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What do you replace the church with?
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UCGrad1992 Offline
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Post: #21
RE: What do you replace the church with?
(07-25-2018 02:37 PM)arkstfan Wrote:  As a person who has helped plant a couple congregations.

That is awesome! My church has participated in a church plant in Virginia, Utah and Michigan. I am interested in church planting as a potential full time ministry.

Quote:Church isn't ever going away. It may be smaller and likely will be much smaller.

Liberated of people who there because they see attendance as important to a political career or business career will correct a lot of problems.

I agree and I believe this could be part of the end of the church age - when direct persecution and the world's influences of the flesh increase to the point that only highly motivated, dedicated, authentic, "boots on the ground" Christians will be left. This "remnant" will be a Spirit filled, effective church indeed!

Quote:A number of churches have driven full speed down a dead end street. Any pastor who thinks abortion and homosexuals (or worse, abortion, homosexuals, and the tax code) are the biggest issues in a person's life is missing the boat, the pier, and the whole harbor.

If you mean that there is a focus on just these issues at the expense of preaching/teaching the full breadth of Scripture and helping improve the lives of families and individuals then I agree.

Quote:One of the reasons I'm the odd duck not complaining about Millennials is because I've found them to mostly be immune to the old avenues of being evangelized. You go clean up parks, help an inner city school, do things for the homeless, try to help people just out of prison get on their feet and explain to them why we exist and you can get them. Offer some weak argument like "well what if you are wrong and there is a God" and you can hang it up.

Again, adapting the approach but not the core message is the key IMO. Too many Christians do a poor job of witnessing to others and forget that you have to first build genuine trust and a relationship with others before you jump to the hell and gnashing of teeth part. Actions do speak louder than words so Christians need to be aware that the world is watching and largely skeptical. I would caution that the church should never shy away from sharing the gospel (as commanded by Jesus) when the proper opportunity presents itself.
07-25-2018 08:42 PM
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UCGrad1992 Offline
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Post: #22
RE: What do you replace the church with?
(07-25-2018 06:39 PM)JRsec Wrote:  We home church. Our tithes and offerings go directly to those in need and with them we always get asked, "Why are you doing this for us?" Well right there you have your opening for a witness. "We are doing this for you because it is what God wants us to do because God loves and values you."

That's what the corporate church never gets around to and why it fails. And if you aren't helping people directly the young folks see you for what you are, worthless. If you want to reach the young then help them, or their friends, and get them involved with it. Then you'll grow.

In corporate church you drop some in the plate and socialize and have no responsibility to be a minister to anyone. Your pastor gets a fat check to work himself/herself to death (appx. 60-70 hours a week). They burn out, die early, or get too accustomed to the money, power or prestige and lose their way. Their congregations do nothing much of note and in time they die out with the wealthiest members.

Get everyone involved in ministry and just try to keep up with your growth. But your growth doesn't need a weekly meeting place all under one roof, just more homes to meet in. And there is no salary to support, no building overhead to cover, but there is a lot of personal contact time. There's your first century church at work.

In other words people are attracted to Christianity in practice, not in Christianity professed, or conferred through training programs that require no subsequent action when completed.

I understand the issue with "corporate" church and budgets but I would argue that it depends on the church leadership and its transparency whether or not it honors God. We share our operating budget on a regular basis with the congregation and I have been a member of our finance team that helps review the annual budget before it is presented to the full congregation. We do have a paid staff with insurance benefits but I know what everyone makes and it is not "fat" by any means. I believe we generate a tremendous return on building God's Kingdom that honors and glorifies Him. Believe me, I'm not naive to the fact that corruption and waste and impropriety and stealing from God occurs. Calling oneself a Christian is not what really counts. What one does and how one acts as representative of Christ Jesus is the true calling card for any Christian or church as a whole.

