We believe that the Lord is leading us to start a new fellowship of believers in the Murfreesboro TN area to serve others in the name of Christ with focus on those persons who serve others already and those who need assistance of various types. This fellowship will be oriented around what we do rather than simply what we believe. Our expression of faith will be in how we serve others in the name of Christ. Where does this mind-set come from?
1. God calls everyone to serve Him in one way or another.
2. Christ came to serve.
I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.
3. We are to follow in His footsteps.
4. The Great Commission was given to individuals not to “the Church”. We are individually responsible for introducing people to and leading them in developing a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
5. The majority of the work of Christ (healings, raising the dead, preaching, teaching) was done out in the everyday world of the people not in the Temple.
6. Christ called his disciples to follow him, not program or plan events. Christ called his followers to be disciples not members of a congregation.
7. Faith without works is dead. The old saying of 20% of the people in a church do 80% of the work has never been more true. Few churches (if any) have a work requirement yet we have the book of James…
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.
8. The majority of traditional brick and mortar churches are not making disciples. The majority of “growth” is in fact lateral transition from one congregation to another.
9. A large majority of post-millennials are either leaving the traditional church by their early 20’s or they have never and will never set foot in one. Only 2 in 10 Americans under 30 believe attending a church is important or worthwhile (an all-time low). 59% of millennials raised in a church have dropped out. 35% of millennials have an anti-church stance, believing that church does more harm than good. Millennials are the least likely age group of anyone to attend church (by far). faithit.com/12reasons-millennials-ever-church-sam-eaton
10. A significant number of both baby-busters and boomers are dissatisfied with the church in its typical operation and are falling by the wayside. Barna reported eight years ago the following….
Church attendance plummeted by 12 percentage points, dipping to 38% in 2011. Sunday School attendance by Boomers fell by nine points, from 23% in 1991 to just 14% in 2011. Volunteering at churches was less likely among Boomers in 2011 than was the case twenty years ago, declining from 28% in 1991 to 18% in 2011. While the Boomers have never been the generation most likely to attend church during the past 20 years the percentage of unchurched Boomers has risen dramatically, jumping up 18 points! At 41% they are now the generation most likely to be unchurched, surpassing the 39% level among Busters. www.barna.com/…/barna-describes-religious-changes-among-busters-boomers
11. For nearly 20 years high school seniors in both public and private systems have been required to complete community service hours and projects in order to graduate. This means there are 20 years’ worth of high school graduates accustomed to being asked to serve. Many colleges are now requiring X number of hours of volunteer service in order to be considered for admission.
12. New churches / congregations are the strongest points of growth for most denominations and non-denominational organizations.
Thom Rainer reports five practical reasons for starting a new work… more Millennials attend new churches and campuses… More outreach comes as a result of new churches and campuses… There is more engagement in service at new churches and campuses… Churches and campuses started in the last five years have seen more growth than older churches… More financial resources come from new churches and campuses.
13. Now more than ever non-churched non-religious people need to be able to see immediate and practical reasons for exploring faith. Helping neighbors appeals to even the most secular of persons.
14. Churches that are highly mobile, highly comfortable with fluidity, accessible via multiple social media platforms and practical are more likely to appeal to post-modern millennials who “need” everything to be presented in their terms.
15. Churches that are willing to allow people to “belong” before they “believe” are more likely to win adherents to the work of the local church and eventually to Christ.
If seeing a plausible alternative from the outside can help someone move from unbelief to belief, wouldn’t seeing it from the inside be even better? If we want to commend the gospel to non-Christians, what could be more effective than inviting them inside, letting them try it on before they commit to buying it? If the community is the most powerful tool we have, then let’s bring people in, not as outside observers, but as (cautious) insiders participating in our corporate life with us. The result? “Unbelievers” become “seekers,” rather than non-Christians. They become fellow travelers on the journey with us, just at a different point. 9marks.org/article/journalhow-belonging-believing-redefines-church/
16. A church willing to “break the rules” of conventional church will appeal to a segment of the population if for no other reason than curiosity.
17. Holiness is better caught than taught. A lesson on holiness demonstrated by action where we are all invited to be a valuable part of the team will be a lesson remembered.
18. Post-moderns speak a different language. The archaic terminology of the average sermon in the average church simply will not be understood. People learn more when something is explained then demonstrated.
19. A church with minimum overhead and maximum investment in ministry will appeal to those who view organizations with multiple levels as suspicious.
20. A church where family is celebrated and generations work together for a common cause will appeal to many.