What then does it mean to be a post-program church? For now I’ll simply make one vision-level suggestion: instead of running programs, cultivate a culture. Specifically, nurture a culture of evangelism and discipleship.
Culture is a notoriously slippery concept to define because it’s so pervasive and all-encompassing. Culture is to humans what water is to a fish. We hardly notice it because it’s all around us. In this way, culture defines what’s normal. And my point here is simply that pastors should preach and teach and lead in such a way that evangelism and discipleship become normal parts of every single church member’s life. That’s the goal to aim at, anyway.
The New Testament instructs every Christian to make disciples (Matt. 28:19). It teaches that the church grows as every single member contributes to the body’s development (Eph. 4:11-16).
Although it doesn’t have to be this way, one of the dangers of programs is that they can make it seem like evangelism or discipleship only occurs within the program. But evangelism and discipleship are things that, in one way or another, all of us should be doing on a regular basis. So make that your plumb line for evaluating programs—and everything else in the corporate life of your church.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Weaning the Church Off Programs
Bobby Jamieson has been writing about the The Post-Program Church. The series includes some practical thoughts on Which Programs to Cut? and Strategies for Becoming a Post-Program Church.