God is unlimited. We are not. Therefore, we should put our focus on reaching and discipling people for Jesus Christ.
There is a natural tendency for congregations to do what they’ve always done. Certainly, the Bible tells us what we should do. We are to worship, witness, continue in the apostles’ doctrine (Bible study and biblical preaching), partake of the Lord’s Supper, and build biblical fellowship centered on Jesus.
Now, the Bible doesn’t give detail about how to carry this out. Scripture tells us to “not forsake the assembling of ourselves together (Heb. 10:25), but it doesn’t tell us if we need to meet Sunday morning and evening or to whether to meet on Wednesday night. A pastor might feel he must have messages prepared for each of these times. Yet his time could better be used in having events that connect to the community for evangelism.
To start, a congregation needs to have a specific plan on what it should do. What does it want to accomplish? I know that spiritual measurements are difficult, but there should be a correlation between what we are trying to accomplish and what we are doing.
Prayer meetings are good. But how much praying is going on? A church I served had a prayer meeting. I observed a meeting before leading. Actually, not much time was put into praying. A lot of it was in sharing requests related to sick people, and I’ll tell you, if I’m sick I want people to pray for me. But are churches praying for the lost? I changed the prayer meeting by doing such things as having us break into small groups to spend more time actually praying. Some people stopped attending; they didn’t like any change in the prayer meeting.
Bible study is important. But are Sunday School classes and life groups designed to reach outside people?
We need to ask more questions about how to fulfil our purpose, and then follow through with methods that reach biblical goals.
Please contact me if you need help with church consultation.
Ashton C. “AC” Smith