Asking for help again, please

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by willowdee, Jan 12, 2008.

  1. willowdee

    willowdee
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    I'm a little confused about something my pastor said last week. Can someone help me out? Here's a quote:

    (emphasis added)

    I understand that worship is the most important part of the worship service...I guess that's why it's called the worship service. But the Bible also mentions fellowship, prayer, and doctrine. However, that's not really my question.

    Is the statement above advocating that no part of the worship service is meant to be evangelistic, and that the needs of the unsaved are only meant to be addressed outside the worship service?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    In Christ,
    Dee

    Edited to add: The scripture for the sermon was Acts 12:25 - 13:3
     
  2. The Archangel

    The Archangel
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    Dee,

    Great questions. I will try to post something when I get home from work. I am passionate about worship and I regularly study it (because I think so many people get it wrong).

    Let me say, however, I am in total agreement with the quote you posted. I'll explain more later.

    If you'd like, you can private message me with your e-mail address and I can send you what I've written on worship.

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     
  3. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    Willowdee, your pastor has it about right. The primary purpose of the worship sevice is worship. The presence of lost people is incidental.

    If your pastor is preaching the gospel, he is not ignoring the needs of the lost in the service. He is giving them exactly what they need.

    I suspect he is saying we have to lose the mindset that the purpose of inviting the unchurched is so they'll hear the gospel. He is saying, "you give them the gospel where they are."

    He may also be reacting to the common practice in some of our modern churches to gear the service to the unchurched.

    The reality is that the vast majority of the lost will not set foot in a church, so if we're waiting on them to attend so we can witness to them, we've got it wrong.
     
  4. SBCPreacher

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    Tom, I agree.

    I've told our folks that the real work of the church takes place outside the wall or the church when we tell people what Jesus has done for us. Yes, worship is vital! But real ministry to the lost takes place as we share Christ with others.
     
  5. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    Have you asked your pastor what he meant? Basically, I would agree with what he said... but if he said it, then maybe he could shed more light on what he meant rather than a group of people who don't know him or the context in which he said it.
     
  6. Brother Bob

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    Not in any of our churches. We meet to worship the Lord but the message is always so that the crumbs fall from the table.

    BBob,
     
  7. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    Personally, my mission/ or evangelism doesn’t stop when I enter through the church doors. I find many individuals who need to hear the truth of God’s word from right inside the church building, and it makes no difference to me when sharing Christ what walls I stand between when I see that need…Don’t see God getting jealous while I postpone direct undivided ceremonial worship to care for the lost!


    Although I would agree that most witnessing will generally occur outside the church building, I would never go that far to express evangelism to have a necessary direct separation apart from worship and would ponder whether this statement should be regarded as “dogmatic hogwash”, most probably to maintain and promote a hyper agenda, which frankly, I would happily disregard concerning any seeker having walked in that has needs.
     
  8. TCGreek

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    In 100% agreement, Tom. :thumbs:
     
  9. TCGreek

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    BB,

    What are the crumbs?
     
  10. skypair

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    Dee (Hey, that's my wife's nickname!) :thumbs:

    Welcome and "peace be still." Your pastor is "on a mission." Personally, I feel that anyone who comes to our worship services is "seeking" God and this is where they should "find" Him! Not all of us have the gift of evangelism but we do have the ministry of "drawing" people by our behavioral witness, by our love, by our inclusion of them in our spiritual lives (church life, for instance).

    Many, many pastors want to "shift the blame," so to speak. In a way, they are asking you to "empathize" with them that there are not more people coming to Christ under their ministry. Well, likely God didn't gift us or call us to be evangelists. And maybe our pastor's gift is teaching (as J Vernon McGee admitted of himself). Hang in there and do what you can!

    Kudos to those who thing otherwise. But every Sunday AM service is a gospel opportunity and an invitation to receive Christ. Sorry, but worship is a 24/7/365 practice among believers. That's why scripture says not to mind those who criticize your observance of certain "holy days."

    skypair
     
    #10 skypair, Jan 12, 2008
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  11. Gold Dragon

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    I believe quotes like your pastor's are a result of a negative reaction to the seeker-sensitive movement most represented by Willowcreek and Saddleback churches.

