Administration of the Church Service

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by Don, Jun 20, 2010.

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  1. Don

    Don
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    I'm still examining my change in thought process about this subject, which encompasses a couple of different areas; I'll probably address the thought processes in a different post later.

    For now, help me to understand why we IFBers do things certain ways.

    Allow me to preface: I have no intention of changing denominations. I'm a Christian by second birth, and an IFB by conviction.

    These questions are not based on any particular church; being military, I've moved a few times, and have seen these particular "styles" (for want of a better term at the moment) in several different IFB churches, althogh they may have been in different IFB "camps" (e.g., Hyles, BBF, etc.).

    My specific areas of question:
    Families are separated -- we are encouraged to have our children in "Children's Church" during the main service, rather than sitting with their parents. After Sunday School, I personally gather my children and have them sit with me and my wife; but there is a prevalent status quo to have a children's church, and to have members' children in that children's church.

    Church every time the door is open -- I've often heard pastors recriminating their congregations from the pulpit about being in church as often as possible. It's led me to question, when did we start having Sunday and Wednesday evening services, and why?

    Saturday Services for bus route kids -- I've started seeing this one over the last couple of years. The only time I've actually received an explanation, it was "these kids' parents don't come with them, and they're disruptive for the families who come regularly on Sundays." I understand the concept and explanation; but I'm not sure I agree.

    And piggy-backing on that one: Why do we only run buses on Sunday mornings? Tacking onto my first point, if it's that important to be in church whenever the doors are open, then why aren't we running buses for every service?

    I offer these to pull history, facts, opinions, general thoughts, etc. to help me better understand why we administer our IFB churches the way we do.
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    We do not separate, period. No SS, no kids program, no children's church. We want families integrated, sitting and learning together. Did you ever wonder who/what was taught in SS? Some well-meaning old grandmas teaching 100% opposite of what is believed. And fun/games of jr church is contrary to the whole tenor of "church".

    We have a unified 2.5 hour service Sunday monring. We might have special group or studies (like Monday young mothers have a book study; Wednesday we have adult-only doctrinal study). No extra "programs" - we are interpersonal-centered, not program-centered.

    Been in churches that people thought they were "spiritual" because they were running ragged every night. Tough to preach on "family" and then do everything to destroy family by having no time/energy for family.

    Sunday School was for illiterate children to learn to read. Did not begin until 200 years ago. Cottage prayer meeting (families in an area meet to pray) was started the same time, but now it is another "preaching" time or worse, Awana. And evening service was added mid 1850's. VBS in 1910. All MODERN ideas, sucking more and more time and obligating people to be "spiritual by attending" (and if they don't, then they are backslidden). Sad.

    I've seen this too - since good church folks don't want to "contaminate" good church kids with those urchins or minorities, we start A,B,C,D,F sunday school or jr church on Sunday so no cross-contact. And Saturday pads the numbers without contamination.

    Cost and burn-out of workers. Bus kids are NUMBERS, fodder for big baptism reports. Who counts Sunday night? And send you vulnerable teens and bus workers into hellish neighborhoods in the dark? Crazy.

    This is manifestation of the church misguided thinking that it is a "evangelism center" instead of a "training center". Look in the NT for any indication of unsaved in the church. It wasn't "invite your friends, bus in kids to church". It was witness and convert in the real world, then bring them for discipleship in the church.
     
  3. Ruiz

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    In his response, Dr. Bob has stated much of what I would have stated. I wanted to add more.

    I believe that the corporate gathering is the corporate gathering and should not be segregated. I would add two exceptions: acts of mercy and acts of necessity.

    My fear is that when we segregate worship we tell our kids that there is something as adult worship and children's worship. Rather, there is only church worship. In the Old Testament, worship was done by all ages at a corporate gathering.
     
  4. Pastor Larry

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    Because people learn at different levels, and because young children are not equipped mentally and intellectually to sit through the kind of preaching that should be being done in the church.

    Having a children's church does not mean one has to have games and the like. It simply means you teach people where they are. It's the same reason why there's a first grade in school and a twelfth grade.

