preacherman

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Programs

Churches today have different programs or ministries to offer members and outsiders. I have often found that many ministries or programs that churches have or offer are for internal relationship building and internally focused. Don't get me wrong I think it is great to minister and care for, meet needs of members. The questions I have are towards our main focus as Christians and that is outreach. Are programs the best way to do outreach? Is it easy to become internally focused and neglect or forget our mission of seeking the lost? I do think certain programs and ministries can attract those who are already seeking or looking for a church to meet certain needs in their life. What about those who aren't already seeking, those who are unchurched, don't have a relationship with God? Is there a better way?

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

24 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, there is a way. Soul winning is the name for it, some call it witnessing. Led by the Holy Spirit a person would invite another out to church to here what the Lord has laid upon the heart of the man of God.

3:20 AM  
Blogger Jon Gibson said...

Been struggling through this myself. Some programs can simply be there to "entertain" us or keep us busy. Others are purposeful. By building churches on programs alone, we can have a tendency to foster the same consumeristic tendencies with which our culture struggles.

7:19 AM  
Blogger Stephen Phillip Porter said...

Church programs are too often geared to entertaining the members.

Children's Church and Youth groups do little more than pass the buck of teaching the scriptures from parents to overworked, under-appreciated staff.

Small groups can create cliques. Choirs can create spectacles. Dramas help us to feel catharsis about sharing Jesus with others. The list can go on and on.

Our goal ought not to be entertainment but empowerment.

Turn your children's group into a family group with involved parents. Teach a lesson in your small group one week then go put it into practice in the community the next. Teach your choir to worship God alone and encourage the congregation to worship with you. Take your dramas to the streets and encourage the spectators to become participants and to know and follow Jesus Christ.

9:51 AM  
Blogger kaleymayer said...

Thank you for the thought provoking questions. Though I have to say I disagree with your premise, "The questions I have are towards our main focus as Christians and that is outreach."

Is that our main focus as believers? To win the lost? Then why is 95% of what the apostles wrote about Christ? Only the remaining 5% was outreach. Our focus is living (abiding) in Christ. To grow up into the full mature stature of Christ as a Body as Paul put it. To "be the fullness of Him who fills all things in all." (Eph 1:22-23).

Our focus, our life is Christ. Outreach depends on if who we focus on wants to go that route. If Christ is not at the moment, then we do what we see Him doing. If Christ is at the moment, then we do what we see Him doing.

Just my humble thoughts... I could be wrong :)

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Steve Simms said...

Sharing spiritual life with others is very effective. Programs, too often, lack spiritual life.

11:15 AM  
Blogger Stephen Phillip Porter said...

Kaley,

I humbly agree that Christ is our all in all, and He is the complete focus of every Christian's life.

That said, Christ says a lot of things that show His heart is in outreach all the time: Matthew 25:34-40 is a good example.

A good friend of mine once said, "we never need to ask if it's God's will that we share the Gospel, just as we never need to ask if it's God's will that we pray, help the needy, be righteous, etc. The scriptures make it abundantly clear that these are things He's passionate about."

However, we do need to seek His will on how to go about these things. Doing them by our own power leads to the very programs we're discussing here.

Hope that makes sense. God bless!

11:30 AM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Anonymous,
Thanks for your thoughts. Witnessing is a powerful way to share the good news. The way the Holy Spirit works in our lives, giving us what to say and how to say it I have found to be helpful.

7:50 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Jon,
Thanks for your thoughts and comment. I agree that so many programs can entertain and keep us busy. I have seen many of my fellow ministers burn out or tire because of busyness of some of the programs within the church. Yes others are purposeful. I love how you say and remind us that "we can have tendency to foster the same consumeristic tendencies with wich our culture struggles"...how true. How true.

7:53 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Stephen,
Thanks for your thoughts on this topic. As a former youth minister I saw that many times. As a youth minister I was expected by many of the parents to be the one to teach the bible, councel and even at times correct. I love how you stress the empowerment. There is the key and difference. empowering people to do exactly what you mention. Powerful. Imagine what church would be like if this was implimented. Lived. Practiced.

7:59 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Kale,
Thanks for sharing. I agree that we should abide in Christ. Practice spiritual disciplines that help our relationship with Christ. I do think we as Christians have focused too much on the apostles teachings. We read, teach, preach, study Paul, Peter, James more than we do Jesus. Jesus was about meeting the needs of those who needed God the most. Jesus focused on the outsiders. Yes, he spent time caring and teaching his disciples but Christ main focus was ministering to those that the religious ignored. I think maybe the apostles discuss only 5% outreach because they assumed that we would understand that was essential. I often wonder how the Church today would be if we focused more on the gospels instead of the apostles. I think that might even change the way do ministries or programs within churches.

8:08 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Steve,
Thanks for you comment. I greatly appreciate it. What do you mean by sharing spiritual life with others? What does that invovle?

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