Thoughts on evangelistic services?

Discussion in 'Church Order' started by Mr. Bultitude, Oct 21, 2013.

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  1. Mr. Bultitude

    Mr. Bultitude Puritan Board Freshman

    What do you think of churches that have multiple services in order to appeal to different demographics? Contemporary and traditional services, for instance. Or a Wednesday service specifically for people to bring their unchurched friends. Or Saturday services for Jews, or Friday services for Muslims. And so on. I'm not asking about syncretism, but evangelism.
     
  2. Wynteriii

    Wynteriii Puritan Board Freshman

    When evangelizing, I would say that through the Gospel, we bring the hearer to Jesus Christ not Jesus Christ to the hearer. What I mean by this is that we aren't suppose to make a traditional Jesus, contemporary Jesus, or Wednesday night cool guy Jesus with holy jeans (no pun, actual holes) and cool band tees. Why don't we focus on presenting a Biblical Jesus, everything else is secondary.

    My church just about split apart over the issue of music. It has been an issue for more then ten years, it is an issue that will rear its ugly head every once in a while. As of right now, we have a laid back Saturday service, a Sunday traditional service, and a Sunday contemporary service. It might have been the only viable option when they made the decision but we now face the issue of service segregation. We have at most 120 people and half do not know the other half and when we have church gatherings, people always see new faces that they never seen before.
     
  3. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

    All worship services should follow the RPW. Why add extra "fluff" which God hath forbidden?
     
  4. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    All evangelism does not need to occur inside of a "worship service."

    All churches, by virtue of the language and geographic location they are located in, cater to somebody.

    I see nothing wrong with English, Spanish, Korean services for different groups. However, biker, cowboys, and teens are not unique ethno-linguistic people-groups to be reached with an understandable Gospel but are, rather, interest-groups. We need not cater to every whim or "lifestyle."
     
  5. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    This is a very good question in that if it is in the church we are to bring our friends, to be evangelized, let us hope the sermon is on Who Jesus is and what He did that paticular service.

    Josh?
     
  6. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    Part of the witness of the church is oneness—the way many different "demographic groups" come together and are one in Christ, worshipping him together. So we must be careful any time we consider fashioning a service that caters to a particular segment within the congragetion. We risk damaging part of our witness to Christ because we've damaged our oneness.

    That said, there must be room in the outreach life of the church (which is not quite the same thing as its corporate worship life) to become "all things to all men" so that we might reach them with the gospel. It's good to hold events that will allow the church to get a hearing with particular groups of people.

    The difficulty in the opening question comes from the apparent assumption that evangelism takes place only or mostly through the worship service. While there are evangelistic opportunities in the service that ought not to be ignored, the oneness of the church limits how much the worship service can be co-opted as an "all things to all men" evangelistic tool. If we feel a need to cater to a particular demographic or interest group, it's often best to do so through events outside of the corporate service.
     
  7. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Josh, your pastor's quote is great!

     
  8. Rev. Todd Ruddell

    Rev. Todd Ruddell Puritan Board Junior

    Josh, that may make you a verbosationalista.
     
  9. sevenzedek

    sevenzedek Puritan Board Junior

    There is a church of which I know that separates not only the youth services from the adult's, but even goes so far as to separate the youth into different services. When I first learned of this, I could not help thinking of how the pastor of the this church has divided the body into incommunicable parts. With all this segregation in the body of Christ, I see no wonder in many growing up to leave the faith unaffected by the gospel. Furthermore, the services for these youth are completely dumbed down to something less than what church out to be and something less than the gospel. I am a proponent for the body worshipping together in the same room because that is how I see it done in the scriptures. I know this may be an extreme example of what is cited in the OP, but everything else that is a lesser example of what I describe are base examples that give way to the more extreme error. There is a generation that is so individualized that the concept of growing up into a greater knowledge seems to escape their thoughts. The effect seems to be that nobody needs to conform to anything other than their own precious worldview. There are many sneaky ways the enemy leads us to be a part of the church where sanctification happens on the basis of eisegesis rather than exegeses which is not really sanctification at all. The church has become so ingrown that many without a high view of church struggle to find a way to make people young and old connect with the gospel on the same terms. A glorified social club seems to be the result.
     
