If You Could Change One Thing About Your Church

(I am away on a vacation/study break during the month of July. The posts that appear during the month are from the archives.)

What is it that would help your church be more effective in its ministry?

I suspect that the answers to such a question might be varied. For example, some might say they wish that someone would give more attention to what actually happens during a Sunday morning worship service. Others might say that they wish their church offered more for children or teenagers. Still others might suggest that the preaching could be more engaging, challenging, or relevant.

What about your congregation? What would help your congregation in its practices?

Maybe you see room for improvement in a certain area. In seeing such a need and acknowledging it, you are not discounting your church. Nor are you suggesting that the leaders of your church are not making an effort and working hard. (You may be one of those leaders!) No, you are simply paying attention to the effectiveness of your church and acknowledging what you see.

There are no perfect congregations. A church may have a vibrant worship service that week after week does a wonderful job of ushering the church into the presence of God. Yet, it may have a children’s ministry that is sorely lacking. Or, a church may have an exciting teen ministry and yet have an assembly in which the preaching is dull, lifeless, and predictable. Or, a church may have a wonderful ministry to the poor and yet the singing/praise time on Sunday mornings is mediocre and does little to engage people.

Now why wouldn’t someone acknowledge that a church is not effective in a particular area? Sometimes a person might feel as if she or he is being disloyal if he or she acknowledges that something in the congregation is not very effective. Other people hesitate acknowledging a needed area of improvement because the person leading in that area happens to be friend. “How could I say that the preaching is lacking in some way? John is my friend. After all that he has done for my family, I couldn’t ever say that.” Finally, others do not acknowledge an area that needs improvement because they have grown accustomed to mediocrity. Consequently, the children’s ministry rocks along year after year, frustrating parents and offering very little. Or, the old church sign with the crooked letters stays that way while people come and go.

The first step in addressing these issues is paying attention to the ministry of the congregation week after week and being willing to acknowledge what is and what is not effective.

Question:

What is it that would help your church be more effective in its ministry?

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • http://kingdomseeking.com K. Rex Butts

    If I could change one thing about my congregation it would be that all of the members would live within a 2.5 mile radius of where we gather on Sunday’s. This would help optimize our potential for being kingdom witnesses in the very neighborhood we gather in, which is very much in need.

    Right now, as it stand, about 10-15% of the members live within that 2.5 mile radius. About another 20% live within a 5 mile radius, some more within a 10 mile radius, and a few even beyond that. The reason they are part of this congregation has to do with the fact that we are one of the few congregations that is “progressive” and somewhat gender-inclusive. Though I enjoy sharing in Christian community with these people, our reason for existence does not seem to be very missional but more of a doctrinal/theological stance we hold on certain issues.

    Any thoughts on how to address this issue?

    Grace and Peace,

    Rex