Each ministry that a church has it has for a reason. It might be that there’s a Biblical mandate. It might be something that has an administrative purpose. It might be something that someone thought was a good idea.
It would do us well to evaluate why we do things and what our purpose in doing that program is and whether it is accomplishing said purpose. Too often in churches that I have known or been in people get into the habit of having a certain activity and will continue to have that activity even if only two people show up.
It is my believe that we do a lot of things in our churches to get people into the building, and that we do these things under methods we pick up from the world rather than from the Word.
Our church just recently had a Friend Day. For that day, we were all encouraged to invite friends to come to church with us because we’d be set up for friends and would be having an evangelist come. Now, I don’t think that it’s ever bad to invite your friend to church, but this did bring up the awkward question of “should I invite someone to a service before Friend Day?”
Other programs that churches tend to do to bring people are in are having sermons on popular topics, having performances that friends can be invited to, special speakers, special musicians, etc. The whole concept is a marketing concept and yet the problem with these kinds of activities is two-fold:
- We lack the professionalism in those that we bring that would actually be worth (in the world’s eyes) a non-church person’s time.
- We have in positions of leadership of these groups people that cannot do the program or activity in an excellent manner, and yet since we must have the activity it carries on anyway.
A. W. Tozer states “The Church is dedicated to things that matter. Quality matters. Let’s not be led astray by the size of things.” (Born After Midnight, 75) And rightly so–I’ve witnessed (and been a part of) activities that were not the best that we could do, but we did them because “they would bring people in” or “we have to have this program,” when the truth is that we do not.
Nowhere in the Bible will you find God commanding that you have a youth group, a Ladies’ Bible Study, a Sunday School, a Christian School, or a Christmas Cantata. God tells us to preach the Word. He tells us to grow one another. Believe it or not, good Christians were spreading the Word long before Vacation Bible School.
Take this for what it is– not an attack on good programs, but a statement that if you cannot do it excellent you probably shouldn’t be doing it.