I feel that certain programs are very effective if done with excellence and acceptance of people who might be "different" from us.
I love my church and feel that since we are now opening up a satellite campus our senior pastor must be doing some thing right!

1:49 PM  
Blogger MammaMia said...

Great comment ancientwanderer! If people are only coming to church to attend programs or be fed then they really aren't there for the reason, Christ! Why can't there be gospel meetings in the 21st century? People make time for what is important to them. Shouldn't gathering with the saints be very important. How does the chuch thrive? By people realizing that worship of God is the most important "experience" that children need, which should make going to "church" the top priority. And, for us to stop thinking that worship is all about "me and my needs". We don't have to worship God, we don't have to go to church, WE GET TO!!

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Sam said...

I think we need to care about families as a whole. We need to meet peoples needs like the downtown church in Lubbock does and then preach to them. It is exactly what Jesus did in His ministry.
I pray for Smiley and all the others that minister, work, volunter at Capenters Kitchen.

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Betty said...

I think women need to be more involved and appreciated in the Church. We need to not be looked down on for something stupid Eve did, it wasn't us. We need to take a more active role in worship, in becoming deaconesses, and many ministry roles in the church.

Preacherman, great post and topic that should be looked at more.

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Scott said...

Preacherman,
Thank you brother for opening cans of warms and discussing topics that others are affaid to address. I think we need to be more loving and graceous toward other denominations. We need to let them know that it is not up to us to judge who is going to hell. We need to let them know we are sorry for being so judgemental in the past and strive to be more graceous in this century. We need to change how people look at the Church of Christ. We need to generous, and graceous toward other denominations. Striving to one and unified in Christ Jesus. I read Alan's blog and I believe he has it so right. I hope he adds what he thinks. He is so wise.

5:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In order to thrive in this century we need to put our faith into practice.

5:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it would be wonderful if we spent more time in pray. I went to one congregation and the format for worship was a warm welcome of people meeting and shaking hands, then the minister got up and read a scripture from the Psalms, after that we sang some songs of praise and the rest of the time we spent praying. We got together in groups and couples and prayed for almost an hour about things that were on our hearts. The women were even encouraged to pray about their needs and concerns. It was the most powerful worship I had attended. I believe our worships should be moving and powerful. It should be a time of encouragement because I know I don't get it at home with an unbelieving husband. I need the church. I need it to be warm, welcoming, non-judgemental towards those who's husbands don't go, and have the opportunity to spend time in pray with other sisters who can share my burden. I believe that should be one change we should see in the 21st century. Preacherman thank you for opening up this topic for us to think about. You have definately made me think about I want from this next century and for my children and grandchildren as well. I wish I could give you a big hug but don't think Mrs. Preacherman would like that at all. I just love this topic.

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thank we need to understand as times change we must change. We must be relevant to those who need the gospel of Jesus. If we don't change with the culture we will end up not glorifying God.

5:52 PM  
Blogger Milly said...

I do think that we are moving at a faster pace these days.

I think that due to our new world of technology we need more of a one on one with each other. We need to listen to each other in a very low tech way-actually talking face to face.

5:57 PM  
Blogger The Walk said...

To thrive as the church, we need to be the church.

I think Terry and Karen together hit on something important. We need to reach out to people, and we also need to reach out to one another. Often, a few people will be reaching out and spreading themselves thin, and will be burning out. We need to mutually support and care for one another. Love--both for each other, and for those outside the Body--will attract people. And, in the process, those within the Body will be strengthened and built up.

And, as another commenter pointed out, central to all of this is prayer.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

One thing that I've found is that with many of the Protestant churches, their Theology is solid and unchanging but unfortunately their methods are as well.

With this new "Emergent Church", their methods are changing but unfortunately so is their Theology in my humble opinion.

I think that methods must change but theology must not.

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think more women should be involved in worship and authority positions. I mean women can be anything they want to be in the world but the church forget it. It is so stupid. Is God afraid of women? Or is it the people who wrote the Bible intemidated by women? I think we should be able to do anything a man can do and more!

8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we need to be more open to other denominations.

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we are missing the mark a little bit here. Yes, we all know what we as a church should be doing, but what are the steps to take to go from what we are doing to what we should be doing?

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Brian Bowen said...

Are programs still effective? Can we still have those all day gospel sings? Can we expect people to come simply because the pastor delivers a great message? All great questions.

Here's what I see happens to a church. God begins to move on a group of people. He does this amazing thing that totally blows the doors off the place. He reveals a style and type of ministry that reaches the people of the day. So the people seize on to it. They ride the wave of God. Which of course I believe they should do. Especially if its a move of God.

So you begin to see people get saved. As Jesus begins to transform there life, the old lifestyle no longer seems as fun or attractive. Their old friends still in that lifestyle seem to no longer have anything in common. So what does this growing Christian do? Well he naturally gravitates towards people who share this new value system, this new way of looking at life, this new ethos. They encourage each other, they strengthen each other. But you see, over time, the unchurched world begins to shift but the people in the church stay were they are. Over time, the number of salvations drops. New memberships drop. The congregation grows older and they begin to realize, we need more young people. So what do they do? They go back to what they know. They go back to that move of God that so touched and changed them. But you see, that method is no longer relevant, the world has shifted.

The church is no longer needed as a social gathering place. You can't wow this generation with powerpoint presentation when they are seeing the special effects on film coming out of Hollywood. For so long the church has thought, if we can just draw them here, if we can just get them here to hear the word... THEN God will open their hearts. So we add lights, video, fog machines, music is shifted (I happen to like all those things btw) all in an effort to become more relevant. Ok sure, you need to communicate in a way the people you are trying to reach communicate. Im not saying thats a bad thing. But its only one small piece of the puzzle.

