Church Growth- Lecture 4

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  1. Recognize the characteristics of the “disconnected” world in which most people live. (Sect. 20)
    1. It rejects simple assertions (everything is argued).

    2. It resents any condemnation of personal behavior (nothing is taboo).

    3. It resists all perceived intolerance as small-minded prejudice (haters vs acceptors).

    4. It holds a generally negative perception of the church as antiquated, irrelevant, and a force for the status quo.

    5. It is interested in God and/or spirituality, but not the control of institutional religion.

    6. It views preachers suspiciously with regard to motives, knowledge, and community engagement.
  2. Recognize the characteristics of the “disconnected” world in which most people live. (Sect. 20)
    7. It is hardened against most personal appeals by the lifelong siege of mass marketing.

    8. It is materialistically corrupt.

    9. It is voyeuristic and increasingly virtual.

    10. It has an obsessive sexual subtext to just about everything.

    11. It fears there are no answers to life's most troubling problems.

    12. It finds that real hope is an elusive and rare commodity.
  3. Recognize the areas in which the Church must connect with the “disconnected” people of our world. (Sect. 21)
    1. The possibility/reality of knowing God.

    2. The credibility and relevance of the Bible.

    3. The hope for real change.

    4. The challenge of a moral life.

    5. The humor in most things.

    6. The fact that God is at work in the present-tense in people's lives.

    7. That people are willing to respond to the reality of #6
  4. Recognize the essential characteristics of a church that connects. (Sect. 22)
    1. Respectful

    2. Culturally aware

    3. Humble

    4. Biblically informed

    5. Intentionally transparent

    6. Invitational

    7. Inclusive

    8. Hopeful
  5. Recognize aspects of the critical question of access to Jesus. (Sect. 24)
    • 24.1 Theologically, Jesus is “the gate” (Jn 10:7) – the one true access point for those trying to find their way back to God.
    • • We serve them and help them find Jesus. We do not police them to get to Jesus.

    • 24.2 Pragmatically, the local church is the one sure place where Jesus should be found.
    • • As we exercise the gifts of the Holy Spirit and show the character of Jesus, he is present in the availability of our lives.
    • • God’s Presence in genuine worship can soften people’s hearts. Genuine worship is an inviting, encountering thing.

    24.3 Answering the question, “Where should people look for Jesus?” is one of the most important directional decisions a local pastor makes.

    • 24.4 The farther people are from faith, the longer the process of discovering it, and the more open-ended access has to become.
    • • We need to open the door many, many times.
    • • Be aware of the lifestyle issues that people face.

    24.5 Witness and access are multiplying forces.
  6. Recognize aspects of the essential issue of the church’s attitude toward the “disconnected.” (Sect. 25)
    • 25.1 What do we need to know to give people access to Jesus?
    • • Ask Jesus to give us his heart for outsiders and the “disconnected.”
    • • The church should be outward-focused rather than exclusive or defensive.

    • 25.2 The “glory” of Jesus is His sacrifice of grace and mercy for sinners.
    • • Jesus’ glory is in his love for the lost.
    • • The lost finding their way back to Jesus is a glorious reality.

    • 25.3 People know whether they are important to us or not. • We cannot fake it.
    • • We need to love people, really care and show genuine concern. People are not “projects” to be related to through “procedures.”

    25.4 Cultivating a culture of welcome requires determined self-denial.

    • 25.5 The “and factor” must become a primary concern of our environment and program.
    • • As the Church, we must see the “disconnected” as a future part of “us.” The Church should include both us AND them, whatever it takes.
    • • We love our church family AND those who are not yet part of us.
    • • We love those within our circle AND those outside it.
    • • We love each other AND we set an extra place at our table.
    • • We pray for each other AND give attention to others’ needs.
    • • “I am glad I found Jesus AND that others are finding him too.”
  7. TEXTBOOK LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Recognize a “Cultivative” Bible Study Home Group’s brief
    definition, its four basic elements (worship, prayer, Bible study and fellowship) and the ten fundamentals in leading a Bible study in such a group. (Chapter 17 of Planting Missional Churches: Planting a Church That’ s Biblically Sound and Reaching People in Culture by Ed Stetzer)
    Coming soon
  8. TEXTBOOK LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Recognize the ten universal characteristics of church planting movements. (Chapter 29 of Planting Missional Churches: Planting a Church That’ s Biblically Sound and Reaching People in Culture by Ed Stetzer)
    Coming soon
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Church Growth- Lecture 4
2012-03-11 23:25:15
Church Growth Lecture Winter 2012 VLI JBI

Church Growth- Lecture 4, Winter 2012, VLI, JBI
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