Theology and Methodology

Posted on August 3, 2013



Author: Ken Lytle

Something I have said for many years is… “Our theology must remain rock solid, but our methodology must be changing with the times.”  

What is our Adventist theology?  Look at the 28 Fundamental Beliefs [Click Here], this is a good starting point.  This is not a complete statement of theology, but covers the Biblical basics.  Our 28 Fundamental Beliefs is our spiritual identity.  Every church and belief system has a spiritual identity that sets them apart from others.  

Theology does not dictate Bible versions, church songs, sanctuary furniture, church service times, worship format, pews vs. chairs, vegetarian vs. vegan potlucks, or the church name on the sign in front of the building.  These are all methodology (tradition).  Unfortunately, many Adventist churches get bogged down by tradition or out-of-date methodology instead of studying the population demographic surrounding the church and recreating itself to meet their needs.

Does this mean we should embrace a worldly worship style as a method to seek and to save the lost?  No!  

Our Adventist methodology in the 21st century needs to be consistent, real, interesting, and life-changing.  People are looking for something they can connect with and will address their current spiritual and life needs.  Churches built around out-of-date worship styles, sermons that push old fashion methodology, and no vision for local missions will remain spiritually and physically stagnate and dead.  

There is no reason for the non-denominational churches to experience growth while we sit on the sidelines nitpicking petty things and being spiritually lazy.  

Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”  By the grace of God, we are make sure our local churches are filled with workers who are working the plentiful harvest.  

Ideas to pray about for your local church:

  • Recreate your welcome ministry, making sure visitors and members receive a warm welcome every Sabbath.  Use the welcome ministry to really connect with visitors… getting their names, addresses, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers for a follow-up within two days of the visit.  
  • Revive your Sabbath Schools, making sure they are visitor-friendly and taught by people who know how to lead an interactive class.
  • Rethink your worship service, making sure the music is high quality (new and old songs) and the that sermons are visitor and family-friendly.  
  • Use the Sabbath hours to train church members for active ministry and lead them into the community on a weekly basis.  If the local church were to meet for fellowship meal every week and be in the community for at least 1.5 hours, the members would still have time to go home and take a nap.  🙂