Video 1: Recognizing Risks in Ministry Styles

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The Bible teaches all churches must be devoted to the ministries of prayer, teaching, fellowship, and outreach. But this raises the important question:

How should our Church do ministry in this particular culture?

One of the top mistakes church leaders make is to choose ministry styles based on what they’ve seen and prefer, not on what will be most effective in their community. The result is tragic: Ministry styles become unnecessary barriers to transforming lives and communities. How do we avoid the two extremes of cultural compromise and isolation?

In this 6-part series you’ll be equipped to:

      • Recognize the risks in adapting ministry styles
      • Describe the dynamics of under and over-adapting
      • Define worship emphases, elements, and models
      • Identify learning modes, styles, and principles
      • Explain fellowship celebrations, congregations, and cells
      • Analyze outreach gathering and scattering styles

This brief video (3:47) will help you see the importance of wisely adapting ministry styles to your community without compromising biblical principles. 

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Registration closes October 15

We help underserved church leaders
develop churches that transform lives and communities.

 

In this article, we continue our foundational work by looking at the topic of ministry styles in church development. This article is a continuation and practical application of the earlier session on philosophy of ministry, when we answered the broader question, “How can I contextualize without compromise?”

“How can I contextualize without compromise?”

We’ll be revisiting and amplifying some of these key concepts here, but the more specific question for this article is, “How does this Church do ministry in this particular culture?” In our earlier series on purpose, we saw how in Scripture God has makes clear what the primary ministry purposes of a church should be. We organize these purposes into five major categories. Here, you’ll begin to answer the practical questions:

  • What does worship and prayer look like in this church?

  • What will discipleship and teaching ministries look like?

  • What will fellowship and small groups in this community look like?

  • How will we do evangelism and acts of mercy?

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Because these purposes are so clearly set forth in scripture, they must be seen as non-negotiable priorities in ministry development. In other words, all churches in all cultural context must always make these purposes a priority. But the church leader must help determine how these biblical purposes should come to expression in the unique ministry focused group that’s being served.

These expressions are called ministry styles. The process by which a church leader contextualizes or adapts gospel ministries into the culture of the focus group, is called contextualization. The deeper contextualization question in this session, is, “How can the biblical purposes be best expressed in this ministry focus group?”.

“How can the biblical purposes be best expressed in this church?”

Answering this question well is no small task. Now, let this sink in. The church leader directs how a group of people are going to worship, how they’re going to pray, how they’re going to learn from Scripture, how they’re going to fulfill all the “one in others” of fellowship and community. And how they’re going to reach out with the gospel in word and deed.

I spent fifteen years going across the Pacific working with church planters and missionaries in Asia. One of the saddest experiences I had was going into a small church worship service. The worship in that church felt like I had been transported back to America in the late 1950’s. The hymn books were the same. The liturgy, the style. Even the organ. It felt like time had been frozen back in America and then transported to Asia.

How did this happen? Some very well meaning, well intentioned cross-cultural missionary did not contextualize and wrongly imposed foreign worship styles from another culture. If church leaders fail to exegete the culture well and then create ministry styles that are unnecessarily stumbling blocks to impacting the culture, then they are destined to have an unhealthy church.

This is one of the top mistakes made by church leaders. If leaders don’t know how to contextualize, they will inevitably choose ministry styles based on two things: 1) what they prefer, or 2) styles they’ve seen be effective in another cultural context. With this in mind, let’s begin answering this question, “How does your church do ministry in your culture?”

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Registration closes October 15

We help underserved church leaders
develop churches that transform lives and communities.

 

Video 6: How to Keep Praying and Not Give Up

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Jesus teaches us that we should pray with persistent, shameless boldness especially when facing no answer.

John Newton reminds us, “God works all things together for our good: everything is needful that he sends; nothing is needful that he withholds.”

When God does not give you what you ask for, don’t allow yourself to think that the Father is not loving you. Instead, learn how to obey Jesus’ command to keep praying, keep trusting, and not give up.

In this 6-part series you’ll be equipped to:

      • Understand the importance of prayer–especially in crises
      • See the connection between prayer and the kingdom of God
      • Explain the place of prayer in the ministry of Jesus
      • Pray front-line, God-centered Kingdom prayers
      • Apply the Lord’s Prayer to your private and public prayers
      • Pray confidently, persistently, and in faith

This brief video (7:11) will help you see the importance of persisting in prayer with confidence of his love.

Preview New Course on Kingdom Prayer Today!

Registration closes September 15

We help underserved church leaders
develop churches that transform lives and communities.