Our church is modeled somewhat on Pastor Rick Warren's from the basis of as your church grows larger in members, it needs to grow smaller in "connection" groups for accountability, prayer, bible study, ministry efforts, fellowship, etc. We are seeing such groups meet more and more off campus in homes but also because we have run out of room in our building. To your point, churches can become saturated with those that check the box for attendance only. That becomes easier to do when you can "hide" in your seat among many or the pastor/leadership team makes no effort to engage folks to service/ministry. We do a weekly meeting (voluntary) during one of our two church services to engage the congregation on how to get involved in ministry to our church members and to our community. It has helped to get more folks "plugged in" and serving in various ministry/mission areas.
07-25-2018 09:32 PM
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arkstfan Away
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Post: #23
RE: What do you replace the church with?
(07-25-2018 03:27 PM)bullet Wrote:  
(07-25-2018 02:37 PM)arkstfan Wrote:  
(07-25-2018 12:04 PM)UCGrad1992 Wrote:  From my perspective as an Evangelical Southern Baptist, the church will never be replaced based on the Scriptures until the return of Christ Jesus that will fulfill and complete the "church age" that we're currently in. I can cite Scripture if necessary. People are leaving churches, membership has declined, churches are closing, etc., but I think you have to take it into context. First, this has gone on for millenia as the church has had periods of corruption and low impact to periods of growth and revival. Second, growth/decline depends largely on the geographic area and the church denomination. I can speak from experience as my church membership here in North Carolina has grown from around 800 to 1,500 in under 15 years. We've done several building expansion/renovation projects and preparing for a third. Here are some links to help illustrate the numbers to consider...

Church in America

Church Growth/Decline

I think church in general has done a poor job in two areas: discipleship and adapting to the younger generation. Discipleship is the DAILY process of living as a Christian in a sinful world and how you relate to others and how to represent Christ Jesus. At my church we offer a wide variety of discipleship classes (typically Wednesday nights) that does just that - teaching why and how to CONTINUALLY develop your discipleship practices and actions and how it benefits you and those around you. In terms of young people, the church has to find better ways to communicate and make church a place of fellowship and fun without losing the preaching and teaching of the Holy Scriptures' core doctrine. For example, my church uses a praise and worship band consisting of guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, etc. Why? Because younger folks relate to this music style better than traditional (e.g., choir, gospel, etc.) music. As someone who grew up on rock, blues, folk, jazz, etc., it blew my mind when I heard our band for the first time playing contemporary Christian music. It was the "hook" that God used to set in my heart to desire worshiping Him. We also have a coffee/sandwich shop in our church that is open to the public. We offer wireless internet service (free), and many folks now use a download smart phone/tab app for following the Sunday Sermon message outline instead of the traditional paper copy. We also provide all kinds of year round activities and programming for young families because that is where your growth and future church members are.

As a person who has helped plant a couple congregations.

Church isn't ever going away. It may be smaller and likely will be much smaller.

Liberated of people who there because they see attendance as important to a political career or business career will correct a lot of problems.

A number of churches have driven full speed down a dead end street. Any pastor who thinks abortion and homosexuals (or worse, abortion, homosexuals, and the tax code) are the biggest issues in a person's life is missing the boat, the pier, and the whole harbor.

Toss in the prosperity gospel folks and it has been a battle.

One of the reasons I'm the odd duck not complaining about Millennials is because I've found them to mostly be immune to the old avenues of being evangelized. You go clean up parks, help an inner city school, do things for the homeless, try to help people just out of prison get on their feet and explain to them why we exist and you can get them. Offer some weak argument like "well what if you are wrong and there is a God" and you can hang it up.

Its the liberals in the churches driving the homosexual issue as the most important one.

Maybe where you live.

The church my mother went to before dementia kept her from going railed constantly about homosexuals.

A church I attended for a time it was a constant theme. I finally left (though I was tired of that, looking at the budget on "budget Sunday" sent me packing, I've done enough church budgets to understand when an organization's mission is itself). Not sure how the music minister was able to sit through all those sermons on the evils of homosexuality and their intention to destroy America and Christianity since he resigned a few years after I left because he was being blackmailed by his gay lover. Got his replacement hired and the pastor got fired but not before the cops put their special bracelets on him, but at least it was underage girls. 07-coffee3
07-26-2018 09:19 AM
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arkstfan Away
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Post: #24
RE: What do you replace the church with?
(07-25-2018 06:39 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(07-25-2018 03:27 PM)bullet Wrote:  
(07-25-2018 02:37 PM)arkstfan Wrote:  
(07-25-2018 12:04 PM)UCGrad1992 Wrote:  From my perspective as an Evangelical Southern Baptist, the church will never be replaced based on the Scriptures until the return of Christ Jesus that will fulfill and complete the "church age" that we're currently in. I can cite Scripture if necessary. People are leaving churches, membership has declined, churches are closing, etc., but I think you have to take it into context. First, this has gone on for millenia as the church has had periods of corruption and low impact to periods of growth and revival. Second, growth/decline depends largely on the geographic area and the church denomination. I can speak from experience as my church membership here in North Carolina has grown from around 800 to 1,500 in under 15 years. We've done several building expansion/renovation projects and preparing for a third. Here are some links to help illustrate the numbers to consider...