I also agree with mammamia when she says, why can't we have gospel meetings in the 21st century. People make time for whats important and shouldn't the gather of the saints be important. Of course it is. But notice, she said gathering of the saints. You see, to the unchurched, the gathering of the saints isn't important. Right? To the unchurched, a gospel sing, isn't necessarily going to minister to them in anyway. But certainly, for the saints, they still work. We still need things that minister to those already in the church.

Ok so I'll try and wrap up my thoughts before this gets TOO long. I believe yes, we do still need programs as one facet of ministry. They help us define pathways of discipleship. They help believers grow into stronger believers. I also think its important that we create environments that open doorways to conversation. How do we know how the unchurched think, unless we go where the unchurched go? Unless we live where they live? Im not saying live a life of sin to save your neighbor. But we need to be willing to step outside of our safe zones. To step outside of the church walls and join people in community. Join them were they are and bring with you the message of Jesus Christ.

You see, people are bombarded with self help messages. If you just take this pill you will lose 50 pounds and your life will change or follow these 7 easy steps to achieve financial success... We can't fall into the trap of trying to sell Jesus. People want to see truth. If you talk about this Jesus person, and you SAY he changed your life, then show me! I want to see it in your life. Not archeological proof or proving Jesus is the Christ through some scientific method. But rather, let me see in your life what this Jesus has done.

I believe thats what we are called to do. To simply live as is we are saved. To walk along side the unchurched or the lost. To join them in their life journey and let them see the light of Christ that is shining through us. If you do that, they will notice something is different about you. They will begin to trust you and believe you have something real. Then a doorway will be presented for you to share the gospel and God will open their hearts to receive it.

8:59 AM  
Blogger Benjie said...

In looking at my own church tradition, I'd conclude that we as a church should stop concentrating on ourselves and start concentrating on Jesus. But that's just me.

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Pastor James said...

I think we should as Christians get out of the building and truely minister to people who need Jesus Christ. We need to meet them where they are in life. I think we should be known for our love, kindness, hospitatlity, mercy, and grace. We need to offer people a better life. A life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

9:46 AM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Terry,
I want to thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. I totally agree that we need to encourage and train our people to show compassion to coworkers who are fire for drug abuse, inviting them to lunch. We should visit the hospital not just leave it up the preach or elders. We need to show our neighbors that we love and care about them. I totally agree that they will notice the difference that God makes. You are so right caring never goes out of style. I have studied and have found out that Christians in the 1st century were known not as Christians but as "the kind ones." I totally agree that we should be quick to put in a good word for Jesus and quick to help both as individuals and congregations. You are so right on brother. Excellent comments.

Is there anything that you congregation is doing now? What do you think they can do to do what you recommend?
__________________________________
Keren,
Thank you for you comments sister. I always appreciate you stopping by and adding your thoughts to the discussions. I mean both the individuals an congregations as a whole. You are so right we should be "the hands and feet of Jesus". By the word "thrive" I mean growth, health, and relevance. How we can really impact the world for Jesus Christ. I totally agree with developing genuine caring and loving relationships with others and I would add both inside and outside the church. Non-Christians need to see how we really behave as Christians. I believe real evangelism is going to come from relationship that we develope outside the Church. I want to thank you again for your wonderful thoughts sister.
___________________________________

Terry,
You and Karen you both have wonderful comments and thoughts for this discussion.
___________________________________Stacie,
Thank you for your comments. I agree that we need to get outside of the building and show others the Characteristics of Jesus Christ in our lives. Like you say, "It isn't like non-Christians are going to wake up on sunday and say, "I think I will go to church today. I think I will go to such and such church because of what they have to offer."" Wonderful point.
___________________________________
Anonymous,
I agree the church need to help take care of families just like they would their seniors. I think young families with children is a sign of a healthy congregation. I believe we as congregations need to reach out to young families and do what we can to help them. I believe if they need babysitting, formula, diapers, bills paid, and other physical needs that we should meet those needs. I think things like Mother Day Out and or if you see a mother that needs just a break to offer your time to to give her the break she needs. I believe if those young families need something we shouldn't make them feel guilty but be willing to care and love them. Show them that we are a Church that cares about them as parents and their children as well. Thank you so much for posting your thoughts.
___________________________________
Darin,
Thank you for your comments. I am glad you are liking this discussion. What do you think about what would make the church thrive in the 21st Century? I would love to hear your thoughts brother. Again thanks for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate it!
___________________________________
Don,
Thank you for your comments. I like your sense of humor. I agree that we should make disciple of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey Jesus Christ. What is the best way to do that brother? Is it changing our services to be "seeker friendly" or is it showing others in the world the values of Jesus Christ in our lives? I am so glad brother that you are posting again. I love your blog and hope you will post again on it as well.
___________________________________
Faith,
Wonderful thoughts on this topic. You put it so well. We can't just wait for them to come into our doors. I want to thank you for sharing your ideas with us. Wonderful! You are welcome anytime on this blog and adding to any discussion we have. God bless you!
___________________________________
Mammamia,
Thank you for your thoughts and sharing. You respond to A.W. well and I appreciate the differences in ideas and opinions that people have and share with each other. I totally agree that we need to forget that worship is totally about "me" but about us experiencing God. It is about us as Hebrews 10:25 us bein build up so that we may spur each other up toward love and good works" How wonderful that we can leave worship strengthen to live the Christian life 24/7 and strive to make a difference in others lives for the Kingdom of God. Thank you for your wonderful comments!
___________________________________
Sam,
Yes wonderful ministries like Carpenters Kitchen and other inner city ministries are really making a difference in the lives of the homeless, those who need a hot meal and those who need Jesus Christ. It would be wonderful if countless churches would send funds to help those kinds of ministries because they are making a difference. I want to thank you for bringing these ministries up.
___________________________________
Betty,
Thanks for adding your thought.
I think it will happen soon.
Keep the faith!
___________________________________
Scott,
I believe that we will be more open and loving to other denominations in the future. I think that is important.
___________________________________
Anonymous,
You are so right, we need to put our faith into practice. Thanks for stopping by and adding your thoughts.
___________________________________Anonymous,
I also believe we must be relevant in our preaching, ministry and the way we live our lives.
___________________________________Milly,
It is great to hear from you.
I agree that we need to talk face to face with others. Building them up in their faith and relationship with God. Mill, thanks sister for you wonderful comments.
___________________________________
The walk,
I agree we need to be the church.
I also agree with Terry and Karen.
Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful thoughts as always with us.
___________________________________
Josh I agree with you brother that method must change but theology must never change. Wonderfully said brother!
___________________________________
Anonymous,
I do think that women will take a more active rule in the future. We just need to be patient. Thanks for your thoughts.
___________________________________
Anonymous,
Thank you for asking a wonderful question: "What steps are we taking to make us strive in the 21st Century?"
___________________________________
Brian Bowen
Wonderful said.
I don't know if I should add to much to your response brother.
You right on.
God will move and work through us and when he does: "Watch out!"
Thank you so much brother for you wonderful thoughts. It means so much to me.
___________________________________
Benjie,
Wonderful thoughts!
I am so glad that you have been thinking about this very thing. I think more and more of us need to think on this topic.
I totally agree we must focus on Jesus Christ. Wonderful brother. I thank you for adding for adding to the discussion.
___________________________________
Pastor James,
Thank you for posting your comments and thoughts. We should do everything you have recommended and be known by our love. Demonstrate the characteristics of Jesus to those who need Him.
Thanks for sharing this with us all.
___________________________________