    In Acts. Along the way, most churches dropped the Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. As a general rule, people should be in church. What we miss church for is a statement about what we think is important.

    Never heard of this. Wouldn't do it.

    Many churches run them on Wednesdays, but not Sunday nights. Don't know why. Have to ask them.
     
  5. Don

    Don
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    I had considered Acts myself; but were the gatherings of the New Testament a replacement of the day of worship? Were they along the lines of "tent revival" type meetings? Don't forget that the recordings of the apostles in Acts indicated that they preached and moved on; there's not much indication of when the churches they started continued worship services, or how often.
     
  6. Don

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    Unfortunately, sir, I cannot tell just how facetious/sarcastic or serious you are being.
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    I don't think they were a replacement for a day of worship, and I don't think Sunday PM and midweek is a replacement for a day of worship. They shouldn't be. Sunday PM for us is a community group for Bible application and prayer. As I tell our people, if you don't come on Sunday PM when are you praying with the body? Wednesday night is a doctrinal/Bible teaching time along the lines of an institute type format where we teach Bible content and Bible doctrine. It is not preaching.

    So I think the services should be different, but even at that, I see no reason to miss the gathering of the body on a regular basis, no matter when it is.
     
  8. gb93433

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    I pastored a church where for two years I led the leaders through how to make disciples, a survey of the OT and NT and read about 500 pages of materials. They answered the questions plus read the entire Bible in 26 weeks, all of them started a ministry in the community, as well as other Bible studies, 30 minutes prayer meeting each week, one hour discussion of the lesson, and two hours 15 minutes in church each Sunday. I cut out most of the time they had been spending in church while the church nearly died. When I did that, they started ministries in the community. Who gained more, those who spent one hour each day studying or those who would be in a church service each day for one hour?
     
  9. JohnDeereFan

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    I've never understood this one, either. I have no problem with a nursury but I don't see any reason not to include children in the worship service. And, frankly, I've seen too many "children's church" groups that devolved into nothing more than games and morality lectures.
     
  10. Don

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    I ask the following out of curiosity: Where are the children (say, ages 12 and under) on Wednesday night?
    Agreed. How often each week is one of the points I'm raising for discussion.
     
  11. Dr. Bob

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    No smilie face. Dead serious. These are all very real issues in churches that use such "ministries".

    Been there, done that, and never going back.
     
  12. Don

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    A couple of months ago, I heard of a pastor who refused to go into Pakistan because it was too dangerous.

    While a valid concern--like going into certain neighborhoods after dark--my question would be: Are we supposed to wait until it's safe to preach the Word?
     
  13. Pastor Larry

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    In the teaching time for the children.

    Enough to carry out the biblical mandate.

    I think most people have little to no idea what a church is supposed to do. They are simply operating by a schedule. So they meet because their schedule says to meet. They are not meeting because they have a task to fulfill.
     
  14. gb93433

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    Years ago I led a children's ministry done during the sermon where we taught them to pray, spend time with God, share their faith and to have fellowship. They actually prayed for people and class members. As a result we reached children from non-Christians homes and their parents. Each week all the workers prayed for one another and each child by name. How many adults learn that in a typical sermon?

    Another church in town asked to come visit us to see what we were doing.
     
  15. JohnDeereFan

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    Yeah, because nobody ever preaches about prayer.
     
  16. gb93433

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    I wonder why?
     
  17. JohnDeereFan

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    I was being facetious. We preach about prayer all the time.
     
  18. gb93433

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    Today I have been reading a book on Praying Hyde and the author said that he did little talking on prayer but prayed and when he prayed it was as though God were present.

    I cannot think of any church growth book that begins with what Jesus taught on the Sermon on The Mount.
     
  19. JohnDeereFan

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    Can't tell you, because I wouldn't be caught dead reading a church growth book, but I do know that I and every other preacher I know and even know of preach on prayer frequently.

    And just so you know, the Sermon on the Mount is a presentation of the Gospel, not a sermon on prayer.
     
  20. gb93433

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    I agree. However a lot of money is spent on church growth in particular groups of churches.
     
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