LET’S CONSIDER OUR JOURNEY
As I’ve been thinking and praying about The Church, and what makes a church, The Church. A lot of ideas and thoughts have crossed through my mind. The trouble is organizing them so they make sense and have value. I want this to be more than the ramblings of what we find to be frustrating, discouraging, lacking, or annoying about church. For a healthy outcome we need a healthy objective; a course by which to travel and a willingness to hear and listen to what God might be saying and teaching.
The hope of our discussion is to discover the ingredients that make up a “healthy” church. I propose this question. “What makes a church, The Church?” In other words, what is it that defines us as God’s chosen people; called out of this world to be His hands and feet? What is the church? What does it look like? What does it do? How does it function? How does it grow and how does it cause growth? What was it like when Peter, John, Paul, and the other Apostles led worship, discipled, served, spread the gospel, and welcomed sinners? And what are we doing today to echo their actions?
For a journey like this, we need a road map. Something to help us steer our discussion, organize our thoughts, present what the Word of God says, and to respond to the ideas of man. So here is what I am thinking.
Post One: What was the church?
– What was it that made the church unique, set apart, and so powerful? For this we will look at the book of Acts. I want to wade through the significance of how they worshipped and grew together and how God added to their numbers daily.
Post Two: What is most important to the heart of God?
– What is the purpose of the church? What is it that God want us to be most concerned about? For this we will look at the words of Christ in the book of Matthew. (If you know me well, you can guess what I’ll bring to the table on this.)
Post Three: The Importance of Biblical preaching and teaching!
– One of the most dangerous mistakes we make is watering down the Word of God so that it is easier for sinners to stomach. Let’s discuss the importance of Biblical preaching and teaching.
Post Four: Leadership that Commits to Godly-Leadership.
– Leading a church is nothing like running a business. The second most dangerous mistake is turning over the reigns to a group who is not about being obedient to God. How should the church be governed? How should it function so that it is healthy? This will be a tough topic, but hopefully we can wade through it together.
Post Five: Traditions, Confessions, and Creeds.
– The church is filled with ideas, opinions, interpretations, and theories, so how do we come together in our diversity? Wiser men than us have debated, argued, studied, and written about matters of doctrine and Theology providing a framework for the church to be built with.
Post Six: Getting through the doors.
– Church isn’t to be kept to the confines of four walls and a roof. Why is it so important to get the Church to be THE CHURCH! From programs to ministry and how the church impacts the world for the Glory of God!
Post Seven: Counting Heads.
– Many pastors like to boast about their numbers. They secretly compete with one another, inflating numbers hoping to out do the other in the numbers game. It seems ridiculous, but the numbers are important. A healthy church is a growing church! Why we need to consider and concern ourselves with numerical growth.
Post Eight: Counting Hearts.
– With numbers on the rise, let’s turn our attention to discipling the hearts of our congregation. While numbers are important, we cannot forget that Spiritual growth is the number two purpose of the church. (Number one is that we worship God.) The church can grow in numbers, appearing to be a thriving and alive ministry. But if there isn’t spiritual growth among the congregation, the church is simply a walking, talking corpse.
Post Nine: Living Through the Battles.
– We are a fallen and cursed people. Because of this Biblical fact, the church is subject to the sinfulness of man. So how does the church negotiate through the struggles of man? How does it overcome the non-essential, frivolous, and divisive junk that can bog it down; prevent the church from being The Church?
Post Ten: If I were to start a Church, I would do this…
– Thanks to many conversations in a dark parking lot at 10 and 11 at night, I have my own thoughts as to what I would want to see used as foundational building blocks if I were to start a church. What’s critical and what’s not?!
It’s a lot to cover, but I hope you will join me. As always, please share your thoughts, ideas, and comments in the comment box below.