11:06 AM  
Blogger NaNcY said...

walk in the Holy Spirit and not in fear.

2:12 PM  
Blogger NaNcY said...

ask not what the church should do. be the church...follow the Spirit and walk.

2:16 PM  
Blogger Terry said...

Kinney,
Thanks for the follow-up question about what my local congregation is doing to reach out. In my first post, I was thinking more about individual responsibilities rather than congregational responsibilities in this area.

The Contact Church of Christ reaches out in a variety of ways. We have 2 recovery houses for men with drug and alcohol addictions. We have a ministry to help new mothers learn how to care for their children (both pre-natal and post-natal). In the program, the new mothers can receive necessities like maternity clothes, baby clothes, baby formula, cribs, and other items. In both the recovery homes and in the ministry to new mothers, participants engage in Bible studies. We have a food bank for the community. We have regular Bible studies in the public housing projects of Tulsa (my wife and I lead one of those weekly studies). Each winter, we have a Christmas Store at the church building. Poor parents are able to come and purchase (or volunteer their time working so that they may receive) brand new gifts for their children at extremely reduced prices. We have a before-school program each week at a local "at-risk" public middle school in which children come to learn basic Bible lessons (it is the most popular program at that local school...more students participate in it than in any other activity). After nearly every Sunday morning worship service, another congregation in town will provide the church with lunch. We are an urban ministry supported by area Churches of Christ, so some of our activities may not work in other areas. However, I hope that by sharing some of our activities, I was able to help other Christians think of ways in which their local churches may be able to reach out to people in their communities. I appreciate your ministry, Kinney!

3:59 PM  
Blogger NaNcY said...

http://www.greggsgambles.com/wp-content/uploads/08-03-09_blog.htm

i do not know your email so i put this up here. this is a sermon to a congregation that i worship with sometimes.

there are others that are asking this question.

i would be interested in your thoughts.

8:20 PM  
Blogger NaNcY said...

this goes along with it...

http://www.ajschwanz.com/2008/03/11/taking-our-next-steps/

8:40 PM  
Blogger Royce Ogle said...

Preacherman,

Your topic prompted me to post on www.gracedigest.wordpress.com on this subject. I don't want to write a novel in your comments.

Thanks for timely and thought provoking posts as usual.

His peace,
Royce Ogle

9:40 PM  
OpenID johndobbs said...

Interesting responses, kinda all over the map. The question seems to be what we need to do to make a difference in the world. I appreciate the focus of the answers that relate to what happens in the world. We do not change the world from our pews.

I actually think that we make a difference in the world when we love. When we love one another as we should, the divisive walls fall and we love beyond our differences. The world notices. We love the sick and hurting, the world notices. When we love those who are far from the Kingdom, the world notices. When we only talk about love the world notices. When we despise and devour one another the world notices.

I also think we should quit thinking about changing the world and decide to love one person. If every one of us decided to love one person and give them light for their journey, how many people would find Christ? As long as there's a "we" and a "they" and it's a bit ole "world" out there...we can't make a difference. One person at a time.

Love is the answer. No matter how corny it sounds, what the world needs now is love sweet love.

10:19 PM  
Blogger Alan said...

Hi preacherman,

A lot of great thoughts have already been posted. I think it all boils down to loving your neighbor as yourself. We need to develop that kind of love in every member. That starts with teaching the Bible, considering how God loves us. But then we have to put it into practice. Leaders need to demonstrate what that looks like. And we need to take others along with us, in a sort of apprenticeship, to learn what love looks like "with skin on it" and to learn how good it feels to show love.

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

As usual another great topic. I think to move forward the church must look back to the early days of Christianity. Rather than bore you with a long list I will hit a few major points for the church. They are not in order of priority.

Stop acting like the world
Move out of the building and into the community.
Abandon the love of politics and practice loving those around us.
Demonstrate Christ’s love don’t talk about it.
Live a different economy than the world.
Practice and seek justice.
Love the bible, dare to preach from it.
Treat sin seriously. Correct our own lives before we point the finger at others.
Stop building big churches and start building quality churches.
Ban TV preachers ;)
Pray and be available to pray with.

This was just a brain dump.

5:49 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Terry,
Thank you so much brother for sharing with us all that your church is doing to make a difference in the community. I think those are excellent way to make a difference in the Kingdom. I praise you, and your wife for teaching. I praise your church for making the difference they are making in the world instead of be satified with just coming to Church on Sunday and Wed. and punching their cards. There are so many church that are just surviving or just there to be there to punch their cards who could care less about growing the church and making a difference for the Kingdom. Terry, thank you brother for sharing the good news with us. I hope your story and testimony will inspire other congregations to do the same.

