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Over the years I have written several "book" or "booklets" and many, many, many newsletter and bulletin articles. Because the book market seeks writings to meet specific needs at specific times, my material has never been accepted. I have a tendency to write what is on my mind and so I am left with self publishing. So, with the encouragement from my wife and others, I am beginning this blog in order to put my "ramblings" "out there"! I hope you enjoy!

Disclaimer

Please note that while my intentions are to use good grammar, because of the way in which some of the material presented here is presented (orally) the grammar and syntax might not always be the best English. Also note that good theology is not always presented in the best English so there may be times when the proper grammar rules are purposely broken.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

“Church Growth” Myths

Myth 1:
People want a contemporary style of worship so we need to change our style of worship to make it more people friendly.

Fact:
Worship is its own style. To suggest that a church needs to change it style of worship to satisfy the desires of the people would mean the need to offer many types of services, i.e., a rap service, a hip hop service, a country service, a heavy metal service, a rock service, an easy listening service, etc. The fact is that the Divine Service is its own style, thus we put aside our preferences once a week for an hour or so in order to worship in a style that transcends time, ethnicity, and generations. If you ever looked at our hymnal, you will notice that the hymns are cross-cultural, generational, and are from many eras. Our worship flows out of what we believe, teach and confess and thus our worship speaks about our faith and the faith of the Lutheran Church. If you ask many of the youth who attend the Higher Things conferences, they will tell you that they prefer liturgical worship. I would suggest this is so because of the order of the service which is the opposite of the disorder of the lives of people in our world today. Finally, it is a proven fact that the style of worship is not what draws people to a church. Rather it is worship done well, and we do liturgical service well. The best approach, then is to teach the service and why we worship the way we worship.


Myth 2:
We do not want to get in the way of the Word of God. Instead we want to do everything we can to make sure the message gets out.

Fact:
At the heart of this myth is that the Word of God is powerless on its own and that we need to do something in order to help it along, or not get in its way. The fact is the Word of God is His Word, and God can and does work through His Word to give, strengthen and keep in faith, when and where He pleases. Indeed, the Word of God is a Word with power which we see first and foremost in Genesis as God spoke the world into being. Even more, the Word of God continues to be a Word with power. When God’s Word says we have forgiveness, then we know we have forgiveness. When the Word of God says we have faith, then we know we have faith.


Myth 3:
We need to be carrying the Word of God to others in order to grow the church.

Fact:
This myth confuses the means of grace with the belief that people are the means of grace, that is that people convert people. The fact is we, you and I, people, human beings, cannot convert anyone. It is God who gives faith and He gives faith through the very means He has given to give faith, His Means of Grace, the Word of God, that is the Bible, Holy Baptism, Confession and Absolution and the Lord’s Supper. Through these very means as our Lord has promised He gives the gifts He has to give.

2 comments:

  1. The word of God is quick and pwerful, etc, but in his sovereignty God still employs human agents in its dissemination. As one who still remembers his pre-conversion self rather vividly despite the passage of time, I can recollect thise whom God used to draw me as well as those whi woukd have been better off drowned with a millstone around their necks. God will always have his way, yet we remain responsible.

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  2. If we are condemned to eternal perdition, that is our own fault. When we are saved we recognize and confess, to God be the glory.

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