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Methods Vs. Message

October 6, 2009

As my career life in full time ministry rolls on I find the conversation of methods vs. message continuing to come up.  Granted, right now we are in a relaunching phase and this conversation is bound to come up with all the things that are changing, but why is it a hard thing to hang on to?  What is it about this topic that always brings it back to the surface?

A very wise man once said (well actually he says it a lot) that the message of the Church never changes, but the methods must change.  Thanks to Craig Groeschel for drilling that into our brains.  I absolutely appreciate him for helping me understand that.  It’s not about what the cool thing is, but what’s effective.  It’s not about the comfort in knowing, but the discomfort in trying.  As a pastor, I don’t want to forget this.  If in five or 10 years my ministry looks exactly the same, I will most likely not be reaching out to the same types of people (those who don’t go to church or hate church or are burned out).  Even as a church that isn’t necessarily “seeker friendly/oriented” there still must be change in the methods.  Without it we are never out of the comfort zone of our little church world.

Have you ever been driving down the road to some place that you go all the time and you look up and think, wait, how did I get this far already?  You realize that it has become such routine that it doesn’t even register in your head anymore.  We should never let church get this way.  When it does we miss all the things that God is doing along the way.  Just because the way you went before was the best way at the time doesn’t mean that it is always the best way.  I’m not saying that every church should be done in a certain way and all change in the same way every time.  Each community is different.  Each staff is different.  But if we don’t learn to change our methods, not only will we start to die off, we will miss out on all the things God wants to show us along our routines.

Remember that the main confusion about this conversation is that THE MESSAGE NEVER CHANGES!  That does not get old!  That’s the beauty of God!  We will never be able to wrap our minds around it all!  Change your methods.  Try new things.  Step out in faith.  Lean on Him knowing that if it all rides on what you are capable of doing, it will fall apart!  Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that the way you have always done it is the best and the rest should conform.  Follow God’s lead even when it is into something that isn’t comfortable.  Mix it up!  Hold your breath!

(Stop holding your breath.  That’s not what I meant.)

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. deshazo permalink
    October 6, 2009 6:46 PM

    good stuff. i think too often churches get lost in the method and forget the message – it becomes about them and their style and not about Him and His intentions for that community. what works for some, doesn’t work for others and vice versa. the second most unfortunate part of this (#1 being that it becomes less about the message) is that it is a source of competition for many churches. they want to keep up with the growing church/popular church/”cool” church and end up neglecting their own members. i have a lot of thoughts on this, but i feel like it comes down to prayer (cliche, I know). if you feel the Spirit leading you a certain way, do it. do it knowing that while your method(s) may fail, His message can’t.

  2. dmjames permalink
    October 7, 2009 3:00 PM

    Good word…you have heard it from mom and dad also. All too often,we who are in the pews (or movie seats) like the methods but we forget the message when we get out of the pews and go to the world. How we live Mon thru Sat has the most effect on non believers (outside of the HS) than any style of worship. I agree that methods must adapt but we still have to live the message day to day…. dad

  3. October 7, 2009 3:07 PM

    AMEN. I’m gonna keep holding my breath and see how long I last.

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