  10. sevenzedek

    sevenzedek Puritan Board Junior

    And, for the record, my thoughts pertain to the Lord's Day worship.
     
  11. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    They will eventually create multiple churches meeting in nearby locations until some minor issue creates an offense that causes one of the groups to move to a different location.

    First Presbyterian (PCUSA) Hollywood, CA managed a three way split a few years ago, as I recall; with the apostate liberals in possession of the real estate and the other two groups splitting (contemporary and more traditional) off to form separate independent congregations. Worship styles also played a role in the Coral Ridge split.
     
  12. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Though of course we are good to go and go and go to church every Sunday to be disciples once we are converted....In other words, the process of discipleship does not start till one is converted and thus why I posted the hope The Gospel is preached when we bring our friends to church to be evangelized.
     
  13. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I can see and agree with you one can learn about Jesus without being converted though I still would hope when we bring our friends to church to be evangelized they do become converted (one time event) and this will only happen if they "happen" to come when The Gospel is preached.
     
  14. sevenzedek

    sevenzedek Puritan Board Junior

    The OP seems to be broad. Is this about evangelistic services or is it about traditional versus contemporary services?
     
  15. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    That may be my fault for singling out that example and addressing it as the most common. I've never seen a church put on Friday services to appeal to Muzzies. And the Friday and Saturday examples would seem to have the added freight of being anti-confessional.
     
  16. JoannaV

    JoannaV Puritan Board Sophomore

    Much of the time when I've come across churches with both contemporary and traditional services, it is because their congregation has gotten too big and instead of splitting (church planting or whatnot) they create two services, and decide to do one contemporary and one traditional...and then I've talked to a lot of people who choose which service to go to based on the timing and so on, even though they might prefer the style of the other service. Perhaps a tangential thought, lol.

    I think corporate worship and evangelism are two different things, which may intersect at times but our worship should never be based around the needs of the unbeliever. Now there may be an evangelistic meeting that is for the purpose of preaching to the lost, but that is a separate thing.
     
  17. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    This sums up the point that a service In my most humble opinion should be advertized as being evangelistic to allow us to bring our unconverted friends to that paticular service. No one is converted by a semon without Jesus being spoken of and what He did for us. I remember bringing my Father and Mother to a few services and at those services The Gospel was not preached specifically and I was hoping they would hear a clear "protestant" proclamation of such.
     
  18. sevenzedek

    sevenzedek Puritan Board Junior

    If the gospel is not preached during every service, there is something wrong. Unless I am too quick to judge, there are only rules, history, and gospel in the bible. If the gospel is left out, all we have left is rules and history. As far as an evangelistic sermon goes, the primary concern should rather be placed on the congregation. The purpose of the Lord's Day meeting is for the church to meet with their God. A full presentation of the gospel with all its specific tenets happens when the Scriptures covering such are preached.
     
  19. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    There are a few presuppositions here that should be challenged. First, that the purpose of any worship service is to evangelize. It is not -- it is the gathering of the covenant people to glorify their God using the means He has provided for us in His word. Secondly, that the gospel can somehow be divided out from the entirety of the word or events in the life of a congregation. It cannot. The gospel infuses all of scripture and therefore, should infuse the life of a congregation, particularly as it is gathered together for worship.
     
  20. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Now do not get me wrong I understand what you are saying though In my most humble opinion IF we are to bring our unconverted friends to have The Gospel preached to them at church I know there is much of the scripture that may be expounded on that does not mention Jesus and what He did for sinners. Thus this is why many churches make a clear presentation of The Gospel when they know a large group of the unconverted are likely to be at church that day.
     
  21. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Now this is quite true at a typical baptist service.
     
  22. sevenzedek

    sevenzedek Puritan Board Junior

    Could you explain what you mean in a little more detail?
     
  23. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Take for instance what I think Dr. Barnhouse said (maybe someone else like him that is Presbyterian, I can not remember the name only the denomination). "When I go out of town I head to the nearest baptist church because there is almost a guarantee the Gospel will be preached."

