Handling the preaching

Discussion in 'Missions / Witnessing / eVangelism' started by bapmom, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. bapmom

    bapmom
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    Yesterday (Sunday night) we had a visiting preacher and among other things he spoke on was helping those we see saved learn how to "handle the preaching" they'll hear. One of his points is that we are seeing people saved but not that many of them coming and sticking to our church. I believe he was referring to more than just our local congregation, but it has been a point of concern for us for awhile now. We are a nice church, we love on people as much as we can, we go out and tell the gospel, we go pick people up and bring them to church, we are as warm and as welcoming as we can be.

    Yet so many of our converts do not come, or do not stay for long. Part of it is our area....it's a very hardened city, just like some foreign fields are harder than others. In fact, our visiting preacher said that we need to start thinking of America more as a mission field than it used to be. The children raised here today outside of church have most likely never even heard of Adam and Eve, he said.

    But he also said we need to teach our converts how to handle the preaching. This struck with me, too. I need to let them know what they will experience. And another of his points...."not all the preaching will be for them, YET." And they will need to be able to leave behind something that they didn't understand or that could make them mad, yet at the same time take what they can handle out of each sermon and digest that part.

    His main reference was the verse about "as babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby."

    I got some very practical pointers from what he said.

    Any other thoughts?
     
  2. AAA

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    One of the reasons that I believe the converts do not stay for along time is:

    1. They are not being decipled or do not want to be....
    2. They are mere professers of Christ and not truely saved....
    3. The chuch is not praying for them like they should......
    4...............

    It seems that this is happening to all churches eveywhere...........

    :godisgood:
     
  3. rbell

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    New converts DESPERATELY need to be in some sort of small group so that they may be discipled, have fellowship, and maintain accountability.

    My experience has been: if you get a new convert into a small group (whatever your name for it is: Bible Study, Sunday School, etc.,) their "sticking power" skyrockets.

    Large-group settings such as worship/preaching services are of course important. But the "back door" comes into play much more easily when a person only attends worship. And the larger one's church is, the truer this becomes.

    Our church's health in the last five years has had more to do with getting people in Sunday School than anything else. (well, actually, it's a GOD thing...but in our church, He has worked powerfully through our Sunday AM small groups)
     
  4. bapmom

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    rbell,

    yes, one way we have tried to step up our discipling is by introducing a "new converts" Sunday School class, taught by our pastor. It runs on a 16 week course, and it seems to have had some good success.
     
  5. rbell

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    Wow...a 16 week course? That's pretty comprehensive. I hope it's not too much of a workload for your pastor. But hey...no doubt you will cover all the bases!

    One of the major lessons they hopefully will learn is the life lesson I tell my Christian kids all the time: "Wanna be healthy? Not eating for a week and then going to McD's and downing 10 Big Macs is not only unhealthy, it'll make you miserable. Likewise, don't do the spiritual version of that. If the sermon on Sunday (Wednesday, I say to my kids) is all the spiritual food you get, it's just not gonna work for you. You're not getting enough food, and you've set yourself up to be unprepared for the meal you do get."

    In other words, I just restated your pastor's words in the OP to a 16 year-old. :thumbs:
     
  6. tinytim

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    Bapmom, your visiting preacher is dead on!
    We do live in a mission field. Where today's generation knows NOTHING about church. (unless they grew up in one)

    About 4 yrs ago I attended a youth workshop sponsored by our State Convention. Normally when we arrive we just go on in the classroom, but that Saturday we had to wait in the Hall.

    At 9am when it was to start, out of the classroom comes 2 older teens dressed like Heavy Metal rockers, dressed like they were going to a rave. earrings, piercings, tattoos, dog collars the works... they welcomed us to the session... as they escorted us into the room, it was dark at first, then the strobe lights started, and loud Heavy Metal CCM started playing... They really had it decked out like a rave.

    All 15 of us "students" didn't know what to do.
    So we just stood there feeling sooo out of place, and stupid.

    They let it go on for about 2 minutes, then stopped everything.
    Turned the lights on, and the teens started taking off their clipon "piercings" and Heavy metal garb. They converted the room back into a classroom withing 30 seconds.

    Then the teacher came out. The two teens were the leaders of his youth group, and he started explaining why he did that to us.

    He said that he wanted to shock us, and give us the same uncomfortable feeling that teens get, that have never been to church, finally walk through our doors.

    The choir seems strange in the robes. Strange songs are played, you are not sure where to go, you don't understand what the preacher may be saying, and "Why is he yelling at me? What is with all the up and down aerobics for songs, offering, and is the doxology the "study of Doxen"
    "What are these people thinking of me, I don't fit in?"

    IOWS they are just as uncomfortable as we were.
    And he said that we had to slowly explain to new converts what we do, and why we do it, and slowly bring them into the church, or the shock of the church may drive them away.
     
  7. bapmom

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    our pastor made up the course, essentially, and its the basics with time each week for questions and answers. I think he enjoys it....I know he really does enjoy ministering to people.
    AND, your illustration is nearly word-for-word what he says, too! Only sometimes he uses White Castle burgers in place of McDs. :D
     
  8. bapmom

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    that sounds like a very good way to illustrate the point! and your last sentence is exactly what was said Sunday night.

