I believe in reaching culture, not one group or a sub-culture, just culture. You have to look at who is within your community and that has to become your target. So many churches think that their only group is the group within their church and while that group is still important you cannot stop their. We have been called by Jesus Himself to reach farther. We as a church at Shoal Creek are fixing to embark on a journey through our vision. My prayer is that we as a church will quit looking at some of the things that have no eternal consequences and start looking at the things that will impact eternity. So what are the messages going to look like?
Prayer- I am going to look at prayer in the first church (by the way all messages will more than likely come from Acts) and see just how important it was. I am going to explain some simple things like why we have quit taking prayer request on a Sunday morning and started praying more on Sunday night and how prayer will be the gauge by which our church runs!
Leadership- I am going to challenge the leaders within our church on faithfulness and integrity. I am going to challenge on issues like an 90% attendance goal for leaders in the upcoming year. Which means someone could miss 14 services a year. I want to say something about this! Before God called me to preach I was faithful to His church. I didn't have to get paid and since I have been in ministry I haven't always got paid but I have still been faithful. I have a hard time believing that someone can be where Christ wants them to be and not be at Church. There is one group that I believe He has understanding on and that's the shut-ins and even then I have noticed that there is hunger in these people to be at church.
Outreach- If we are looking with-in then we will see our problems but if we are looking outward then we will see the problems of others and our true problems will come to the surface. We all have problems! The true problem is that we do not deal with the root of these problems. Even in the Church we are guilty of this!
Discipleship- This is the big one for me! I am going to deal primarily with Sunday school. There are some people who are saying it's not working! Well let me say this! That Sunday we had eight people in Sunday school that was not in Sunday school one year ago! Our problem right now is that our people will not try it! We will let five hours keep us out of Sunday school! This is not a Biblical issue and by the way the point of Sunday school is to grow people, growth involves being stretched, and stretching involves change. I want to make a plead to some of you. I have prayed more about this then anyone in our church, I have studied scripture about this more then anyone in our church, and I have studied our culture about this more than anyone in our church so please trust me.
Worship- Our culture is diverse! Their is black, white, Hispanic, and Asian there is men and women, young and old, there is rich and poor, there is traditional and contemporary. I say lets reach them all! So our worship (our church) has to be diverse. I am going to talk about our music, our projectors, our drums, etc., and how we will use them in the upcoming year.
I have people who say well why did we quit our gospel singings? Because no one was coming! Why did we quit Sunday school in the morning? Because it wasn't working! Why did we quit our normal Sunday evening services? Because no one supported it hardly! I refuse to lead a church to continue to do something for the sake of doing it. That makes no sense! I want to close with this thought! A few months ago we switched banks because of interest rates. It made no sense to stay with one bank when you could make more money at another bank. Well we are going to make some more changes this year but it's not going to be back in the direction we came from because we know that didn't work. The church was dying and in a few more years it would no longer exist!!! Please join me! But if you are not going to join me please know this! That I have not done one thing personal to hurt anyone in this church and if you want to help pray! I am going to reach culture join me!
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