“[The church] lost sight of its true mission and purpose to simply make more and better followers of Jesus Christ. [x]” Stetzer and Dodson agree that “churches desiring a comeback will need to make changes in order to start growing again. ” Grounded in scripture, each section intends to illuminate the actions necessary to facilitate a turnaround, determining the status, preparation, and change management.
In the Introduction section of the book, The Hidden Lives of Congregations, Israel Galindo states that a congregation is a “corporate relationship organization” (3) and is not an organization. He points out that the hidden life of a congregation would depict the “nature” of a congregation. This further identifies the relationships and faith of the congregation. According to him, the universal principles are followed by the congregations so that “systemic relationships” can work. The leaders learn the roles that they have within the people who are the congregation. The journal will focus on Dr. Fowler’s question “what is the purpose of this gathering we call the church?”
A church whose pastor and others in leadership have failed to put in place a proactive plan for discipleship for Believers is usually a “growing” church — growing stagnant, growing cold, growing spiritually immature Christians, and eventually, many growing closed. Patte said, “There is much at stake in accepting or rejecting the challenge of discipleship…” When a pastor or a church makes a conscious decision to make discipleship of Believers a primary focus in their
In (Matthew 6:6 NIV), Jesus explains the merits of praying to the lord God and the reward of inner peace, “But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret: and your father who sees in secret will reward you.” It is through this conversation with God that Christians pursue peace in their lives. Prayer can either be private or communal, spontaneous prayer is one way that charismatic communities can come closer to God. The act of prayer allows believers to have a personal conversation with God; it alleviates stress attributed to the monotony of everyday life. Besides prayer, meditation is another way of attaining inner peace, it is an ancient practice within the Christian tradition, which has undertaken a recent revival, a global group that reaffirms the concept of praying and meditating for inner peace is Taizé. Not as popular as prayer and meditation, Lectio Divina, generally known as bible studies is a way for Christians to feel connected to God and to finally attain inner peace. The studying of the sacred scriptures on a day to day basis and reflecting on prayers also maintain a continual connection with God. It is vital to maintain equilibrium between prayer and service, whereby an individual fathoms the notion ‘ora et labora’, in order to equally partake in both prayer, and the concept of action whereby ora develops inner peace, which is mirrored through the
To be a successful church the author states that the church should function and relate to the people’s culture that the church is located within.
Evangelism is described as a three-way cord; building relationships, sharing the gospel, and introducing people to community. The authors encourage the Gospel and the Word to stay central, as well as community involvement and helping the needy in the name of Christ. There is a great emphasis on home groups (the authors are themselves home-group leaders), and how this practice makes church planting easier. The togetherness of this practice aids in ones spiritual growth because one cannot become holy on his
God loves his Church and Jesus is the one who builds the Church. Then, it goes without saying that God loves the local church and Jesus builds the local church. Unfortunately, there are many factors that come into play, causing churches to become complacent or stagnate before entering into a season of decline. Yet this can be avoided through the process of revitalization.
The compassion shown by the Pastors and leaders helps people's faith walk become "a mile deep" while walking in Christ and engaging in the community. Individuals who remain active in the church, are the ones discovering their gifts and using their talents for the glory of God and to build the kingdom of God up. Also, the church must take ownership of their faith and grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ to the point where they are willing and ready to reinvest their faith into the life of another person. One of the ways to succeed in doing this is by putting together
Hillcrest Baptist Church is a body of believers located in a small mid-west city that has experienced double-digit growth for the past nine years. Over the course of the last forty-two years, God has allowed only three senior pastors to serve. The longevity of the pastorates contributes to the strong lay leadership and positive community reputation. On the surface, Hillcrest appears very healthy. A survey of the average congregants would record this overall disposition. Numerical growth and vibrant services contribute to the attitude of satisfaction. Contrariwise, the systems and structure of the organization pose a serious threat to the continuation of expansion and vitality.
As time constantly presses forward and the earth continues to revolve, the world will never stop progressing and adapting to better suit the needs of mankind. The evolution of religion has greatly enhanced the quality of life for humanity by providing individuals with a strong belief system that is now the foundation of many peoples’ core values. One universal religion that has undergone extensive amounts of reform is Christianity. In particular, the Catholic church is well-known for the development of their famous ecumenical council meetings that help determine the future of the church. Numerous Councils have been conducted throughout the course of history, but none more significant than the most recent, the Second Vatican Council or Vatican II. The Catholic church was operating as if it was still the medieval period and desperately needed to be modernized. As a result, every Roman Catholic Church official was gathered to meet and devise a plan for how to introduce the church to the modern world. Consequently, the following will reveal the Second Vatican Council and the ramifications of the agenda, history and theology evolution, significant texts, and new developments.
According to the authors, Rainer and Geiger, “simple churches” or dynamic churches, experience a steady increase in the number of members that join their church each year. Churches that experience this annual growth in membership are more likely to have established programs and events that effectively share the gospel with the unsaved and aid in the progression of the church’s congregants’ spiritual development. Paradoxically, churches who do not experience this growth are likely to be “complex churches,” which have ineffective ministries that fail to evangelize and aid in the progressive of congregants’ spiritual development. Rainer and Geiger offer the church leader a
The author discovered four major factors that church growth in the North American Division tremendously. First factor is empowering servant leadership. In this section, the leaders work hard and they are willing to make sacrifice in the purpose to see a growing church. The second one is passionate and authentic spirituality they believe that it is spirituality that is the source of passion of passion and power behind their effectiveness. The third point is about how their members are committed to get involved in different activity. Some churches they not growing because they expect their pastors to do all the duties of the church. The fourth factor about a growing church is God exalting worship. Worship is one of key factor for church growth.
This paper will attempt to outline a strategy of beginning a church planting movement that reaches the rural Arab, Moroccan’s and more specifically, the Arabized-Berber ethnic group that are primarily farmers and small villagers, through practical means of farming techniques and livestock care that will establish relationships. In order to accomplish this, this paper will first attempt to give a brief background of the Arabized-Berbers by highlighting their history, culture, language and religion. Second, this paper will survey the work of current missionaries among them that explores the history of missions, the status of the church today and the strategies being employed. Finally, this paper will offer a proposal for a strategy to reach the Arabized-Berbers that involves prayer, financial support, partnering with indigenous churches, believers and other organizations and tent making skills that encourage self-support.
Dulles states, “It picks up the biblical theme that God has fashioned for himself a people feely communicating his spirit and his gifts” (50). The Body of Christ as stated in Dulles is, “the main point of mutual union, concern and dependence of the members of the local community upon one another,” (43). The body of Christ will only function is the whole community is willing to work together to reach a personal growth in their relationship with God. Now that we have an idea of what Church as mystical communion consists of I will discuss the strengths and weakness of this model. The strength of this model is that emphasizes a shared life with the community instead of shutting them off. This is a strength because when people come together as a whole everything holds so much more meaning and people can form a stronger bond with God, now that it is much more personal and voluntary. Another strength is that this model improves people spirituality and prayer life now that they feel that personal connection that they formed. A weakness of this model is that it creates unsure relationship between the visible and invisible, since Grace allows people to get closer to God through the invisible such as communion while the visible structure like institutionalism tries to emphasize their power over the whole people. I have discussed what the models mean, their strength and weakness of each so now I will note the difference and