8:57 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Nancy,
Thank you so much for the references. I love listening to other preachers give great messages. I am so glad that there are other Churches that are talking about this important topic.
God is to be praise!

8:58 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Royce,
Thanks brother for adding this discussion to your blog brother. I will check it out when I have a change.
God bless you!

8:59 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

John Dobbs,
It means so much to me brother that you would take time from your busy schedule to comment. I believe you are right on the money. We must love. As Jesus tells us as His followers that the world will know us by our love. Our love for one another and our love towards them as well. Paul sums it up in 1 Cor 13..."If we have not love it means nothing." Everything we do if we have not love it is means nothing and is useless. Love is the key. Thank you so much brother for stressing the importance of what make a difference. One person at a time. Relationships are the key. Thank you for sharing your godly wisdom with us brother. It means so much to me and I know to all the readers. God bless you, your ministry and as you make a difference for the Kingdom of God.

9:05 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Alan,
I am so thankful brother that you shared your thoughts with us all. You know how much you mean to me brother and how much I respect your opinions. You are stepping on my toes a bit. :-) I like that a lot because you are challenging me not to just teach it but to live the love of God in the flesh. Thank you for doing that brother. I totally agree that we should begin with the Bible showing how much God loved us and wants that relationship with us more than anything. I agree completely with what you are tell us as leaders to live love in the flesh. Let people see our love. Let's do it. Demonstrate it in the way we conduct our personal life, family life, lead the church in teach them how to love and putting it into real live "Faith." Put it into practice by showing the world that we authentically love them more than anything as God. I want to thank you so much. I apprecaite it.

9:11 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Mike,
Thank you for challenging us to live differently than the world. Challenging us to get into the word and live like Christ. Thank you for challenging us to get out of our pews, buildings and get out into our communities. The question is why don't we? I want us to start thinking about why aren't we more missional? Why aren't we getting out into our communities and letting people know about the God that loves them more than they can imagine? Why? Do we believe the God has given us a spirit of Power? We are more than Conquorer's? God is with us and if God is with us who can be against us (what can men do to us)? Are we ashamed of the gospel? What do you think?

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Stephen said...

Preachman, wonderful topic.
I think we need to get out and share the message of a God who loves no matter what we do in life. He forgives. He offers hope. He offers a better life than the world has to offer. We need no stress the Church of Christ is the only ones going to heaven but that God loves all men and that we are all sinners in need of grace. God wants all men and women to become his disciples. We need to stress these important things. Thank you preacherman for addressing this brother.

9:21 PM  
Blogger Keith Brenton said...

Love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength.

Love our neighbors as ourselves.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Brandon said...

I believe that in order for the church to realy make a difference in the 21st century is to live like Jesus. We need to treat people like he would treat them. I believe people want to become like Jesus. So, we need to do what we can to show the world who he was by our action, lifestyle.

10:21 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Keith,
Thanks for you comments brother.
You are so right: "Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with will of your mind. Love your neighbor as yourself." I believe each believer should strive to fullfil these two commands. In so do we complete the law. I am so glad that we don't have countless laws that God wants us to follow. These two are hard enough especially loving your neighbors when they can be your enemies. It is so hard but not burdensome. I think it is so wonderful that Jesus himself tells us that his commands are not burdensome. Keith thank you so much brother for pointing this out keep truth to us all. It is greatly appreciated brother.

I want to thank you for your prayers. I went to the neurologist on thursday and he changed medications and so far so good. I appreciate all you have done for me in prayer and want you to know you have made a difference in my Spiritual life as I read your blog, write for wineskins, and the difference you are making for the Kingdom. You are a true friend.

9:15 AM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Brandon,
Thank you so much for your comments brother. I believe you are right on target. You are always welcome anytime to blog here and share your thoughts. Thanks!

9:16 AM  
Blogger Stushie said...

Preach the Gospel, teach the truth, and heal the people.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

I agree with Brandon and would only add that I don't believe the world, today, has really heard the story. That's what Paul and the others did way back when. They simply told the story and showed how it impacted their lives. The sacrifices that they made showed others how real Christ was to them.

Thanks for a wonderful line of discussion.

1:32 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Ooooo - lots of good stuff here! I think I'll be visiting your blog on a regular basis. :-)

1:34 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Stushi,
I want to thank you for visiting my blog and want to welcome you back anytime that you would love to add to any discussion we may be having. I really think your comments that you shared and added to was great. Thank you for stressing to us that the truth is important. I believe we must never compromise the truth for the sake of what society says about certain issues. I believe and feel that leaders, pastors, ministers still need to stress what God desires for peoples life in order to put a smile on God's face and please Christ. Again, love for you to visit anytime and feel warm and welcome.

2:22 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Keith,
I want you to know that I appreciate you adding to this important discussion. I agree with brandon and you as well. I believe in the post-Christian society in which we are living the emerging generations who know very little about the Bible and Bible stories need to teach it and make it applicable to everyday life. You said it so well brother that I feel bad that I added to your comment. You are so right! :-) Thanks again for adding your thoughts and wisdom to this topic.

2:26 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Kim,
Thank you for visiting my blog. I would like to welcome you and want you to know that you are free to comment and add your opinions to topics at anytime.

2:28 PM  
Blogger josenmiami said...

hey preacherman... good to hear from you...thanks for your kind comments on my blog.

don't let me dampen your optimism...have you heard of the movie "Grouchy Old Men"? thats me right now. Probably should take whatever I say with a grain of salt!

love and blessings,

josenmiami

4:02 PM  
Blogger The Hornes'es said...

Thanks for the post on our blog! I appreciate the prayers!

4:28 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Josenmaimi,
That is okay.
I hope you get feeling better soon.
You are always welcome on my blog.

