What Is Your Church About?
Ask this question of most Seventh-day Adventists and they'll say, "we're about winning people to Christ." But how does this actually impact the work of the church? How much effort does your church exert to reach non-members? How you answer the following questions may provide a clue:
(1). What percentage of your church budget is designated for outreach?
(2). Does your church pray for its surrounding community?
(3). Does your church board allow time for ministry reports and recommendations?
(4). Is spiritual gifts education a part of your church curriculum?
(5). Are your worship services visitor/member sensitive?
(6). Is your church willing to risk something for the good of others (beyond the norm)?
(7). Has your church appointed a committee to dream about outreach possibilities?
(8). Do you have non-members attending your church?
(9). How often do your deacons have to actually fill the baptistry?
(10). How many members have meaningful relationships with at least 5 people in your community who are not members?
In our sin-crazed society, it's tempting for the church to want to retreat from the world to preserve the purity of its faith. For some, the thought of being in the world, but not of it, means everything the church does should be religious and holy--almost other-worldly.
It reminds me of the classic description of the man who was so heavenly minded he was of no earthly good!
We are "in the world." We live here, play, work and worship here. Somehow our "religion" must speak the language of the people we're trying to win, otherwise we're preaching to ourselves.
This means we care about the environment, about education, and about the issues our community leaders wrestle with. This means we are willing to rub shoulders with friends and neighbors to make our city and neighborhood a better place!
This doesn't sound very religious does it? And yet out of our involvement in the life of our community, relationships are formed and friendships made that give rise to opportunities to share in deeper ways.
In the end, effective evangelism is all about relationships! Hearing truth and being convicted of it is important, but it is warm relationships and caring people who draw others into a church--and keep them there!
We have something to celebrate
Our friendship with Jesus gives us so much to celebrate and look forward to! Seventh-day Adventists should be known as the happy people who love life so much, they keep trying to infect everyone with their enthusiasm! In light of today's gloom and doom world climate, happy, optimistic people will be noticed and watched.
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