    :thumbs:
     
  9. reformedbeliever

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    Yummmmmmm! I love White Castle burgers. Wish we had some in Oklahoma. :tear:

    We have some college ministers in our area that does the ccm heavy metal. They have grown exponentially. You'd think we would learn how to relate and make necessary changes to reach all people. But hey, why would we want those young people in *our* church? :wavey:
     
  10. bapmom

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    well, reformed, I appreciate what you're saying, but adding ccm heavy metal would be (in our estimation) a compromise. And we are not talking about changing our message, or changing our methods really even. Just adding some explanation to them.

    oh, and youth is one age-group we have quite a few in. Not that that means we don't want more, but we aren't there to entertain them, either. And really, isn't that the point? We do not have to change our methods as in adding more of the world's stuff, or making ourselves more into entertainment, or watering down any of the message. We simply need to teach our converts how to relate to what they are hearing. They don't need to change EVERYTHING overnight, and I know at our church we certainly don't expect them to! And by this I mean we realize they will have struggles, and we want to be there to help them through. However, its also possible that many of our converts don't realize this because we aren't telling them right off!


    btw, my preacher used to love White castle burgers, too.....until he ate like 10 of them in one sitting (years ago) and got sick.......now he can't hardly stand them....lol
     
    #10 bapmom, Mar 15, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2007
  11. reformedbeliever

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    Oh believe me bapmom... i'm not for making our worship music ccm heavy metal by no means. The fact remains that if you can get a copy of the lyrics...... (so you can understand what they are screaming) it is pretty good theology and doctrine. Not all of it.
    I'm simply saying that there was a time in our baptist history that to allow music or even singing was looked down upon. Why, the women may end up singing and they are supposed to be quiet in the church. That was really an issue in our history...lol.
    We need to be willing to change our methods but not the message. I will not compromise the Gospel.
     
  12. bapmom

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    I see what you mean........thanks for clarifying for me!

    You're right.....as long as it does not compromise Biblical truth and Biblical principles we ought to be willing to do things different if need be.
     
  13. gb93433

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    You will not win people you are trying to win but rather people like who you are.
    Discipleship is not about having a class but about winning people. Nobody is perfect and not everyone is able to reach certain people. Your pastor will not win people that perhaps others may. Discipleship is about reaching the whole person not just about teaching them things.

    For example, years ago I met a young man. As I got to know him he shared some things with me indicating that he wanted to grow. So I suggested we start with a weekly Bible study at my home. He was excited and asked if some others could come. As I got to know the others I realized that one of them was not in college or school and did not work but lived at home. At one of the Bible studies he asked us to pray for him in the area of discipline. After a few weeks I realized he did not have a job and did not look either. So I explained to him the importance of discipline and work. Later he still continued down the same path and was not looking for work. I began to ask him each week about what he asked us to pray for and he gave the same response. Finally I gave him 60 days to find some kind of work even if it was menial work and explained why and what would happen to him if he did. One week he came and announced to us that he found a job. About one month later I saw a changed man. He had a much different attitude and was more disciplined. He no longer had excuses. After he was working for awhile he began to save money and give to people. He also expressed thanks for praying for him and to me for holding him accountable.

    Classes are very difficult to hold someone accountable. Most pastors would find it very difficult to do that kind of thing even when necessary.

    Within a few seconds of walking into a group, people decide if they feel comfortable and like those they are around.

    People will stay where they find friends and feel a sense that they are giving and are given to.

    A church's ability to grow is directly related to its ability to love. Years ago when I was in college I attended a church that I knew if I ever needed help they would help. I saw evidence of that and there was a selflessness about the leaders. That church did not a have a shallow kind of love. It went deep. When you walked into that church you felt compelled to give. They did not pass the plate but rather had boxes as you left and entered the doors to the sanctuary.

    Do not get caught up in the "success" syndrome. God calls you to be faithful. Would you be encouraged if your church never grew one person in attendance but every person who left went on to reach others in another location?

    Many years ago I pastored a dying church that was nearly extinct. The attendance had gotten as low as 10 shortly before I came. I knew I was doing what God wanted yet the church did not grow one person in the first year. The people questioned my abilities and what they saw. People were coming and going. Those who were going took jobs in other locations. Those who left had been the troublemakers before I came. At the end of one year The church remained at 20 for one year. It was the same numbers as was there when first came. At the end of one year on one Sunday we had 10 visitors who all stayed and most of them became excellent leaders and led ministries in the community. Today they now own 20 acres of prime ground on a major highway through the area. God is continuing to bless them and the growth has never stopped. The people have become people who know how to reach out to others and do ministry. They know what hard work is and what it is like to pray. When I look back God was working and preparing the church for His blessing. It was not my work but His way of preparing the church for what was ahead. When the people would get concerned sometimes I would asked them that if God gave us a lot of people all of a sudden what would we do with them?

    A friend of mine pastored a church that seemed to never grow. He knocked on a lot of doors. When he left he saw little growth in attendance. Two years later the church saw the results of their hard work. It became the fastest growing church in the area.

    It is not about CCM or hymns. It is about God and loving His people for whom Jesus died. If the church grows or dies and you are doing what God wants you to do, then never look back. Keep pressing ahead.
     
  14. bapmom

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    gb, I appreciate your thoughts on this.

    we do not "just" have a class.....the class is simply one thing we have instituted as a church - and it is an important part of discipling those new converts.

    We also have an RU program.

    We also have been learning (as in the sermon mentioned in the OP) how to help our individual converts to handle the preaching.

    Our church is growing.....we are not at a standstill, and we are winning many people who are not just like we are. But we want to meet the needs of any that we can.
     
  15. bapmom

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    gb, I appreciate your thoughts on this.

    we do not "just" have a class.....the class is simply one thing we have instituted as a church - and it is an important part of discipling those new converts.

    We also have an RU program.

    We also have been learning (as in the sermon mentioned in the OP) how to help our individual converts to handle the preaching.

    Our church is growing.....we are not at a standstill, and we are winning many people who are not just like we are. But we want to meet the needs of any that we can.
     
  16. gb93433

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    That is a great attitude to have. If they go somewhere else and do well then great. Gods plan is so much bigger than ours.
     

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