5:28 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

The Hornes'es
I also want you to know that you are welcome here at my blog anytime. You are welcome to comment on any topic. Love for you to share your thoughts. Thanks stopping by.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Bill said...

I think we need to change the way we do ministry. We must stop the program mentality and start ministering like Jesus. Meeting needs and offering hope.

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need to understand that being a missionary isn't someone overseas any more. We need to understand there are missionaries in the U.S. now.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Jan said...

I think it is time for women to have a more active role in the church. I think we need to be treat equal. I'm not eve! Don't treat me like I am less of a Christian just because I am a women. I need use the gifts that God has given me and I don't think a man should be able to say I'm sorry you can't use the gift God has called you to just because you are a women. I think if the church is going to be thrive in the 21st century it must treat women with love, respect, and allow them to use their gifts!

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Bill said...

I agree with Jan!

5:37 PM  
Anonymous bill said...

I at least know my wife feels

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Preacherman,

You asked me, "why". Are you sitting down?

Two things jump out at me. The first is that we don't really believe what the bible says. We say we do, but who wants to give an "extra tunic" to someone who does not have one? We agree with the verse but don't do it.

Second we have built a church culture that is so far from biblical truth, that we no longer know what is required of us. We sit at home reading Acts, then go to church on Sunday and it is all differnt.

That's my 1.5 cents.

Oh BTW, I have enjoyed everyone's commetns.

8:42 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Mike,
I have enjoyed your comments brother. I think your 1.5 cents is right! Thanks for sharing it with us all.

9:26 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

I as well have enjoyed all of the comments on this wonderful, important discussion. Thanks everyone!

9:27 PM  
Anonymous bill said...

Thank you preacherman!
You make us think.

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:32 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we need to show the world that we are not wierd. We need to show them that we have fun together. We go to hockey games together. We go to baseball, football, and concerts together. We go bowling. We have fun and enjoy entertainment and life together as Christians.

9:37 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

We will respect peoples opinions on this blog. I will not tolerate cursing on this blog because of different ideas.

9:39 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

Maybe we could do more to start remembering that we, before we were Christians, were once captives in Egypt, just like those we judge? (Homosexuals for example)

Exodus 10:6 & Luke 15:18 use the same words concerning sin. The Jewish people especially the judgmental Pharisees knew this well.

Perhaps Jesus was telling them that they were playing the wrong part in the story?

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Josh,

Good thought. Maybe we have become the Pharisees of our time?

10:54 AM  
Blogger tom said...

It may be cliche, but the phrase, You gotta be friends first, comes to mind. The idea is that you have to gain someone trust before you bop them over the head with the Bible. In my personal experience, people not raised in a CofC were turned off to CofC because the members automatically assumed they were heathens and were "defiled" because they didn't grow up in a CofC like they did. Consequently, these people did not attend a CofC very long. So not only the Church, but society as a whole is going to have to become more communal. We need to adopt the "house to house" mentality--(which I don't have much faith in happening, the world has evolved into so much global thought we don't know or don't care who our neighbors are). Basically, church growth will require a little more elbow grease on the part of the long-time members of the church. They might actually have to invite the new guy out to lunch and talk to him for a few minutes. Strange idea, but it just might work.

3:37 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Josh,
Excellent thoughts brother.
We need to live it.
We need to understand we have been set free and enjoy the life we have in Christ. Show it to the world. We need not to be hateful and condemning but show them the way of Christ Jesus. Great point brother.

3:45 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Mike,
Great thought brother.
Thanks for adding and agreeing with Josh. You make a great point!

3:46 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Tom,
You are right the CoC needs to change and become more loving and accepting of others. We need to get rid of the pride of the past and move forward in the love and grace of God. We need to let others see the CoC is Spirit filled, loving, merciful, graceous, forgiving and accepting. You are so right in not beating people up with the Bible but building relationships and become a community of believers. I do think there will be a huge change in the CoC over the next 30 years which is going to be wonderful and accepting to God! :-)
Thank you so much Tom for your thoughts and comments to this discussion. You are welcome here any time. :-)

3:50 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

I am no expert on what the church needs to do specifically, but you have the first part right, which is to ask the question. Good post and comments.

4:09 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Thanks Matthew.
I appreciate your encouraging comment.

8:24 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

I am enjoying this discussion very much. Everyones comments and diverse ideas is wonderful as we think about what the Church needs to need do to thrive in 21st Century.

11:00 PM  
Anonymous steve v. said...

Hello again,
I'm glad to hear that treatment is going well for you brother. We still pray for your improvement.

It's my opinion that the Church, which is the body of Christ made perfect through his blood, resurection and the grace of God, does not need to change. You heard me right - the Church does not need to change. If something is made perfect what would it change to - something less perfect?

Instead, I feel the Church must wake up. We have sat in our pews with our arms crossed for so long our legs and hends have fallen asleep. As you know when you physical arm or leg falls aseep you can still move it but use is very limited and painful. From my experience we have legs and arms that are asleep that can only do so much. Not until we fully wake up every part of the Body can we accomplish the full work God has set for the Church to do. We have fallen in to a time card mentality that says Church is where we go to get our card punched. And have compartmentalized our lives so much that the Church is not who we are but a place on our schedules, thus resulting in sleeping Body parts.

These are generalizations, not meant to attack but to wake the sleeping. I must go now, my legs just fell asleep sitting here at my desk.

With love in Christ!

9:58 AM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Steve V.
I want you to know you are always welcome to comment here and share your thoughts. I agree that the people are the Church. I love you illustration about the body being asleep and needing to wake up and do the job that they need to do. I understand that was not an attack but a great and important wake up call. Wonderful thoughts as always brother.

I am doing better.
Walking and can now hold my son.
I still am struggling with nerve pain and mirgraines.
I have about 3-4 migraines a week.
So I still apprecaite your prayers.
I am so glad you are doing well.
I hope your family is doing good.