Church in America

Church Growth/Decline

I think church in general has done a poor job in two areas: discipleship and adapting to the younger generation. Discipleship is the DAILY process of living as a Christian in a sinful world and how you relate to others and how to represent Christ Jesus. At my church we offer a wide variety of discipleship classes (typically Wednesday nights) that does just that - teaching why and how to CONTINUALLY develop your discipleship practices and actions and how it benefits you and those around you. In terms of young people, the church has to find better ways to communicate and make church a place of fellowship and fun without losing the preaching and teaching of the Holy Scriptures' core doctrine. For example, my church uses a praise and worship band consisting of guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, etc. Why? Because younger folks relate to this music style better than traditional (e.g., choir, gospel, etc.) music. As someone who grew up on rock, blues, folk, jazz, etc., it blew my mind when I heard our band for the first time playing contemporary Christian music. It was the "hook" that God used to set in my heart to desire worshiping Him. We also have a coffee/sandwich shop in our church that is open to the public. We offer wireless internet service (free), and many folks now use a download smart phone/tab app for following the Sunday Sermon message outline instead of the traditional paper copy. We also provide all kinds of year round activities and programming for young families because that is where your growth and future church members are.

As a person who has helped plant a couple congregations.

Church isn't ever going away. It may be smaller and likely will be much smaller.

Liberated of people who there because they see attendance as important to a political career or business career will correct a lot of problems.

A number of churches have driven full speed down a dead end street. Any pastor who thinks abortion and homosexuals (or worse, abortion, homosexuals, and the tax code) are the biggest issues in a person's life is missing the boat, the pier, and the whole harbor.

Toss in the prosperity gospel folks and it has been a battle.

One of the reasons I'm the odd duck not complaining about Millennials is because I've found them to mostly be immune to the old avenues of being evangelized. You go clean up parks, help an inner city school, do things for the homeless, try to help people just out of prison get on their feet and explain to them why we exist and you can get them. Offer some weak argument like "well what if you are wrong and there is a God" and you can hang it up.

Its the liberals in the churches driving the homosexual issue as the most important one.
They push it Bullet, but it is the corporate church hierarchy that has allowed this out of fear of losing some straight out corporate and governmental assistance. Remember H.W. Bush's 1000 points of light. Well if you took that assistance to help the homeless, battered women, etc, you can forget taking a traditional stance on sexuality. Have CEO's in your denomination that steer some corporate donations, or interest free loans your way? Bye bye getting around the corporate stance on whatever the issue may be. There are major strings attached to that money.

The Presbyterian Church and the Lutheran Church have already split over this issue and the Methodists will meet next year to do the same. There has been an exodus of some prominent churches from the Southern Baptist Convention over the same.

My point is that it is the acceptance of outside money with strings and the fear of being attacked in the media that have rendered these denominations bereft of a voice in moral issues. But then they neutered themselves years ago when their tithes and offerings went to self serving projects instead of to the places that Christ directed: widows, orphans, poor, sick, sojourners within your gates, and to help the imprisoned.

If you claim they are budgeted items you need to reread my earlier posts. The line items in budgets for these areas simply go to pay other ministers and missionaries salaries, retirement, insurance, housing, expenses, etc.

All of these systems are of the clergy, by the clergy, and for the clergy. It is as if Eli's sons had returned to take over the church business everywhere.

We home church. Our tithes and offerings go directly to those in need and with them we always get asked, "Why are you doing this for us?" Well right there you have your opening for a witness. "We are doing this for you because it is what God wants us to do because God loves and values you."

That's what the corporate church never gets around to and why it fails. And if you aren't helping people directly the young folks see you for what you are, worthless. If you want to reach the young then help them, or their friends, and get them involved with it. Then you'll grow.

In corporate church you drop some in the plate and socialize and have no responsibility to be a minister to anyone. Your pastor gets a fat check to work himself/herself to death (appx. 60-70 hours a week). They burn out, die early, or get too accustomed to the money, power or prestige and lose their way. Their congregations do nothing much of note and in time they die out with the wealthiest members.

