by Bob Whitesel Ph.D., 7/17.15.
A student once fell into the typical misstep of concentrating on events as the primary avenue to grow a church. Let me quote his query and my answer to explain the importance of “discipleship” rather than “event” turnout.
Student A said: “I truly believe as I am writing my paper that God is revealing Himself to me in great and marvelous ways. My prayer is that we can be more innovative in reaching the lost. We are already planning on an outdoors Sunday service next month. We are going to have hamburgers, hotdogs, games, etc. and most importantly we are going to share Christ. Does anyone have an idea about how we might make it more relevant to the community? Something that we might be able to do that would draw in some of those who do not go to church on Sunday morning! Let me know!!”
Dear Student A;
The key to an outdoor service is the follow-up small groups event. Notice I said small groups (plural). Events are often only marginally useful if they don’t lead the unchurched attendees to small group involvement (where they can share their heart with others and be discipled).
Thus for any suggestions students might tender, they will be primarily ineffective if they are not directed toward connection of unchurched people with discipleship groups.
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