Let's keep in touch.
You can do it here if you like.
You were a role model for me when you were at woodlawn. Your faith and example helped me to become the man I am today. Thanks brother. I often wonder about the others that were in the youth group with us and what and how they are doing.

Well, I've got to go my fingers are falling asleep. :-)

I hope you and your family have a blessed day brother.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous steve v. said...

Praise God!
Holding a little miracle is something that I take for granted. I rejoice that you have made improvements and now can hold your miracle. To God be the glory even in the little things.

Brother, your words are too kind; but greatly appreciated. They are a much needed encouragement.

You were always a joy to be around and I could tell you would do great things in God's kingdom, and it appears you have done so. Keep up the great work and God bless you. The man you have turned out to be is a great testiment to God our Father, he has placed in you great gifts that he continues to use to build up the Body, even in physical adversity.

Does your father still have that volkswagen bug he always drove? I loved that thing as a kid.

I ran into Tera a few years back. She got married and had two kids and lived in the Dallas area. As far as anyone else I don't know. I think back to those days often and smile. Like the time we shoe polished the youth minister's truck and he got really mad because he misread what was written on his windshield. The gig was up because we had to explain it to him and at the same time confess our guilt. Maybe that was his way of finding out who did it.

God bless you and your family!

11:41 AM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Steve V,
I remeber Tera. I am glad she is doing great. I do remember that time of shoe polishing the youth minister truck. I thought it was funny. My dad sold his bug a while back, I was so sad when he did it. I loved that old bug. I remember as kid climbing through the windows like the Dukes of Hazzard.

I hope you have a blessed day brother!

12:25 PM  
Blogger NaNcY said...

eyes and hearts
on the
Love of God

your eyes and heart is on the Love of God, my brother.

you are a blessing.

12:26 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Thank you Nancy.
I appreciate your encouragement.

1:31 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Robert Murray McCheyne said, "A holy man is an awesome weapon in the hands of God." Do we have holy men and women who will to do their part to help the 21st Century Church thrive and be the influence they need to be?

1:32 PM  
Blogger jel said...

Thanks Preacherman!

and thank your boys for me!



take care!

blessings

2:44 PM  
Blogger jel said...

Thanks Preacherman!

and thank your boys for me!



take care!

blessings

2:47 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

I am currently reading Alivin L Reid's book "Join the Movement: God's calling You to Change the World." It is an excellent book on challenging the Church to get involved in making a difference in their churches and reaching out to the emerging generations. On pg. 29 he has a quote by Van Haver which says: "It is about time today to quit playing church- thse meetings that start 11 sharp and end at 12 dull." What do you think about this quote by Vance Hanver. Is it time for us to stop playing church and bacsically get real with our Christianity and discipleship? Is that one way in which we can make the Church thrive in the 21st Century?

2:50 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Thanks Jel for stopping by.
I will tell them for you.
I hope you have a blessed day!

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Preacherman,

You know that's were I am at. To me it seems one big game or production.

The exciting thing is more and more peole are refusing to play the game. They want discipleship even though it is hard.

It is interesting to see the concern rising in Church cycles. But, established patterns are hard to change.

3:08 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Mike,
I believe we should make disciples. I think we have failed in the past to make disciples. I think our focus (Church of Christ) was dunk them (baptism) and failed to make disciples of Jesus Christ. I love how you see the order. In Matthew 28:19-20 "Jesus undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: "God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and tran everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of my life, markeing them by baptism in the threefold name: Fahter, Son and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I'll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age." The Message Translation.
I like how Eugene H. Peterson puts it: "Train them in the way of my life. Antoher words make disciples of Jesus Christ first. THEN BAPTIZE. Then train.

I hope we all strive to be disciples of Christ Jesus & strive to get as many as we can to do the same. Follow the way of the life Jesus. Read and follow the red letters!

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Jill said...

I think women will have a more important role in the near future and in over next 30 years as these older ministers die and we have more free thinking preachers who aren't legalistic.

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Jill said...

I think women will have a more important role in the near future and in over next 30 years as these older ministers die and we have more free thinking preachers who aren't legalistic.

4:48 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Be real. Other things could bring growth I guess, but to what end?

7:01 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Thanks.
l.l Barkat for your wisdom and comments. I appreciate it!

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Stacie said...

I agree with Jill.
Women need let their gift be shown in the Church and in the world. I do think things will change for the better when a bunch of the older people go on to heaven. I feel like they hold us back by their rules. I feel they are sacred of change. We all need to change and become more loving and Christ like.

7:22 PM  
Blogger Alan said...

Just a note of thanks for stopping by my blog. I read yours fairly often but I don't believe I have ever posted to it. I am an ex-elder from Stockton, California but moved a couple of years ago to Portland, Oregon. Our kids and grandkids live in Oregon.

1:25 AM  
Blogger Gord said...

Great post for debate.

I think I shall add my two cents.

I am sorry if I repeat anyones ideas but I just cannot take the time today to read all the comments. But, I must say that I have enjoyed the ones I did read.

A wise soul once told me that in order to succeed I must diversify. In other words, don't put all your eggs in one basket. Do you know what I mean?

In our fast changing culture of microchips and jet planes, fast cars and fast food, one thing remains - change. All things change but change remains.

In order for the church to succeed it must embrace change. It must not stray from its mandate, but it must change as culture changes.

There are many various media and communication avenues open to us than ever before in all of world history. If the church remains confined to its traditions too tightly, she may miss the greatest opportunities for evangelism the world has ever known.

For example, how many people can be reached for Jesus through various internet ministries? What about workplace evangelism? Radio? television? Podcasts? Text messaging? Email? Home groups? The list goes on.

The local church is an important fixture in our communities, but if the church doesn't move beyond the church foyer then the salt has truly lost its savor.

Diversify - and spread the word.

Blessings.

2:02 AM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Alan,
I want you to know that you are welcome to comment on my blog anytime, on any topic that I am discussing. I appreciate you and your blog as well. I visit it often. I hope you and your family are liking OR. I live in hot Texas, yesterday it it was near 90 with thurderstorms. I live about an hour from Mexico. We have Illegals pass by our church every once in a while. Alan, I hope you have a blessed week brother.

