Church Attendance and Leadership

Posted on February 20, 2016

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Missional-Church-2

Author: Ken Lytle

Why do you go to church on a weekly basis?  Do you think Sabbath School class, worship service, and fellowship meal is church? Or is there something more to the word, church?

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen – Matthew 28:18-20.

Everything in church… about church… for church… is to be centered around seeking and saving lost souls for the eternal kingdom.  If any part of church is not about mission, then it must be cancelled or revised. For example: Sabbath School is not only for the church members. This educational time in church must always be visitor-friendly and should include an outreach element.  This is the perfect time to conduct discipleship and growth classes.

When is comes to church, we need to make sure church is interesting and exciting.  This does not mean we have to water down the message or use worldly methods in the worship service, it just means what it says.  If the church members are excited about the Sabbath School classes, worship service, growth and life groups, and outreach projects, they will then share that excitement with others in the community.

Every church must have a simple and clear mission statement that is advertised weekly in the bulletin and from the pulpit. Church members should have it memorized and be willing to share it with their co-workers and neighbors. A simple and clear mission statement gives the church purpose and missional direction.

My Personal Dilemma

Why do I go to church?  I do not know!!! All of my local churches are mission-less and lack true leadership. On top of that, the local conference does not hold the churches accountable to the mission God has given us. People tell me to just get involved and go do outreach……… but why?  If the local church does not have a discipleship program in place to mentor the new members and help them find their place in active ministry, then why set them up for failure? Why waste my precious time doing outreach and ministry if there is no healthy church to plug them into?  Is my attitude healthy and correct?  Probably not, but what should I do?

I believe in the Adventist Church and it’s message, but struggle with the fact that most of our churches are dysfunctional when it comes to methodology (discipleship, mentoring, outreach, and evangelism). We have clear teachings in the Word of God and Spirit of Prophecy on how to do church, outreach, and evangelism, but we just do not do it and our leaders sit on the sidelines twiddling their thumbs.

What is the answer?

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land (church) – 2 Chronicles 7:14.

Change should begin in the local conferences (if not the GC on down).  Local churches need to be given a ministry blueprint for missional success.  This would create unity among our churches around the world. Churches could personalize the blueprint, but should be held accountable to the blueprints basics.

Every church should be visitor-friendly, family-focused, spiritually-balanced, and mission-driven.

Churches must have annual friendship and traditional evangelistic goals. To help facilitate this, every church should have discipleship and training programs in place. To make sure we are relevant to the people we are trying to reach out to, churches should be encouraged to have modern and uplifting weekly church services that members and visitors can get excited about.

The only way we are going to bring about the changes needed, is to change everything at once with a simple and clear ministry blueprint that impacts every part of church. We cannot make little changes here and there, hoping and praying things will slowly get better.  No!!! We need leaders who are willing to step up and speak up when it comes to the mission God has given us in these last days.

These changes will give our church members purpose and a real reason to be in church on a weekly basis.  What will you do to help bring about change? What will you do to make your local church missional and purposeful?  What will you do?