Even if statistics show churches arn't growing I think Spirituality is on the rise.
and increasing my knowledge of the scriptures. To live eternaly with God is my ultimate goal.Jesus said, "They draw near with their mouth, but their heart is far from me. The Gospel hasn't loss its power to save; Christians
have loss the urgency to teach the Gospel, makingit the first (Mt. 6:33)priority in our lives.May God continue to bless us in this war we're fighting.
Why is evangelism so hard? It is merely the sharing of one's reasons for trusting God. It is not about the name of the church or the nature of worship (no instruments) or the correct hymnal. But what I've seen in churches of Christ is that their faith is harder to sell than Amw*y, there is simply too much baggage attached to it.
Aaron K Miller
Paul attacked the problem from a different direction. In 1 Corinthians 1 our Lord through Paul challenged us to be called Christians only. How many of you look at those in the religious world around you? I�m impressed with the number of people who I have come into contact with on the street who �belong� to different �denominations� who, except for the name over their door, we would be tempted to welcome into our buildings just as they are. I wonder what God sees when he looks into the hearts of those who he created. Are we all Christians or church of Christ�ers?
Please, Holy Father, open our eyes and help us to see the world around us through your eyes. Help us to put petty differences behind us and get on with what you would have us to do.
I prefer to rejoice in knowing that thousands have come to Christ, rather than bemoan the shrinking numbers of a denomination, based on arbitrary criteria.
\"They devoted themselves to the apostles\' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number DAILY those who were being saved.\"
1.) devoted themselves to the apostles\' teaching -God\'s plan of salvation i.e. Acts 2:38
2.) to the fellowship - the local congregation
3.) to the breaking of bread - relationships
4.) and to prayer - devoted- regular personal prayer to God
Churches that do these things tend to grow. Those that don\'t -- generally don\'t!
Yes, the numbers are smaller than they were 29 years ago. And yes, there are fewer \"adherents\" than there used to be.
But consider this:
Most congregations reporting numbers \"round off\" to the nearest 5, 10, 25, or 100, depending on the size. This introduces error to the counting process. Granted, this error is probably small, and it is equally likely that a total is rounded down as it is that the total is rounded up. But when the overall total changes by 0.0475% per year (roughly 1 person in 2100), it might be enough to explain the change in numbers, up or down.
Also consider that families are smaller than they used to be. In the 30-year span when our totals declined 1.5%, the average family size dropped 5% and the average number of children per family dropped 15%.
In short, there is no statistically significant difference between the current totals and the numbers from 1980.
These are not the droids you\'re looking for. Move along.
Todd County, KY
Until we understand and apply that simple principle we will shrink and look for solutions in other churches. The power is not on the changes, but in the gospel (Rom 1:16). The question is \"Will we preach it?\"
Bledi, Tirana, ALBANIA.
And we are fighting about the use of instruments. All the instrument issue has ever done is cause division and it\'s causing a big one now. The sad thing is: It is simply Satan getting our attention off the ball.
When your engaged in the battle for someones soul, you don\'t have time for these petty fights.
We have been active over 180 years as a denomination(yes we are).
We don\'t understand the difference between doctrine and tradition. I think we discovered grace about 1970 and that was a significant revelation.
As long as we are concerned about having an instrument in worship the lack of which is only tradition and we fail to make our children and youth desire to know God with having a children\'s
Church, etc. We won\'t grow or keep members close to God.
Yes, we are going to see a split if we aren\'t careful probably along the fault of rural and metropolitan. God loves us all and his disappointment of our differences must be sad to him.
When first released it was somewhere between a novelty and practical resource. Somehow it seems it has risen in the minds of some to be a definitive authority on who\'s in and who\'s out.
It\'s just a book. I\'m glad the CC has devoted fair coverage to it, but IT\'S JUST A BOOK. The short-sightedness of its editors and publishers is really no different than others cut from the same cloth. (I\'d bet Buff Scott\'s home church didn\'t make the cut, either.)
The ultimate reality here is our acknowledgment that we really are a denomination - not just in the denominated (\"named\") sense of the term (since we go by the name \"Church of Christ\") but that we have bestowed some degree of authority in determining who belongs to our fellowship at a congregational level.
Well, the novelty is gone and the resourcefulness of the book is lost on me. A good resource is useful, but this book is now neither \"good\" nor a \"resource,\" really. It\'s become a statement, and I\'ll not be party to it.
With all of the variables in our society and the Church of Christ heritage as one that has not grown dynamically with the changes of society, is it any wonder people are walking away or ignoring us?
The greatest document ever written is the Bible. The greatest value of the Bible is it\'s eternal ability to dyanmically meet the need of every living being. The greatest failure we\'ve had in the Church of Christ is our unwillingness to change in the context of our world with the greatest words ever recorded.
-Small Groups vs \"Sunday Night Worship\".
-Clapping in church
-Is it OK to listen the Christian music
-Powerpoint versus hymnals
-\"camp fire\" songs in Sunday worship
-Eating in the church building
-the list could go on and on.
Do you really think the hurting people around us give a rip about any of these insignificant issues. Plus, why would \"church\" remain important to our young people if this is what they think it\'s all about. WE MUST WAKE UP!! God can not be happy with the name we\'re giving to his body.
Second- why do we just allow 21st Century Publishers to decide who is and isn\'t part of our movement? Quite frankly, I think that more of our churches need to look like the Richland Hill\'s of the world. Not because they have instrumental music, but because they are involving themselves in the community around them, loving folks, and bringing people to Christ.
I laugh (between tears) at reading an article like this and then hear people from our movement try to convince others that \"we\'re not a denomination\".
Considering we say we rely on commands, examples, and \"necessary inferences\" it is fascinating how much we do is without any of those.
The problem to be addressed is the \"Traditional\" is not working. We read comments about the lack of young men wanting to \"fill the pulpit.\" Can we find the concept, in the Bible, of contracting with a man to preach to the congregation twice on Sunday, to teach one or two classes each week, publish a bulletin, visit the sick, preach funerals, marry our members, all while being on call 24x7? Has anyone considered these young men do not want to run a local congregation? Maybe they want to preach the Gospel to the unsaved. Why would anyone want to preach to a congregation week after week year after year when research shows that within 2 hours no one remembers what the sermon was about? These are the same people who want to fire the preacher if he is not entertaining or preaches too long.
We must be willing to admit the church must try something different than what has failed the past 50 years. Sesame Street changed the way schools teach: still teaching the same reading, writing, and arithmetic but in a different way. The Gospel is the same we must take it to people in ways different than they did it during the Restoration Movement or even in New Testament times. Of course \"traditional\" congregations will not like it but as we know, generally they do not evangelize now.