8:36 AM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Gord,
I totally agree with what you are saying in order for us to understand the culture and reach out to the culture the Church must change in order to make the difference and thrive. I totolly understood brother. I always apprecaite you stopping by and adding to the discussion. I like what you say, "If the church doesn't leave the church foryer than the salt has truely lost it savor." Wonderful thought for us all to think about!
Diversify and spread the word.
I like that!

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Simon said...

What does the church need to do in order to thrive in the 21st century? I think we as ministers need to preach God's incredible love and grace. We need to offer people hope and a new life in Jesus Christ by becoming a part of a community.

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Stanley Wright said...

I do think we need to show love and grace to this generation. We need to show them Jesus in our lives by the way we life. We need to show them the real Jesus of the Bible. The Word of God. It is still powerful and active. Thanks Preacherman for getting us to us our brains.

3:27 PM  
Anonymous Freddie said...

I love reading all of these different comments. I believe we need to love every ethnic group in the church and show that we can worship no matter what race or ethnics group we are with as Christians. We can worship white, black, hispanic and asian. We not be prejudice and let the things that might make us prejudice die. Ask God to take that away and feel our heart with His love. We need to show our love to one another and to the world in order to thrive. Just my opinion. Thanks Preacherman for this topic. I enjoy reading your blog even though I may not comment often. You always are on the edge. You are always talking about what needs to be address in the Christian community.

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom,
YOu said everything I was going to say brother.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Todd said...

The church isn't perfect. We are all sinnners saved by the grace of God. (Eph2:1-10). Thank God for his grace over the year though the church has continued in various forms. It is my prayer that we unify. Can we set aside our difference for the sake of the church. Can we agree on doctrine and theology? Can we be ONE as Jesus & God are one. I pray that we, all denominations will be one as he is one. Help us God!

4:27 PM  
Anonymous steve v. said...

Hello brothers and sisters,
This has nothing to do with the current thread (maybe more to do with it once I proccess it all), but we need your prayers - of praise, thanksgiving and care.

I live in San Angelo, Texas and about 12:30am we had a tornado pass through part of the town. It came within two blocks of our house and did minor damage to ours but ome pretty heavy damage to others. Thankfully the damage was confined to a small area and mostly unoccupied business buildings. There have been no reports so far on injuries, but I believe there were none.

Just prior to the storm hitting I got my wife and children to the center of the house and under a bed matress. Once there the kids were pretty scared, first time tornadoers. So as a family we went to God in prayer and praise. My wife and I would take turns praying out load then we would sing some songs to drownd out the tremendous noise made by the storm. Today I took the kids out and showed them the damage and how close it was to our house. I tried my best to explain, to a 10 & 7 year old, faith and God's hand at work protecting his children.

Time will tell, but I could tell by the look in their eyes that seeing the evidence gave them more confidence in God.

This raises a good question - in going into all the world, are we showing the evidence of God working in our lives?

Thank you for your prayers.

5:56 PM  
Blogger iggy said...

Forgive me if this has been stated... as I have not been able to read all the comments...

Great conversation though of what i have read.

For me it is mos central around understand a few things.

1. Grace. If we do not have a proper understanding of grace and do not filter our views through it we will mot truly be able to love as ought to. Grace was the window that opened love to us.

2. Love. TO love others both unbelievers and believers without OUR agendas attached. This means we love our neighbor in action and words and do not seem them as some sort of prospect to get to church so the pastor can preach at them. It means getting a little messy and dirty with some really screwed up people... you know like you and me! = )

3. While Jesus now sits on the throne next to the Father, we are His literal Body here on earth now. This Body (the church) is not an institution, but a living organism. Now, in living organisms there need be structure. We have a skeleton and if it did not grow with the rest of the body we would be hurting... so structure is needed. Even some of the gifts are things like "administration". So we need not do away with the structure as it will not help hold up the Body, but also we are not to be like bugs with exoskeleton and have the bones on the outside as it becomes like armor.

Mostly we are called to be like Jesus here and now. In this we bring the Kingdom to others. While programs are not the 'answers' they are not the enemies, unless they replace the Holy Spirit.

Be Blessed,
iggy

7:18 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Steve V.
Praise God!!!!!
I am so glad you and your family are safe. Wow. I will pray for those families who had their cars and homes damaged. I bet your kids were shocked and amazed. I am soooooo glad you are O.K. San Angelo is just about an 1 and a half from Rocksrpings we should meet for dinner at Chedders or something. It would be good to visit.
Thanks for your comments and andding to the discussion as well.

7:50 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Iggy,
I want to thank you so much for you comments. All of your points are so right on the money. I want as a minister to get them into church to preach to them but to do real ministry and show them Jesus Christ.
Thank you so much again for your wisdoom. You are welcome at this blog anytime brother. God bless your ministry too.
I hope you have a blessed week!

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Mitchell Williams said...

In order for the church to survive and thrive in the 21st Century. We must show love. God is love. Christianity is loving God and your neighbor.

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really enjoy all so many that care about this issue. I love reading everyone's comments. I don't think I could add anything that hasn't already been said by others. Thanks Preacherman for keeping us thinking about the future of the Church and reaching the lost for Jesus.

7:58 PM  
Blogger Darin L. Hamm said...

Preacherman,

Since you asked and I must admit I have not read all posts so here goes.

Each place is different. Each area has its own vibe and character. The church needs to get this.

I can't copy what someone did in Chicago.

Think about a place like Austin, TX were 80% of the people consider themselves non-Christian or out of church.

Throw that up against the great state of Oklahoma where 70% say they have a church family.

The accuracy of such numbers doesn’t matter, that is what the people say.

Well if you are seeking the out of church in 70% Oklahoma that will be different than seeking out of church in Austin, TX.