    There are many services I have attended that expound on scripture that do not declare The Gospel. Is that wrong?...no of course not, for the whole council of God includes more than how one is Justified in His eyes.
     
  24. THE W

    THE W Puritan Board Freshman

    The issue isnt multiple services for different demographics(1cor 9:19-23).

    The issue is multiple gospels for different demographics.

    EDIT: In light of a great point that someone else made on the board i need to amend my first statement.

    The church should be integrated. young people need to be around elders in the church so they can be taught as the Word of God tells them to for men and women(women teaching other women).

    One church, one gospel. Preach it, and they will come.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013
  25. sevenzedek

    sevenzedek Puritan Board Junior

    Take, for instance, Genesis 1. The subject of the passage is how God created the world by speaking it into existence with no apparent description of how we are "Justified in His eyes." Yet it would be proper to preach about how the whole of creation is meant to lead us to a knowledge of God and his gospel as the first half of Romans testifies. Redemptive historical preaching considers the whole counsel of God which has as its main subject the redemption of mankind. I think it is wrong to not include the gospel when any verse of the Bible is preached. When we consider Genesis 1, it is not properly handled unless we also ask the question of why. What does any passage have to do with salvation,? For salvation is the reasonwhy all Scripture is written according to 2 Timothy 3:15-17 and Romans 15:4. I am not saying that all tenets of the gospel must be preached when handling all verses in the Bible. What I am saying is that all Scripture should be viewed through the lens of the gospel.
     
  26. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I hear you, :) though like I said I have been to many services where The Gospel has not been preached directly. Even the one service I had in mind, that both my parents attended, the topic was how we are to support the church with our offerings. No doubt the subject at hand mentioned the reason is because of Jesus and His church. Now did this service present The Gospel in a way that regenerates a person....no it did not. Was it a bad service....no it was not. This is but one example that In my most humble opinion it would be a good thing to have particular services preach The Gospel in a way that presents Our Lord to be understood of Who He is and what He did and In my most humble opinion should be "advertized" to the congregation that this service is going to be evangelistic. This is done regurally in our church on Easter and our congregation already knows to bring the unsaved with the hope God will grant ears to hear a clear presentation of The Gospel.
     
  27. SinnerSavedByChrist

    SinnerSavedByChrist Puritan Board Freshman

    Dear brother Earl,

    I feel you. You have a longing for the ungodly men around you to be saved - and I could wish I had the same love!! I am also astounded at God's grace towards your unbelieving family members that they would even say "YES" to coming to church!! People in Australia are so hard that Diamond could not scratch their stony wall which they have erected against the Glorious One. The hardness of the Australian populace does drive us to our knees in prayer, as we hit many brick walls in inviting people to church.

    I would submit this: any sermon that does not preach Jesus Christ and Him Crucified is beyond worthless. Jesus Himself said that "for this purpose I have come forth" (Mark 1:38) And what was the purpose? To preach the gospel of the kingdom of God. What is the gospel? Is it not the incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ who gave Himself up for this world, that anyone who believes in Him may not perish but have everlasting life?

    Yet how often do church ministers make the pharisaic error of John 5:39 "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. "

    Like what brother John Dulin was saying before: there is only one theme in the entire Scriptures, Jesus Christ and Him Crucified. Everything looks forward or flows from the Cross. EVERYTHING. Preaching without Jesus Christ and Him crucified is pointless. Oh how preachers should heed the words of our Father in the faith, even the apostle Paul: "For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." (1 Corinthians 2:2)

    Some would protest: How is sanctification related to the cross? Oh!!! apart from the multitude of passages that ground our sanctification in justification at the cross, isn't the very mystery of Godliness Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected? "...the mystery of Godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory." (1 Timothy 3:16)

    May you encourage your pastor to always preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified!! Even from the most obscure verses in the Old testament, one can preach Jesus and Him Crucified. The Law of Moses, and the Prophets and the Psalms have their ENTIRE purpose in exalting the Lord Jesus Christ's incarnation, death and resurrection (Luke 24:44).
     
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