Friday, July 26, 2013

Trusting God But Using Means: Changing The Timing Of Our Sunday Morning Worship Gatherings

To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.
1 Corinthians 9:22
Contextualization is the principle behind Paul’s exhortation in 1 Corinthians 9:22 to “become all things to all men.”  Contextualization is the idea that we need to be translating gospel truth into language, events, and structures that are understood our culture. Contextualization simply means translating the Gospel—in word, method, and deed—into understandable terms appropriate to the audience.  I believe that we can to a better job of contextualizing the Gospel to the Baltimore Community.
One of the way Churches have tried to contextualized – becoming all things to all people – is by providing a variety of service times that allow for maximum discipleship and outreach of the people in the community.  This Sunday evening, I am bringing a motion from the church counsel (with the approval of the deacons) to start our Community Groups at 9:00 AM and our Worship Service at 10:30 AM.  Here are some of my thoughts about the benefits and reasons that we need to change our Sunday structure.
Reason #1:  We need to start our service at an easily remembered time for potential guests.  Starting our Worship service at 10:30 AM will more naturally draw seekers and guests in our communities.  The front door of the church is normally our Worship services.
Reason #2: Christians must be willing to change the structures (or methods) in order to make worship and maximum fellowship more accessible to the church, the community, and potential guests.  I believe a 10:30 AM Worship Service will make it easier to invite people in our sphere of influence and communities to come. 
Reason #3: This new structure will provide more flexibility for Community Groups with both department and group (class) time. 
Reason:#4:  We will be here for approximately the same amount of time.
Reason #5: By having our worship service later, people will fellowship after the service longer and invite guests to go to lunch with them.  It has been my experience that having the worship service last, provides a greater incentive to socialize with guests outside the church that day or during the week.  Remember statistics say that if you can invite a guest into your home in the first 10 days, 90% will join our church. 
Reason #6: This adjustment to our Sunday Morning schedule will also help us to better implement a visitation and follow-up system which I am working on. 
My intent is to discuss this motion at the Member Meeting this Sunday evening, and refer this motion to a vote of the entire church on Sunday morning, August 11th
Deciding to contextualize ministry so that more would be reached effectively for Christ,

Pastor Glenn

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