Are churches now mission fields?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Gina B, Nov 23, 2014.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B
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    It seems that the days of small churches attended by those in the immediate community are gone.
    Churches are now huge, and people often pass a number of churches in order to get to their "flavor" of a place to worship.
    This seems to have caused problems. Churches are run like businesses, often catering to what the customer is there for, changing out workers when one isn't seen as a team player, and sidling up to the proper powers that be in order to push through permits and gain helpful favor to benefit the business in case trouble arises.
    If one joins a church with all seriousness, rather than as spectators, they get involved and quickly discover that the place that seemed so wonderful at first has major problems. The leadership may be too small and powerful, disagreements are leading to deacons, youth pastors, etc. leaving the church or being asked to leave, and so much more.
    The underbelly is pretty messy.
    It seems to me that many churches in the United States are a mission field, rather than a place for people from the mission field to gather. Our churches need to get back to basics, remember and renew their original purpose, and function like a family rather than a business model learned from those whose primary goal is cash flow.
    Why? Because what is happening now is very obviously not working. Churches should be the backbone of a nation, a voice crying out, a place people run to for safety, rather than something disjointed, confusing, and a source of pain not only for those seeking answers, but for those who make up the church.
     
  2. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Ahhhh huh:thumbsup:
     
  3. Deacon

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    Gina, you've misunderstood what a church really is.

    A church isn't a building, a place, a business or a program

    A church is a people! .. believers in our Savior, Jesus.

    Our mission field is wherever we go

    If a church [place] attracts the unsaved due to its prominence in a community then the mission of the people of God is to share the gospel with them.

    Years ago someone made a statement: "If suddenly your church disappeared, would anyone in your community miss it?"

    The statement became the impetus for change in our church.
    We have intentionally opened up the campus for community events.
    Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, Police training, Alcoholics Anonymous, a variety of mission-oriented ministries, Advocates for the Homeless, ...
    Why even last month after a local youth died unexpectedly we opened up the campus and our hearts to have his service, almost a thousand outsiders attended and heard the gospel.

    Yes a "church" can be a mission field, bring Christ with you wherever you go and share his good news.

    And our "church" is not a BIG place, average attendance is just over 200 on average, but we have a BIG God who shows himself large in the community where we worship him.

    Rob
     
    #3 Deacon, Nov 24, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2014
  4. PreachTony

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    The area I live in still has loads of smaller community churches, but the megachurches are creeping in.

    One church nearby has grown in number from about 200 to nearly 1000. They've added an additional morning service, and they've started all kinds of social groups for all ages. In so doing, they actually admitted to the congregation that they had to take up a certain amount (somewhere approaching $25,000) in offering every week or they wouldn't even be able to keep the lights on.

    I know of another church nearby that, one particular Sunday, the pastor stood before the congregation. She claimed that the church needed a specific amount of money to operate and some members actually moved to take out second mortgages and sold various things just to give money to her. Her daughter was dating a friend of mine at the time and we often went to their...well, mansion is the best way to say it...and she was asking her congregants to give more and more to her. It was a dirty tactic.

    What I'm driving at is the fact that, yes, churches are now run like businesses and yes, the underbelly is messy. It ought not be that way, but such is the nature of corruptible humanity.
     
  5. Revmitchell

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    This is false. There is no change in small churches attended in immediate communities. I know this because I am part of small church revitalization movement and I am working on a degree with a church revitalization track.
     
  6. righteousdude2

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    There will be those who disagree with you, nevertheless, I happen to think you are unto the problem with the church in America. Too much emphasis on mega churches, while small churches struggle to keep the lights on.

    Here in California there are more churches sitting empty than ever before. And the mega churches continue to add to the numbers weekly.

    Reminds me of the words in Matt. 7:13-14. There is a narrow path and a wide road. Mega churches are like the wide road. People usually treat them like social clubs, dating sites and a neat place to check in with God once in a while. I like what you wrote :thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
  7. Marooncat79

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    Churches have always been "a mission field". That is why it is important to exposit and proclaim the Gospel of Christ on a consistent basis.

    Just cuz they attend, does not mean that they are saved
     
  8. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Deacon....I called / wrote to 3 churches in the area thinking that if I couldnt find anything in the community that was Doctrines of Grace, at least I could fellowship with them. I informed them of my current status but was candid that I was DOG oriented. Two got back to me with "Tough luck my friend, find something else". The third church never bothered to get back to me. Conversely there is a supposedly non denom church in the area that two years ago wouldn't allow me to join cause I had some serious questions about Limited atonement....I had to solid in all 5P to be a member. So you tell me about this big family thing...where I am they are mostly not friendly to people who hold to different theology.
     
    #8 Earth Wind and Fire, Nov 24, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2014
  9. Salty

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    and it is possible that the bigger the church, many doctrines may just be looked over and no longer considered relevant. It appears that in some churches that quantity is more important than quality.
     
  10. righteousdude2

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    No wiser words have been spoken. Amen!
     
  11. PreachTony

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    Absolutely. My cousin was a member at a bigger church (not even a megachurch) and she was saved and wanted to be baptized. When she was finally baptized, my grandfather, a Baptist preacher for over 50 years, went and ended up speaking to the church's pastor. He related how he was there to see my cousin's baptism and the pastor said, "Oh, I wondered why she wanted to be baptized."

    He hadn't sought a reason, he was just baptizing her to get her name on the church roll. It was a numbers game for him.
     
  12. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Hmmmm, maybe. However I see a don't rock the boat, we don't need or want your kind around here mentality. Nice right?!?

    But I again will default to my kid brother & family who are all IFB & they say that you cant be fed by any of these local churches. That you have to travel, as they do, to the other side of the state to find a serious church....so maybe that's true, but it breaks my heart that my area has been become so cold to the saving grace of Jesus, that doctrine has no place etc. Gina is right, its becoming a club.
     
    #12 Earth Wind and Fire, Nov 24, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2014
  13. Salty

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    Then why not start a church themselves?
     
  14. PreachTony

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    That sounds all well and good, Salty, but I've seen that in practice. I've watched families break away from sister churches and form their own, simply because they disagreed with someone else. If there is a true drive and determination as given by God then planting a church is great. But doing so because you disagree with someone or something at another church is often unhealthy for both bodies.

    You're never going to find people that you agree with 100% of the time. I don't agree with everything my church does, but that doesn't stop us from having fellowship together nor from serving and worshiping together.
     
  15. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Who....my brother? If so, he has a job that keeps him working 24/7...IE, he doesn't have the time or energy. And I have asked him.
     
  16. go2church

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    Small churches are still the norm in spite of what you see on TV or read on the internet.
     
  17. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Where? I dont see them here.
     
  18. InTheLight

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    Your post is disjointed and confusing. You apparently are speaking from personal experience and trying to apply it across the board to everyone else. I attend a large church. It is working. It has a passion for missions and young people. It is not "disjointed, confusing, a source of pain". It is a blessing.
     
  19. Use of Time

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    Same here. Any internal problems in a church are not related to size but leadership.
     
  20. Salty

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    Depends on what "Its working" means.

    Sure having hundreds come every week can seem like success. But are people growing in the faith?
    I'm sure some are - but all ?

    Curious about something Light. How many families in your large church drive at least 40 miles to attend church? Are they faithful every week? Do they attend more than just on Sundays?
     

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