Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Sunday Morning Crowd

Let me start by saying that blogging by nature is slightly less formal than full-on essays, so please forgive my lack of a degree in English. Also, I can't say that I've fully thought through everything I say here. Finally and most importantly, my hope is that by getting ideas out there we will collectively come to the right conclusions.

Our comments/discussion has shifted to being primarily about the Sunday Morning Service and it probably deserves it's own post.

I believe the meeting on Sunday mornings in a building with a sermon from one man each week definitely has its place within the church, but I believe it to be only a part, maybe even small part, of what church more generally is and should be doing.

Who is the audience?
What role does it play for the audience?
What role does it play in the church?
What are the goals? (tightly related to the previous two questions)
What elements should there be based on the goals?
How did it come to be what it is? What factors influenced?
What are the good things that do and could come from it?
What are the bad things that do and could come from it?
Why do some churches succeed numerically?
Can a meeting on Sundays accomplish everything a church is to do?

I think these are some good questions to think through because they will both explain why things are the way they are and perhaps the way they should be.


Terry said...

I think we need to reach back to what we have discovered through attendence at Moody Pastor's conferences and the workshops on church programs. Its pretty much settled that there are 3 levels of gathering: Celebration (a PK conference for example -- any gathering of over 100 people) Congregation - up to around 80 (usually 20-80) and then Cell 10-20 that's your small group that can also be broken down smaller. Check out the book on ABFs and you'll see that that group becomes your "church" your congregation whereas the sunday morning gathering is a celebration service. maybe we need to focus on that sunday morning service as being celebration and that you get your main indepth teaching in abfs or cell groups.
We've also been reading lately on taking the Big Idea - the main point of a sermon and flowing that down thru the whole teaching of the church. Instead of having a mishmash of different teaching maybe you have the focus on the big idea and have the teaching from different parts of scripture that bear on that big idea. Sermon has one book - ABFs focus on how that principle is applied in say the OT and the small groups are investigating a good christian author's book (along with checking whether he's on or off based on scripture - like the Bereans)

I guess we always have to keep in mind the vast majority of a congregation will not participate any way - therefore church isn't a place we go or something we do - its what we are. We do/are the church on the softball field during rec league. We do/are the church when getting together with a bunch of guys at a football game or coaching a bunch of kids.

Check out IBC's website and their five year strategic plan and how they want their people involved in community service to be Christ to their community - just by serving and getting involved in their lives.

more rambling later

Stevie said...

I just want to give you an example of taking the big idea and moving down. Next fall the bible study leaders will meet every sunday night until fall retreat. They will be given practical things to do and have questions answered. They will also be taught one of the books of the bible during that time. In the spring they will teach that one book of the bible in their small groups while the book is also taught during the weekly meetings. That is what Jeff is planning on doing here next year.

Another semi way of doing this is having our students play the game assassins. If you don't know what that is ask and I will explain. The person is immune from being killed not by wearing some ridiculous article of clothing but by having the passage of scripture memorized for the week. The passage of scripture is related to the talk each week.

Richie said...

I think the idea of regular meetings of the leaders is absolutely key. It does so much in terms of casting the vision, providing training, and creating community.

That assassins game is such a good idea. I definitely think that a regular meeting of the leadership could produce ideas like that to benefit the congregation.