Theology trumps methodology

church growth methodology

Them’s big words in the title. What it means is this: Much church growth theory and practice revolves around methods. But if we work at being the church of God as revealed in Scripture, methods are icing on the cake.

Larry Miles’s article yesterday on The Fellowship Room, “Five Reasons the Early Church Grew (Acts 4),” reminded me of this truth.

I’m not against methods. To do anything, we have to adopt some sort of methodology. I’ve just proposed to the churches here, who sometimes use no method at all — meaning no work gets done — that we adopt 13 methods in 2013 to win 13 souls (keying off the fame of 12-12-12). Continue reading “Theology trumps methodology”

Giving in hard times

Christian giving

On his blog Chris Gallagher writes on the topic of what to do in case of loss of income. One good point he makes is especially important for Christians.

#4 – Reevaluate Your Values – There will be people who lose income and immediately cut out things like charitable giving, but continue [to] eat fast food every day with their family; do not be those people. Support the values you believe and let your family know that you will not sacrifice giving for a quick fix. Continue reading “Giving in hard times”

Vital to get in-country workers in place

national-workers-christOnce you translate the business language, what’s true for international business is true for the church:

It’s vital to get a good solid in-country management in place that understands what you’re doing as well as the local culture. We could go in with a US management team but adapting to what is a very different business culture would make for a difficult road to success.

There are two spheres of knowledge. The first concerns “what you’re doing,” that is, in spiritual terms, the gospel. We practice and proclaim the Word of salvation. That word goes from us to others. We must know and be able to communicate the truth. People must understand the Message of Christ. Continue reading “Vital to get in-country workers in place”

New Zealand missionary family says ‘goodbye’

After taking a two-year leave of absence from teaching at Freed-Hardeman University and moving to New Zealand to establish the Lord’s church in Porirua City, Kevin Moore and his family are getting ready to return to the USA in mid-December. The Moores have also been working with the nearby Wellington congregation, who have proven most helpful in starting this new work. The church of Christ began meeting in Porirua City on the 8th of May 2011 and is currently averaging around thirty in attendance. Over the past several months, ten precious souls have been baptized into Christ, along with one restoration. Lance and Kristen Mosher (FHU graduates) have moved to Porirua City to continue this good work.

Kevin, Lynne, Loren & Kaitlyn Moore
Kevin, Lynne, Loren & Kaitlyn Moore

Foreign aid a help or hindrance?

foreign missions supportIn one of his recent Impromptus, Jay Nordlinger, senior editor for National Review and one of my favorite non-religious writers, wrote,

I met a West African government official. I said to him, “I know that foreign aid has its pluses and minuses. But tell me: Is foreign aid more a help or more a hurt?” He fixed me with a look — kind of a mischievous one — and said, “Do you know the difference between AID and AIDS? The letter S.” Continue reading “Foreign aid a help or hindrance?”

The damage is done

In my Forthright article, “Pull the Plug on Progressives,” earlier this week, I mention the damage that is being done to the Brazilian church by those who have risen among us but who are not of us, aided by brethren who fail to impede their influence.

I wonder if the church in other countries is feeling a similar influence?

Is there no gift of evangelism?

In an attempt to discourage his people from claiming its lack, the Baptist Mr. Stetzer affirms there is no gift of evangelism and therefore all are charged with the task of evangelism.

Some among us have also excused themselves from the direct task of proclamation of the gospel by claiming the lack of said gift. The problem he notes in his denomination is also a challenge in the Lord’s church.

Teachers among us have said that God has called some to be evangelists and called all of us to evangelize. The whole church must engage to fulfill her Lord’s mission, whatever be the individual members’ gifts.

Mr. Stetzer’s points are well taken. But I wonder: do we need to affirm that there is no gift of evangelism at all among us, rare though it may be, and more rare though it become? Is it the sword that slices Gordian’s knot, or a slip of logic that steps us further from the truth?