Message vs. Method

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Bartimaeus, Dec 20, 2006.

  1. Bartimaeus

    Bartimaeus
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    I have come to a position that the method is as important as the message. I see it in the scriptures and have tried to take the message (the gospel of Christ, i.e. death, burial and resurrection) to the lost remembering there is a way that the Lord has commanded for it to be done.

    For instance: "If just one person gets saved then our 4 million dollar loan from the bank is worth it". I have heard this shouted for years from the pulpits. Is it right to sink ourselves in debt to have $300,000 "Family Life Centers"? I am not picking on Family Life Centers mind you, it's just the way that we get them. I have seen bond programs sink into the everlasting abyss and Sister Sallie (widow) never get paid because the church split and couldn't make the payments and then receivership with the CEO of the Bank running the ministries of the church.

    2nd example: Madison Ave. Technique, Circus church. Worlds tallest man, worlds most talking parrots, 500,000 super balls dropped from helicopter into church parking lot, kite sunday, White Castle sunday, Swallow a gold fish sunday and on and on and on. Do whatever it takes to bring in the funds to keep the TV ministry, radio ministry, christian school ministry and on and on and on.

    Is the method as important as the message?

    Thanks Bartimaeus/Ky/Look Away!
     
  2. blackbird

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    Bart --- how about this one???

    "If we have 'a hun-ert' in church Sunday I'll preach from the roof!!!"
     
  3. Jarthur001

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    Hello Bartimaeus

    For instance:
    2nd example:
    I have a idea. Being that football has become this nations new God, each city should start a pro-football team and buy up all the rights to the big name football pros in the game. This way each church could have 80,000 + in church each Sunday. People would come, if we had the best players. At half time we could preach alittle, and then back to the game. We might need to sale beer at 1st to get them to come, but we can try to get rid of the beer later. Or we could just keep the beer and only sale it after half time when the preaching is over. People can come as they are. They could even remove their shirts and paint their bodies blue or what ever the teams colors are. Think of it...if your church had the best team, you would pack in more then 100,000. 100,000 is a lot of people to preach to each Sunday. We could do so much more then what you showed in the 2nd example above. And don't forget the TV rights. This would rake in more money to have bigger teams to have better shows and yes we could preach to more people.

    Think of who all would watch the gospel program on the NEW Church of Super Bowl Sunday. The whole world would turn to watch the game, and at half time we could have half naked singers share Gods Word with laser light shows and the whole world will get to see the gospel though belly dancing. Think of all the neat ads that we could make to show on TV for this NEW Church of Super Bowl Sunday. We would have the media talking for days of how they made that horse pop out of a coke can and say ..."God Loves You". I think its a great way to grow the church. In fact...I am SURE each church would grow...and that is what its all about..right?

    Wait...I have another idea. Think of all the free news time the war gets. If we started a war.......
     
    #3 Jarthur001, Dec 20, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2006
  4. Allan

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    My philosophy has been what Jesus did (preach and teach THE WORD) an let God do what He will. I can't stand most of these dog and pony shows Churches do to BRING them in. It takes the responsibility OFF the average pew sitter to witness of Christ and in stead they will take a non-confrontal approach (come to church) where once again it is the Pastors responsibility to try to get to everyone before they leave.

    I personally an of the mind, that before we EVER utter the phrasology "come to my church" that we had better FIRST begin with "will you come to my Christ, His name is Jesus". (or something to that effect) ::thumbs:
     
  5. Dale-c

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    Bart, I think I agree with you mostly here. the only thing I would say is that having all of these things has an impact on what you message is.
    I don't see how you can have a church like the examples you describe without weakening the message.
    Yes, it is important. The end does NOT justify the means.

    I hearda really good radio add for a church in San Diego yesterday. If I can find the link I will post it.

    When I first saw this title I thought you were talking about HOW we gave the message like whether it was really nice and kind or more aggressive etc. I don't style is THAT important, but the methods need to be Biblical.
    If a church is unBiblical in it's methods, then the message is compromised already.
     
  6. Dale-c

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    James, I agree about the football. You know, a lot of churches cancel Sunday night service just for the Super Bowl.
    Our church doesn't normaly have a service on Sunday night but if we did....there would be no cancellation for football I can assure you.

    It as if people say...sorry God, we'll get back with you after the season is over....
     
  7. LeBuick

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    I don't really follow the intent of this post but generally speaking, the investments of the Church should primarily be to benefit the members of the Church family. A family life center should be for the Church.

    What the Church should give back to the community is themselves. Your sevice to your fellowman is your investment to the community. I wouldn't see a problem with a Church building a community center if they can do it without a loan.

    My post could be off target of the thread, as I stated, for some reasom the OP doesn't click.
     
  8. Jack Matthews

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    I don't see lost people lining up to get into our church on Sunday, or flocking to the church events we plan, or responding to mail outs or the sign on the church marquee that says "everyone welcome."

