Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Asking the tough questions

When church numbers are declining Kevin DeYoung suggests that the reason is probably more basic than the worship style:
.... I’m not against changing worship styles. There may be good reasons to do so in some circumstances. But I doubt very much that’s usually the real problem. Instead of assuming that young people will flock to our churches if we drop the organ and plug in the guitar (and we have both at our church), declining denominations and shrinking churches should ask deeper, harder questions:
  • Is the gospel faithful preached?
  • Is the Bible taught with clarity and passion?
  • Are the sermons manifestly rooted in a text of Scripture?
  • Do the elders/pastors and deacons meet the qualifications for church office laid out in the New Testament?
  • Are the sacraments faithfully administered and protected?
  • Is church discipline practiced?
  • Do the elders exercise personal care over the flock?
  • Are there good relationships among the staff and other leaders?
  • Is the worship service put together thoughtfully and carried out with undistracting excellence (as much as possible). ....
There are scores of other questions you could ask. These are only a sample. It may be after facing these questions that a church decides to change a few programs or alter a few songs. But until a congregation asks these tough questions, the quick fixes will not fix much of anything. Don’t assume the style is the thing. Check your substance first.
It’s Probably Not the Worship Style – Kevin DeYoung