Monday, August 22, 2011

Institutional or Incarnational?

What is your church's approach to church life and ministry? While programs and events can be useful tools the proverbial tail could wag the dog. Churches don't exist to spin an endless cycle of attract people to bring in money to sustain programs to attract more people to bring in more money to... well you get the idea. Bid buildings, big staffs, and big programs are not wrong- in fact there are many Biblical churches that have those things but those churches also have an incarnational approach to ministry... pursuing Christ and His glory in all things.

Here's a brief comparison of two approaches to ministry...

Institutional Approach to Ministry:

1. Based on consumerism (hooking people with what they want)
2. Buildings are essential
3. Purposes/ responsibilities of the church are carried out through programs
4. Sunday worship is one more program that is people-focused
5. The home is a separate place from church life & ministry
6. Stronger faith= More program participation
7. Ministry= Only possible by taking leadership in a program or committee
8. Fellowship is found with those of similar lifestyle and age
9. Church is the building and events
10. Attract people to programs with programs

Incarnational Approach to Ministry:
1. Based on Christ's example
2. Relationships are essential
3. Purposes/ responsibilities are carried out through relationships
4. Sunday worship is gathering/ equipping point that is God-focused
5. The home is central to church life & ministry
6. Stronger faith= God's Word lived out in home and community
7. Ministry= Using your spiritual gifts in home and through relationships with others
8. Fellowship is found with those of common faith
9. Church is the people who are united by covenant and common confession
10. Attract people to the gospel by the gospel (in proclamation and demonstration)

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