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He’s older now. Retired, but not done. He doesn’t move quickly, and his hearing is not great. For thirty years he shepherded our church. Now he leads a Life Group. We call him “Brother Bob.” All of Bradenton calls him that. He’s a passionate evangelist for evangelism. Give him a minute of your time, and you’ll hear him share the gospel. Boldly. Without apology. He was at Vacation Bible School every day last week. He brought three children. Two of them accepted Christ. In fact, seventeen total children accepted Christ, along with two parents. Countless gospel seeds were planted. What other program or event bears this kind of fruit in a one-week timeframe? VBS is a local mission trip that just about any church can do.
The afterlife seems to be an overwhelmingly dead end for one particular people group—and it’s not the nonreligious. Tibetan Buddhist monastics—a community of Buddhist monks and nuns—are reported to fear death the most when compared to several other people groups: nonreligious Westerners, Hindus, Christians, lay Tibetans, and lay Bhutanese. The studies were conducted by Harvard Divinity School, the University of Arizona’s department of Philosophy, and other institutions.
I’m a pastor. Cut me and I bleed local church. Cut the church and I’m spoilin’ to protect her. As a pastor, even the threat of a cut can evoke a negative or reflexive reaction. Which leads me to parachurch ministry. As a younger pastor, I saw parachurch ministries as ‘cutting’ the church. These works were the ‘alternative church’ – reaching for the church’s partnership, resources, and credibility while excising the corresponding organization, care and accountability that attended it. Parachurch was, in my opinion, a drain to the local church; legitimate only inasmuch as their existence revealed where the local church had failed to apply herself. They were the unpaid debt of the local church. Not anymore.
Anything worth accomplishing has a strategy. Is the Great Commission worth accomplishing? You bet it is! It is so grand that we call it the GREAT Commission. Therefore, it deserves our careful attention and planning. I believe that Sunday School should be the church’s strategy. Sunday School is the How behind the What. Sunday School is the way we go about accomplishing the Great Commission—one class at a time, one person at a time. This article cannot cover all the reasons for that, but let’s look at the three components of a strategy.
This Week at ThomRainer.com:
Three Ways Churches Think They Are Known in Their Communities
Many of our churches are doing an incredible job connecting with and ministering to the communities in which they are located. And though I am certainly glad to see many church members excited about what is taking place on their church campuses, I fear many members think that community ministry means, “Y’all come to us, and we will minister to you.”..READ MORE