    I do not see biblical support for the idea that evangelism only occurs outside the context of worship.

    Like Benjamin, I would agree that evangelism occurs most effectively outside of the walls of the church, but I would not limit it in such a way.
     
    #11 Gold Dragon, Jan 12, 2008
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  12. Brother Bob

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    The Lord's mercy and love for His creation and the message of His mercy.


    Mat 15:22And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, [thou] Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.

    Mat 5:14Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

    Mat 5:15Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

    Mat 5:16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

    Why hide the light????
    I am sure you know they are able to see you have something that they do not have, which many times causes them to seek and ye shall find.

    BBob,
     
    #12 Brother Bob, Jan 12, 2008
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  13. willowdee

    willowdee
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    I apologize for taking so long to get back to this thread. Pressing matters took me away from the computer most of the day till just now.

    In response to what some of you have said...

    I agree that the main purpose of the worship service is to worship. But to say:

    implies, to me, that we have no obligation to the lost, at least while we are inside the church. In my opinion, that is a bit skewed. I know that some feel the term "seeker-sensitive" equals bad, but while we of course dedicate our services to the worship of our Lord, I just don't believe Jesus Christ would ignore the needs of someone who is seeking Him.

    If in my daily life, I witness to a lost person, I ordinarily would invite them to go to church with me. But I don't feel comfortable doing that now, with statements like this coming from the pulpit. I know that when I was lost, a statement like that would just make me feel unwanted, and I would have run as fast as I could in the opposite direction.

    I don't know if I'm right or wrong...I only know how I feel. I appreciate all your comments, and will re-read them so that I can look at from different prospectives.

    In Christ,
    Dee
     
  14. Tom Butler

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    If we can discern that someone is in our worship service, truly seeking God, then we should reach out to him. And if we don't know for sure, the pastor can certainly relate the church's desire to reach out to anyone there who needs salvation.
     
  15. SaggyWoman

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    I generally agree with this statement and can support it.

    But having said that, if worship is true worship, people can be drawn to God in the worship and be saved. Why limit God and the movement of His Spirit?
     
  16. blackbird

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    I go along with Tom on this one

    How did Jesus explain the order??

    "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve."

    Do you see the order there??

    Service to the Lord Jesus is a direct result of worship of the Lord Jesus!!
     
  17. willowdee

    willowdee
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    I agree that you give them the gospel where they are. But what if where they are is in the church? The lost may seldom come to church, but the lost seeker is likely to actually show up during the worship service. If they hear that "we are not here to meet the needs of the lost," chances are he will assume his needs are of no importance. It goes without saying that we witness wherever we have the opportunity, but one of those opportunities may in the church, during the worship service. Not necessarily after and outside.

    I think I may have inadvertently become a Methodist somewhere along the line.
     
  18. Brother Bob

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    Since I been on BB, there have been several discussions like this and many speak as though on Sunday that only the members are present. It may be that way at most of your churches but it is not that way in the Old Regular Baptist. It is about half and half in all of our services, unless it is a business meeting. We invite all the unsaved we meet through the week to come to church Sunday. We see many sit with tears flowing from their eyes for different time amounts. Some a month or so, some a year or so but eventually, they move forward and give their hand, feeling that God has forgiven them. I seem to sense your services are not that way, that you get all your converts outside of the church. Am I misreading you all or what???

    BBob, :jesus:
     
  19. Aaron

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    I agree whole-heartedly with your pastor. The Christian worship is geared toward meeting the dietary needs of sheep, not goats.
     
  20. willowdee

    willowdee
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    I don't think you're misreading. I can't give you a specific number, but in the 3+ years we've been back at this church, we have seen about 5 baptisms. Four of those came to church probably fewer than 10 times before dropping out. The fifth was my husband. We've also had maybe a half dozen people move their letters from other churches, but most of those are no longer attending. Otherwise, 99%+ of our congregation are members of very long standing. So...I'm not sure how to count converts, but that is the only way I know of quantifying it. I have no idea how much evangelizing is done individually by our members, but the church as a body does very little mission work of any kind. We do have VBS, but that's all I can think of right offhand.
     

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