    We need a little bit of Paul's advice from I Cor. 9:19-23, I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. Paul is telling us to get into the world of the lost without losing our bearings in Christ, so that we might have a chance to put forth the gospel. Most of what we do for the church is inward focused, although we have become really good at justifying it "for outreach purposes."

    Jesus went to where the "sinners and tax collectors" were gathered. He called Matthew from the tax collector's booth, and then went to eat with his friends. "I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." he said. With Matthew, he connected right into a mother lode of lost people.

    The best way for evangelism to take place, at least from what I see in scripture, is for Christians to have relationships with lost people that open the door for them to share the gospel, not just once, but repeatedly, not just a "four spiritual laws, do you know Jesus" type of presentation, but with words and deeds out of a lifestyle. I've seen more people come to know Christ through half a dozen home fellowship groups where one or two lost people in the group came to know Christ and basically opened the door to their lost friends and family members than through big mass evangelism events. Maturity in Christ means knowing how to "become all things to all people in order that I might win some" and at the same time staying firmly rooted in Christ.

    And don't think that's as easy as it sounds.
     
  9. Amy.G

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    Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought we (believers) went to church to be discipled. It seems like some churches now want to just fill more seats. I thought the church was a body of believers. Of course we want people to be saved, but isn't church supposed to be about building up believers who are then equipped to go into the world and preach the gospel instead of bringing the world into the church?
     
  10. LeBuick

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    I can agree with this. We need to get outside the walls if we want to really "serve" the Lord.
     
  11. Lagardo

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    To me, the problem is when the "message" becomes come to church. I have seen churches go to great extremes to get someone to come to church, but it all stops there. Meanwhile, I have seen other churches realize that all the craziness may have gotten the person within earshot, but now the real work begins. I don't care so much about the method (whatever within Biblical boundaries works) but I do think the message is often lost.
     
  12. LeBuick

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    I agree with this also, the message should be come to Jesus instead of come to Church.
     
  13. Aaron

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    Absolutely. The method is half (or more) of the message.:thumbs:
     
  14. tinytim

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    Method of what?
    Method of missions?
    Method of discipleship?
    Method of worship?
    Method of fellowship?
    Method of Ministry?

    To fully understand this question, we have to look at the different areas of a church's life.

    For instance within Missions, there is home missions...
    And 3 differing methods to accomplish personal evangelism.
    1) direct... EE, or fishers of men, or WoM, etc.
    2) lifestyle... win them over by our life
    3) relational... build a relationship first, then present the plan of salvation.

    also within home missions is corporate evangelism
    1) Thursday night door to door.
    2) evangelistic campaigns (revivals)
    3) Saturday evening sings
    4) VBS
    5) Christmas programs
    or anything else that may draw the sinner to the church, or that the church as a whole does to present the gospel message to them...

    Then we have Worship...
    And of course we have different methods here..
    High church...Formal...Dress is important
    Medium church...not so formal...Dress is not as important
    Low church... not formal at all...Dress- who cares, come in your bibs if you want.
    Then worship styles...
    Traditional..
    Blended
    Contemporary...

    So can you tell us which area of the church you are talking about?

    Blackbird mentioned preaching off a roof..
    As some of you know, I have told our church that when there are 80 in attendance 2 Sundays in a row, I will preach from the roof.
    This is an incentive, a goal, a tangible goal, for the church to work toward.

    Will my message change that Sunday? Of course not... I'll probably preach on the passage where some tore up the roof to get someone to Christ. But the message will be doctrinally correct. It will not have an evangelistic feel too it, but more geared toward discipleship.

    I see this as a fellowship opportunity.. much like a "pack a pew" Sunday, or "Invite a friend" Sunday, or "Family" Sunday.

    BTW, I am not going to defend my choice here - when honestly, I don't have to answer to any here on BB, but to God, and the church I pastor.

    So, what method is the correct biblical method in each of the above areas? (please be prepared to back it up biblically, not just culturally)
     
  15. Jarthur001

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    Amen Amen..and Amen
     
  16. Jarthur001

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    I agree again. The focus is always on the Lord, and other things will take care of themself.

    Do you long for you church members to share God with others? Preach to them how great God is and have them find the love for them they lost. We talk about things we love.

    Do you want to grow your church with strong believers? Preach on doctrine and people will share how amazing God is to others.

    Do you want all of the above? Preach on prayer. Set up pray times for the pastor. Set up prayer times for the youth. Get you church to pray day in and day out and your church will grow!!! Mark my word. I have seen it many times.

    You may not have a "Mega Church", but you will have a larger church with stronger believers in love with their God.

    In all things point to God. God will take care of the rest.
     
  17. Jarthur001

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    I'm sorry, but we do not have to change anything to help share the gospel. The gospel is what it is. If you want people in your church that loves a show, then give them a show and they will come. If however you want people in your church that love God and will come no matter what, then just preach how great God is.
     

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