So What’s Next?

That the 21st century church is being rocked is evident. Who among us does not know of a once strong church on the brink of nonexistence. Fingers of blame can be pointed in various directions.

Most certainly we have done injury to ourselves. We have continued steadfast in presenting a message in terms no longer understood by the masses around us. We have turned inward and failed to acknowledge must less anticipate the cultural shift represented by post-modernism. We have gone to war with each other over often insignificant issues. We have witnessed the rise and success of other churches with bewilderment.

So what’s next? Our past methods currently don’t deliver. Gospel Meetings have long since stopped being an evangelistic tool. The days of the door-to-door campaign being effective are behind us. Just what can we do to reconnect to our culture with the good news of Christ?

Someone said it is all about being relevant. I agree.

Any ideas?

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10 Responses to So What’s Next?

  1. CFOURMAY says:

    The way to the community is to help your community. One good idea is to start with the poorest house in your community and fix it up some. Do something such as Habitat for Humanity except through the church. Get members of the congregation to mentor in public schools, clean up parks, etc. The way to save souls is to serve the community. That is my personal belief. Make your congregation one that is involved in the community and people will want to know more about you. Jesus would heal the sick and perform miracles to serve others, we must serve others in whatever way we can.

  2. JD says:

    C4, you’re singing my song!

    A soul was saved here a few weeks ago at a “Gospel Meeting”. The man said simply, “I didn’t know I needed to be baptized.” His heart was open – that was, of course, the key.

    I think we will find the connectors very different as time goes by. In the 80s we had ‘seeker services’, ‘separate and apart’ from the regular services.

    Today churches are having emergent gatherings and such….why?

    What if we had a Friday night service that was TRULY geared toward outsiders. Let’s see… have it in a neutral location … tell a story instead of preach a sermon … have a band instead of a singalong … serve coffee instead of cracker and juice … hang out instead of run off afterwards to get to someplace you WANT to be. Why don’t we ‘go for broke’ and just give it a roll?

    (substitute any cutting-edge over-the-top idea in the place of the one above, it doesn’t change the point).

    The people down at church who do not understand it nor have convictions on becoming all things to all men to win all men – will keep us from it.

    We have let the dead in Christ keep the church dead for a long time. The result? What do you think.

  3. CFOURMAY says:

    By the way JD, I meant to give you credit on the idea of fixing up the poorest house in the community idea. I believe that one came from you.

  4. rurscmhcea says:

    I think that we are shooting ourselves in the foot. In the church today we have become so obsessed with the worldly view of left or right when most of the time in the matters at hand the middle road it closer to the truth. I have seen a sad thing from growing up in a very active youth group not many of the people that i grew with are still active members or the church and some attend other demonations. as a young family we hardly ever go to gospel meetings anymore. I think for me comming from the “YOUTH DAY” generation maybe a format like that might be effective. I just think that to get in the community 1st you need more locations and those locations cannot come from SPLITS they should come from earnest mission work. In the past 7 years i have been through 3 splits. When we have mess going on like this how do we expect to grow in true maintaing numbers. I think we first have to heal ourselves from the massive infighting that has occured in the past few years and then we can truly be noticed as living for Christ in our communities not by deeds to be seen of men but of our true Christian duty. Just thoughts

  5. JD says:

    rurscmhcea, great point on the splits… we need to cooperate in getting the word out … not just get mad at each other and divide up – but call it a new mission.

  6. Danny says:

    rurscmhcea, your expereince of seeing you former youth group friends leaving the church is unfortunately not unique. Somewhere along the way we are not helping many of our young people develop a faith of their own. We have enough youth group activities but fail to equip for the long haul.

    It would be awesome to have more joint participation in planning and directing evangelistic efforts but all too often we can’t because we have become too fearful and suspecious of each other.

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thngs the same ways and expecting different results. JD and C4, your different take is worth discussion.

  7. CFOURMAY says:

    rurscmhcea, I agree that division is a huge problem in the church. I am from one of those youth groups where there are only two of us that still attend church out of about 8 that are close to my age. It is sad. I would have to say that I don’t agree that we need to heal ourselves first. I believe that if we would quit looking at ourselves and trying to fix every little problem and do some work for the community and try to fix its problem (which is ultimately not having Christ) then we wouldn’t have to fight over our own disagreements in the church. If a church is fighting and in a division I would venture to say it is because people have to much time to think about “church” problems and issues. Worry and think of solutions for the community and I think there would be a decrease in splits. There will always be divisions, but I do think that would help.

  8. rurscmhcea says:

    WE have to be in the community we are commanded to do this as christians not for the sake of being seen but as a living example of being a christian. We get those people in the door though and we drive them away with our in fighting why come here when they can’t even agree. The retention problem is huge I sometimes think that some of us just got wet, of course I think we need a focus on the Meat of the word a true understanding to keep people

  9. JD says:

    What is RELEVANT (besides a great magazine/website/podcast)?

    Relevant to whom?

    Would we rather be specifically relevant to various age groups in various services/activities … or … try to be relevant to everyone at once? (This has nothing to do with the message, btw.)

    Isn’t relevance tempered by love … do we love each other encough to not have to have our way all the time? More importantly, does love demand that we let a small percentage of the church have their way all the time?

    Do we think that being nice is the same as being relevant? Even Wal-Mart has greeters. So what?

    Is it scary to be relevant?

    If we are brave enough to be relevant, are we going to have to admit that we do not know all the answers to the modern dilemmas?

    Even more, if we admit that we do not know all the answers … are we admitting that the Bible does not address every single problem a person might have (as I was taught growing up)?

    I figure Danny can answer all of these, so that’s why I posted them here instead of on my blog!

  10. Danny says:

    LOL. Thanks JD. I do have the answers. I will answer them on your blog! đŸ™‚

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