The church is starting to get over the McDonald's idea about as fast as McDonald's is.

The church is thriving, we just need to learn from where it is and ask how can we take that to our culture and put it in context and understand results might be different because it is a different place.

Glad you asked?

8:03 PM  
Blogger iggy said...

Preacherman,

With this many comments you seem to be reaching a lot of people with the message of God's love.

My prayer is that you are even more blessed.

I hope to get to know you more! = )

iggy

8:10 PM  
Blogger Brian Bowen said...

Iggy, you hit on some of the same things I was thinking as well. Programs are not the enemy, they are simply one facet of a thriving church. I agree they can help provide some structure and a defined path of discipleship.

You see as we talk about the church thriving, almost everyones thoughts have shifted to reaching the unchurched. I agree 100% it is our mandate to tell the gospel to the world, not only in word but in action as well. But once someone accepts Jesus, they still need the church. Its a process of growth. Moving from being an infant believer to being a mature follower of Christ.

I think its important that we have a defined path to help move people from simply the point of salvation to actually living out their salvation each and every day. Of course this isnt a new concept right? I mean, have you read Pauls letters? I also think an important part of a thriving church is a unified vision. Every program, ministry, whatever... needs to be working towards the same goal and within the same vision.

Many times each individual program or ministry is headed up by someone with great leadership potential. If there isn't a vision, one will form and each program becomes isolated and individual working towards its own vision. The problem is, this tends to divide the church as people compete for resources and as people try to "recruit" others to buy into their vision.

Whereas if each ministry aligns itself within the vision for the entire church, there is much less division. Not sure if that exactly explained the thoughts in my mind... but it will have to do.

7:51 AM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Thanks Iggy.
I hope to get to know you more to brother.
I pray God blesses your weekend.

11:07 AM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Brian Bowen,
I totally agree.
I still am debating program whether they are the way of the future. I don't know. I know that they have done good for today's church but reaching the emerging generation's I'm not quite sure. I done know if program will work or be as affect as they are now.

Thank you so much Brian for sharing your thought brother.
I really appreciate it brother.
It means a lot.
I hope you will continue to visit.
I want you to know you are always welcome here brother.

11:12 AM  
Anonymous nick gill said...

Kinney,

I think you set some kind of Preacherman blog record! This is amazing! You really touched a nerve!

Here's my quick thoughts:

PRAY

SEE

FORGIVE

DO

Some guy named Jeff Walling preached about the question, "Simon, do you see this woman?" in Luke 7 one time, and it really hooked me.

1:19 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Yes, it looks like I did touch a nerve. I think that this so much an important topic. We must keep talking.

11:40 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Wow, whar a thread!

Great question and comments.

I don't know what to add. Our church right now is exploring this very quesstion. We have a community garden just starting this Spring. We want to reach out into the community and really already do.

Yes I agree, it boils down to the first and great commandment, and the second like it. And authenticity. We're all in this together, and we need to see others as those we're called to serve, in Jesus.

3:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I offended ancient wanderer, seems he/she thinks I want to turn Church into a circus, but I actually love the Lord and spend very deliberate time with him, and with my congregation. I love church anyway you want to give it to me as long as Christians act like Christians and show their love for each other. I know far to many Children and teens who’s parents do not own bibles, do not pray with their children, do not take them to church .and I would have to say that even their parents failed them. Teens that do not know God turn to drugs, they are searching for something more, they have a void that only knowledge of Jesus can fill. I certainly believe that when Christians come together it is a Holy event and would never want to reduce it to a flea market. I was really speaking to the same when I said I don't really like segregation in ages, because to many teens just go for their peers not for the lesson (though they still learn) but they have to act like a teen with their peers and I think they benefit from being with mature Christians full of faith and knowledge of the word. Some senior Christians could learn a thing or two from them as well. Their battles are harder than ever before.

4:05 AM  
Blogger Royce Ogle said...

At a minimum there is lots of interest in this subject!

His peace,
Royce

8:41 AM  
Anonymous Todd said...

I think all the comments are wonderful to read. I totally agree with preaching and teaching love and grace. I think we should also live Jesus!

6:03 PM  
Blogger japhy said...

I don't want to sound like an old fogey (I'm only 26) but I think the Church needs to accept its roots (its Jewish origins), accept its history (its Gentile contribution), accept its organic development (its increased understanding of the sacred mysteries)... and reject a compromise with secularism.

In other words, the Church needs to not be afraid that it's not "current" enough, because then religion becomes a fad that could go out of style. Christianity is eternal in scope. I'm not saying it will (or should try to) stay the "same"... that would be denying it the organic development that is part of being led into all truth by the Holy Spirit. I am saying, though, that just because something is "old" in the eyes of the world does not make it junk in the eyes of God.

For instance -- one of my pet peeves -- does God need multimedia extravaganzas for right worship, or do we need multimedia extravaganzas for feeling like we've worshiped God? Or, does every second of worship have to be occupied by some sound or motion... or can we not be still and silent before the throne of our Lord?

6:21 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Japhy,
Great wisdom from a 26 year old!:-)
Thanks for your wonderful thoughts brother.

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Sam said...

Preachman,
I love the topics you come up with brother. I think we need to let our light shine before all men that they may see our deed and glorify God!

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God bless you Preacherman!

12:24 AM  
Anonymous Stan said...

I do think this is an important topic that we need to continue talking about because we do need to make such a difference in our world instead of the world impacting us.

12:25 AM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Royce,
Your right
I am glad.
And Excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!

| hope we will be more missional in the future.

12:27 AM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

I think we need to be a people of prayer. Thank you Preacherman for asking these important questions for us to think upon.

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Women need a more active and ledersip role. I think we will see it over next 10-20 years. Women serving communion, leading prayers, deaconnesses, and even preachers.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Pastor Johnny said...

Preacherman,
Wonderful topics as always. Keep them up brother! I love reading your blog because of the topics. I agree women will be taking a more active and leadership role in the church.

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