Get everyone involved in ministry and just try to keep up with your growth. But your growth doesn't need a weekly meeting place all under one roof, just more homes to meet in. And there is no salary to support, no building overhead to cover, but there is a lot of personal contact time. There's your first century church at work.

In other words people are attracted to Christianity in practice, not in Christianity professed, or conferred through training programs that require no subsequent action when completed.

Your hammer keeps finding the nails.

The Christian school my daughter attended at a parent-teacher organization meeting asked us to lobby our legislators over a bill to provide vouchers. During comments I opined that if you get hooked on government money you are at risk of compromising your beliefs in order to keep the money flowing.

If I had ripped a big fart it would have been better received than that statement.
07-26-2018 09:22 AM
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Native Georgian Offline
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Post: #25
RE: What do you replace the church with?
In many societies around the world in which the Church (or some other form or organized religion) has faltered in recent generations, the answer to the question “What replaces it?” has always turned out to be the same: Government replaces the Church. The State, in some shape, manner, or form, has taken on all of those responsibilities once performed by the Church or by individuals acting under Church auspices.

The “Life of Julia” video produced by Obama’s campaign in 2012 was a kind of storybook version of where proponents believe such a change ultimately leads. We shall see if a majority of people really desire to live that sort of life, or not.
07-28-2018 10:38 PM
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JRsec Offline
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Post: #26
RE: What do you replace the church with?
(07-28-2018 10:38 PM)Native Georgian Wrote:  In many societies around the world in which the Church (or some other form or organized religion) has faltered in recent generations, the answer to the question “What replaces it?” has always turned out to be the same: Government replaces the Church. The State, in some shape, manner, or form, has taken on all of those responsibilities once performed by the Church or by individuals acting under Church auspices.

The “Life of Julia” video produced by Obama’s campaign in 2012 was a kind of storybook version of where proponents believe such a change ultimately leads. We shall see if a majority of people really desire to live that sort of life, or not.

In Japan's fascist days it was replaced by emperor worship.

In communist Russia and China it was replaced by cults of personality Stalin and Mao.

In Nazi Germany the Nazis appropriated the Churches and issued them Nazi approved Bibles which had removed all references to Judaism and consisted mostly of a revised New Testament which also had removed references to Jesus's heritage.

The move began here in 1909 with the innocent introduction of the Lincoln Cent. Until that moment only our ideals as a nation had been depicted on our coins. Liberty in a Native American headdress was replaced with Lincoln. The former nuanced our expansion west. In 1932 Washington replaced an image of Liberty standing in a gateway carrying a shield in her left arm to symbolize our commitment to defense and an olive branch in the right hand signifying our desire for peace. In the first iteration of that quarter 1916-7 her right breast was bare to signify our nations desire to feed a hungry world. The Baptists raised such hell about the image that the designer covered her breasts with a chain mail coat starting at the end of 1917. In 1938 Jefferson replaced an appropriate image of Native American on the nickel and the reverse of the bison was replaced with the Jefferson Memorial. In 1948 Benjamin Franklin replace the striding Miss Liberty on the half dollar. She was depicted walking toward the dawn of a new day, wrapped in the flag to show that she had been protected by the sacrifice of those who had died defending her, and carrying an olive branch for peace. Kennedy replaced Franklin in 1964 on the Half. In 1946 Roosevelt replaced Miss Liberty in a Mercury headdress. That coin had symbolized the freedom of thought and creativity with which we were seeking to embrace the future.

So in a way we've been moving toward a cult of personality just like the communists have since we changed our iconography from symbols of our ideals to dead heads of imperfect people.

I'll place my hope and faith in seeking what is the highest standard for humans even if it is never quite obtainable rather than place my hopes in imperfect people in corrupt government.

So for me, the fight is not about what to replace the church with, because I'll still place my faith in something better than man even if at worst it is a thought. And I'll choose to look at my country's ideals even if those elected fail to represent them.

Those who choose the cults of personality choose division and death.
07-28-2018 11:08 PM
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georgia_tech_swagger Offline
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Post: #27
RE: What do you replace the church with?
I think this is jumping around the same topic but from a completely different direction.

08-14-2018 01:41 PM
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