Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Changing Church Part XIII

“One thing we have not had to address before, but that has been stated under the new structure, is that women are to refrain from speaking in church. Questions are encouraged during the teaching, but women are to ask their husbands or fathers at home. Obviously I am available to help these men find the answers to their questions.”

“What further changes do you anticipate making?”

Will thought for a moment. “The only other big changes seem to be encouraging meeting throughout the week for fellowship, study, and prayer. I hope to see a portion of our weekly meetings dedicated to praying together, not being led in prayer as has usually been the case.”

“I have a question,” a young man from the committee spoke. “How do you expect to evangelize if you are not preaching or offering an invitation?”

“The way it says in 1 Corinthians and in Acts and the Gospels, too. In 1 Corinthians, when the church met together, if an unbeliever happened to be there, and he heard the truth of God’s word taught clearly, the Spirit could convict him then and there and he could repent. Church in the sense of gatherings of believers, in the New Testament, was not for evangelism. It was for the strengthening and equipping of the body. Unbelievers could see how they treated each other and how they lived. That was a strong testimony that something supernatural was going on. Then the Christians would go out with boldness. Go out. That is something of which our churches do too little.

“Now they won’t have an excuse. Church will be a place to teach Christians to share their faith, and how to do it. We’ll encourage them. We are eager to hear testimonies in church of how God worked through a member to spread the gospel. But we won’t do it for them.”

“What about missions?”

“I don’t understand your question,” Will admitted.

“You know, the conference uses money to send out missionaries into the foreign countries. How does your idea of church accomplish that?”

“We haven’t stopped being a part of the conference. Nor will we stop sending money to the mission fund. This format might even allow missionaries raising support or on furlough to present their vision for missions to the congregation and raise awareness and money in a more relational way.”

To God be all glory.

See index for first and additional chapters.

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