Church Growth- Lecture 2

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Church Growth- Lecture 2
2012-03-11 19:07:22
Church Growth Lecture VLI Winter 2012 JBI

Church Growth- Lecture 2, VLI, Winter 2012, JBI
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  1. Match seeker-unfriendly churches with their descriptions. (Sect. 7.1.1–7.1.3, including table)
    1. Everything is aimed at regular attenders; nothing is aimed at guests.

    2. Meal analogy: the meal is designed for adults (church members). Kids (guests) have to wear suits, eat food they find disgusting, are not allowed to talk, and are asked embarrassing questions. Adults speak in Hungarian about people the kids have never met.


    • Music- Worship is too long. Hymns use insider/argon language.
    • Teaching- Really long sermons. Sermons are on more obscure topics.
    • Guests- Embarrasses them. Acts unfriendly.
    • Facility- Dirty. Rooms hard to find. Building in disrepair.
  2. Match seeker-targeted churches with their descriptions. (Sect. 7.1.1–7.1.3, including table)
    1. Everything is aimed at the seeker. E.g., there is no singing/worship.

    2. Meal analogy: the whole dinner is geared towards the kids. Everyone sits on blankets on the floor, eating burgers and chips.


    • Music- Performance-oriented
    • Teaching- Focuses totally on seekers' issues
    • Guests- Not recognized. Are anonymous
    • Facility- Clean
  3. Match seeker-sensitive churches with their descriptions. (Sect. 7.1.1–7.1.3, including table)
    1. Everything is totally understandable to and inclusive of guests and seekers. The church still worships. Teaching is aimed at both believers and those on the way, at those who are committed and those who are not.

    2. Meal analogy: the family eats dinner and invites guests. Food that guests like is served. There is no insider talk.


    • Music- Worship 20-25 minutes max. Worship is a key element in drawing people looking for more than just an intellectual experience.
    • Teaching- Topics focus on the main and plain things of the Bible. Lots of life applications. Seek to decrease religious jargon. Feed the family inclusively. Aim at evangelizing and feeding believers.
    • Guests- Explain the jargon. Don't preach on the pastor's recent dream or vision.
    • Facility- Examine each element of the church and try to see it through a seeker's eyes. It's good to have an outsider's pair of eyes. Bring a guest to a service- you will see a lot.
  4. State (in 1 sentence each) the three main recommendations for attracting and retaining people in order to build a growing church (Sect. 7.1–7.3). Mention four ways to do a great job at each of the three recommendations (in 1 paragraph per recommendation). (Sect. 7.1.4–7.1.12; 7.2.1–7.2.6; & 7.3.1–7.3.4)
    Please see your notes (sorry, it wouldn't let me copy and paste in a way in which you could read it).
  5. List (in 1 word/phrase each) the six types of lost people. (Sect. 8)
    1. Some people are seekers.

    2. Some people come to know God by being connected to a credible person, a person whom they respect.

    3. Some people are in pain.

    4. Some people are prodigals.

    5. Some people are empty.

    6. Some people come to know God through a divine encounter.
  6. Recognize why and how evangelism must change to reach post-Christian, Western societies. (Sect. 9.1)
    Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones – “This demon is too deep for your ordinary way of doing ministry!” (i.e., why and how evangelism must change to reach post-Christian, Western societies)

    “As we look at the expression of this kind, I wonder whether as Christian people we are aware of the real depth of the problem which confronts us in a spiritual sense at the present time. I ask that question because it seems to me to be so clear, from the activities of many, that we have not even begun to understand it. They are carrying on with certain methods that were once successful, and they pin their faith to them, and they do not realize that they are not only not successful, but they cannot be, because of the nature of the problem confronting them.”

    • In the 18th & 19th centuries, people in Europe and the United States were aware of Christian truth but they were apathetic, asleep and needed awakening. The Great Awakening revival reached many people.

    • Today many people are unaware of or deny Christian truth. This is the “demon too deep for your ordinary way of doing ministry

    Lesslie Newbigin was a missionary to India. When he came back to England, he discovered that in order to reach people in the UK and Western Europe, you needed to think like a missionary who was attempting to reach an utterly non-Christian, or in the case of the Western world, a post-Christian society. (See Foolishness to the Greeks)

    NooneinhistoryhasevertriedtoreachasocietythatusedtobeandisnolongerChristian. The basic attitude of post-Christian society is that, “Yes, we did try Christianity once back in the Middle Ages, back when women were second-class citizens, and blacks were not citizens at all. But our experience of Christianity didn’t work out so well for us, so we don’t need to consider it any longer.”

    The loss of the mental furniture of Christianity

    As the mental furniture of Christianity (an awareness of Christian concepts and terminology) is disappearing from many people’s minds, the older methods of doing evangelism are proving less and less effective.

    The growing ineffectiveness of canned approaches to gospel presentation

    The growing ineffectiveness of mass crusades

    The growing ineffectiveness of grafting in other churches' programs into your church's program
  7. Recognize how the story of the Bible is a story of world missions. (Sect. 9.2)
    John Stott, in his book, The Contemporary Christian, has a fantastic outline of the entire Bible in which he says that the narrative of the Bible is essentially a missionary narrative. The Bible is the story of a missionary God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – who creates a missionary people and who is working towards a missionary consummation.

    • 9.2.1 The Old Testament is the story of missions
    • The original calling of Abraham in Ge 12:1-4
    • 1 The LORD had said to Abram, "Go from your country, your people and your father's household to the land I will show you.
    • 2 "I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
    • 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."
    • 4 So Abram went, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. The problem in the Old Testament was that Israel kept forgetting the missionary purpose of God to reach the whole world.

    9.2.2 In the New Testament the universal scope of God’s concern is even more plainly found.

    9.2.3 The Holy Spirit is the missionary Spirit

    9.2.4 The consummation of world history involves every people group.
  8. Recognize the five aspects of the mindset of a missionary in a post-Christian culture. (Sect. 9.3.1–9.3.5)
    1. Missionaries must love the communities to which they are called.

    2. Missionaries understand the changing context in which we find ourselves.

    3. Missionaries are always learning, always studying the community to which they've been called.

    4. Missionaries prioritize evangelism and church planting.

    5. Missionaries contextualize the Gospel (Contextualization is not relativism. It is relevantism (entering the mindset of those you are trying to reach). We are not saying that all truth is up for grabs. We’re saying that the truth is the truth, but the cultural methods I use to communicate the truth are up for grabs.)
  9. Recognize the nine myths about unchurched people, according to Thom Rainer’s findings. (Sect. 10.1)
    1. Most unchurched think and act like Anglo, middle-class suburbanites who have no church background.

    2. The unchurched are turned off by demonizational names in the church name.

    3. The unchurched never attend church.

    4. The unchurched cannot be reached by direct personal evangelism.

    5. The pastor must be a dynamic and charismatic leader for the church to reach the unchurched.

    6. We must be careful in our teaching and preaching so that we do no communicate deep and complex biblical truths that will confuse he churched.

    7. The Sunday School and other small groups are ineffective in attracting the unchurched.

    8. The most important evangalistic relationships take place in the marketplace.

    9. The unchurched are concerned only about their own needs.