I praise God for your return and your devotion to practical evangelism. We need a whole lot more people like you.
- We teach scripture by themes. The overall theme for the year is Micah 6:8 “Mankind, He has told you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God.” This has been summarised as Know God, Grow God and Show God. We refer to it as Know Love, Grow Love and Show Love. Each month there is a sub theme. This month it is God as Father through Fathers in the Old Testament.
- I have been attending the church for about a year and in that time I can’t recall a sermon directly or indirectly pushing the Sabbath. We observe Sabbath but there is no judgement about how you may do it differently to me. There is no “dress code” if you come to our church.
Sabbath is relaxed and resonably informal. Many families are at the church most Sabbath afternoons - Pathfinders, pot lucks, or just fellowshipping. We are also strong on Cell groups and being involved in community events.
- A few months as an introduction to our workshop (Sabbath School) we were asked our opinion on various topics - Has our idea of Sabbath observance changed as we age? etc. One of the questions was “What impoertance do we place on EGW’s writings?” We were using the aisle of the church as a spectrum and we placed ourselves along the spectrum. a few were at the very important end, none at the no importance end and many spread across the middle. We then had a discussion over why we felt the way we did. There was no “I’m right and your wrong”, it was an enlightening discussion.
We occasionally get a quote from EGW in a sermon but they are mainly practical quotes about evangelism. This is the most popular "Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, ‘Follow Me.’” The Ministry of Healing , p. 143
We are community focused - church community, local community, faith community, digital community. There are so many ways we can cut the society but at the heart of it is community (communion, relationship - genuine and transparent). The first words of God in relation to mankind were words of community - “Let US make man in OUR image”. Our focus on community is to reflect/show this image to those who have lost sight.
Is this what was taking place or is this just the typical response of analysts?
Are people afraid of the “devil in the details”?
Jesus taught us in so many different ways that the details were in the individual stories of people.
Church is impotent & irrelevant
Good! That’s a positive development. At least the rocks and the stones won’t be dogmatic hypocrites.
Thanks for your response, Robert.
Sounds like a caring group of believers.
I was thinking about this article and asked my sixteen year old son what he thought about it as I drove him home from school yesterday. He said, “oh Mom, that’s simple. It’s the parents. It’s just like when people watch sports on tv all day and then wonder why their children don’t read books. Kids do what their parents do. And if their parents are unfair jerks to them all week then make them get dressed up for church and force them to go it means nothing. The kids will turn out to be like their parents. They won’t have any Christianity inside them. But if like you and dad, they talk about their religious beliefs during the week and discuss it with their kids and are kind and fair to them then the religion at church is just like their home life. Church makes sense and there’s a lot more chance kids like that will want to stay.” Sixteen year old boys are not always very talkative and this answer made my day.
He goes to a Christian high school and had had an experience that very afternoon of a boy taunting several of them for their Christian beliefs in the locker room. This makes little sense, but of course it can happen because parents often send their children to Christian school to straighten them out and to accomplish what they cannot at home. The boy was telling them that Christianity was just a hindrance to real education and was a crutch. (We know the family well. The father is an atheist, while the mother is not.) Strange that these conversations came up on the same day.
A school’s teachers or a church’s pastors are important. However, it can be difficult for their best work to fix what is undone by parents at home. I suppose that only the Holy Spirit can help in these circumstances. But lecturing parents in church about their deficiencies is not helpful. I’ve heard enough of those critical and judgmental sermons. Basically we are all largely who we are because of our families plus a little bit of outside influence. And every once in awhile people overcome totally inadequate backgrounds to make a life much better than the one they had as children. That’s the amazing accomplishment that I wonder about—the power of the human spirit to overcome terrible parenting. Maybe we should look at how this occurs.
This is one of the greatest issues for the church that the top bureaucrats in the church need to get their head around. Town hall meetings with youth would be helpful.
The youth do not leave the church as much as the church has left the youth, blatant hypocrisy, absolutism, and selective Sola Scripture
The great majority of the “top bureaucrats” (the black suited guys sitting upstairs) don’t have the guts to do that! They have no clue on how to handle those issues.
These town hall meetings around the world ended when Jan Paulson was no longer president.
That right there is the real indication of where the heart of the GC elites is at. Sad…
FEAR OF CHANGE.
I see this in “Old members” – anyone over 35 or 40.
Most persons I know over 35 are FEARFUL of Creative Worship.
One pastor we had some years ago got up a small guitar band and practiced a couple
sabbaths a month after church. Decided to put on a Sabbath Vespers [6PM – “come if
you want to” event]. He got so much “flack” over that that he RESIGNED!!! and moved to
a church in Tennessee. The other guitar players over time transferred out also.
Our older members and that includes our pastor and church board members are ADAMANT
about NOT having women Elders.
IF our youth attend Academy and Southern they are exposed to Creative Worships. When
they return, the “old members” are SCARED of Creative Worship events. The SDA local
church becomes a dull place to reside.
Like the old World War I song – “How you going to keep them down on the farm after
they’ve seen Paree [France]?”
I agree with Sirje – our SDA churches AND our Pastors are mostly “OLD”. And with “OLD”
comes a FEAR of change, a FEAR of trying new ways to worship. Anything NEW introduced
is Very Unsettling to the Psyche of the over 35’s and 40’s.
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