A few weeks back, I asked my readers and Facebook friends to participate in a single question poll.
“Besides preaching the Gospel, what is the focus of your church?”
- Community Outreach
- Foreign Mission
- Other (for anything I may have missed.)
Allow me to break down each category and the end results (note: most of the “other” answers actually fit in the given categories, so the results have been adjusted accordingly).
- Worship (36%) – Cooperate worship includes all the things we do to reverence God publicly. From prayer to holy communion; from singing and dancing to baptism. Different churches “do” worship in a variety of ways, but it is all worship.
- Community Outreach (25%*) – This includes all services provided to better the quality of life for the community inside and outside the church, such as give-a-ways, economic empowerment, counseling, and social ministries or programs.
- Evangelism (18%*) – True evangelism includes discipleship. It is the aggressive and intentional preaching and teaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This includes street ministry, Sunday School, and door to door witnessing.
- Music (10%) – You may be surprised how many churches rely on music as its cornerstone ministry. As a focus, a church would mainly use music and the arts to minister and draw people.
- Tradition (8%) – Churches that focus on tradition are usually called “liturgical”, meaning they use predetermined doxologies, declarations, and methods in executing worship. These practices are preserved from generation to generation.
- Foreign Mission (0%) – Provide any or all of the above for any place on the planet that has yet to hear the Gospel.
I thought this was a fair question, but a participant e-mailed me and expressed disappointment by saying, “I took your poll. Thought it was quite comical and sad at the same time.”
What is the lesson to learn?
Different Churches focus on different things! AND THAT’S OK!
God has blessed the body of Christ with a vast variety of gifts and they are all needed. This is a situation where the Word can speak for itself.
“For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, ‘Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,’ it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, ‘Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,’ it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; or again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.” (1 Cor 12:13-26, New American Standard – Updated)
Bear in mind that, while we are separate local assemblies, denominations, and administrations, we are yet the body of Christ. We can not exalt or belittle any ministry, because it is not ours to judge. What we must do is pray that God is exalted by the whole body. Therefore, whether your church feeds the hungry in Sudan, or knocks on doors on Saturday morning, or provides an inspirational concert, or executes holy sacraments without fail … DO IT, AND DO IT WELL!
Never try to do what God has not anointed you to do. Support those that can do what you can not, because you don’t want your church to be like the 3% that we have yet to discuss. “Not Sure.”
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