The book of Acts shows us the story of the gospel advancing around the world. The good news is preached and churches are planted. Along the way, however, we read of various internal issues the church leaders face.
One of them appears in Acts 6. The Greek-speaking widows aren’t being cared for adequately, so pastoral steps are taken in order to give attention to their needs. Spirit-filled servants are appointed for this task; the widows receive proper care; the unity of the church is protected; ministry is shared; and the apostles continue to spend most of their time praying and preaching the Word (Acts 6:4, 5:42).
There has been a lot of discussion recently about why kids leave the faith. People have rightly drawn attention to the role of poor theology, the importance of kids owning their faith, the significance of intellectual issues such as the apparent tension between science and religion, and more.
There are few things as sad as watching a once great church grow old, become irrelevant and slowly die. What is worse is that they either don’t know they’re dying, or they simply don’t care as long as those remaining are happy. Sadly, I have witnessed this more times than I wish to count. In addition, I have attended this type of church before.
If you’re a ministry leader, you’re eventually going to create a practice, policy or procedure that’s not all that popular. And chances are, your volunteers are going to be the ones to enforce that policy on the front lines:
There are a lot of misunderstandings about small churches and the people who pastor them.
-That we’re a problem to be fixed
-That we could be bigger if we’d just follow the latest 8-step church growth plan
-That we can only do good ministry when we hit a certain critical mass
and so on
There are 10 things church visitors never want to hear, so why not help our church folks learn NOT to say them?
You’ve been a church visitor at some point, right?
Ever heard something you wish you didn’t hear, right off the bat?
I’ve got a few nobody really wants to hear. Some I’ve heard personally. Others I’ve heard as they were told to someone else.
“Awake thou that sleepest and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light” (Ephesians 5:14).
A pastor I know has a problem. It’s not unlike that experienced by a large group of his peers, I imagine.
He has deacons who are undisciplined, church members who do not take care of the hurting in their midst, and in general, a congregation of unmotivated people. When he preaches evangelism or discipleship or ministry in their community, the way they sit and stare makes him wonder if the language he’s using might be a foreign tongue to them.
The climate of Christianity today can make it easy for us to take global missions and growth of the church for granted. We imagine that missions has just always existed as we see it today. It is important that we take the time to understand the history of modern missions, because it shows us God’s character and encourages us in our efforts for the spread of the Gospel.
Guest friendliness has been a constant theme on this blog and podcast over the past few years. There’s even a book that came out of these discussions. Today, we look at a classic post on the subject and unpack several ways churches actually push guests away.
Myth #1: Evangelism is something I do myself.
The call to carry out the Great Commission feels heavy when we picture ourselves alone, laboring away to share good news. Anything in the Christian life feels heavy if I’m envisioning a rough road and myself walking along it by myself.