Went to a Conference on Saturday Before I broke out with a 102.4 degree fever and was down for the count for the next several hours.....but hey the devil will get you when and how he can! Any way one of the sessions I went to was on Evangelism. I agreed on most of the stuff that was said, but this whole attitude of casting out tradition from church needs to be nipped! I got what the man was saying, but it did sound like he could have been saying exactly that....get rid of the traditions in the church and it will grow....like I said that's not what he said but I think it could easily be interpreted as such. I think tradition for the sake of tradition IS worthless. It might be fun and a neat activity, but if it's just something you do because you've always done it then it needs to be evaluated. One of his points that poked me a little was the singing of the Doxology. Now if you know the song you'll know that it is a great song. "Praise God from whom all Blessings flow.......". Now his point was about how churches get into a set routine where they do the same things over and over every week, they have the same offertory the same benedictions the same this that and the other and on the third sunday of each month they sing Old Rugged Cross.
Now the church this guy is preaching at has had great growth, but he claimed something that kind of made me cringe....."We are a mile wide, but only an inch deep"......."We have a Church full of Baby Christians". From there he glazed over those two statements and went on to talk more about how they attracted people. The question I really wanted to ask is, "After you aquire all these baby Christians, then what?" When the music fades and the lights grow dim and they figure out that times don't miraculously become rainbows and moonbeams, Do they have enough substance from your ministry to remain in The Faith? I guess the Biggy is Are your members coming to see the production of How the Easter Bunny arrives for the Egg Hunt this year or are they coming to Build their relationships with Christ?
Does the Church need an overhaul? Yes, but we need to watch our focus. Don't get distracted by the smoke and mirrors and allow your members to parish! Keep your focus on Jesus and your Study in Scripture.
Now this guy did have good points too, so don't think he just came in to bash Traditional Services. He talked about several things his church does that is different from what most dying churches just arent doing.....and he admitted "Just because they work for us they may not work for you". Regardless, we have to try something but we can't lose focus on what we are really about.
Chew on that a little while and take what ever you come up with to your Pastors, your Christian Educators, Youth Pastors, and Committees! Remember who you're working for, and keep the focus on Him!