Random thoughts on Life, Leadership, & Messy Spirituality

The One & Only Way To Do Church

I am amazed that there is still such a lively debate going on over “the right way” to do church. Especially here in the “Bible belt” of the Southeast U.S., & in particular here in Greater Atlanta where I am. But the debate is raging… traditional vs. contemporary – house church vs. mega church – postmodern vs. well… I don’t know what THEY are against –—– usually everything!!!

My point is that people get trapped into thinking that there is one way to do church – and if other churches are NOT doing church that way then they are WRONG. And to take that even further… the people in the churches that feel as if they are right openly criticize and condemn… and some have even staged protests outside of other churches.

Personally, I have been verbally attacked in person, via email, & via other blogs. Uh, somehow I am not thinking that is what Jesus meant when He called us to love one another AND to make disciples. However, I have gotten used to this – it happens all the time. It used to really bother me (I’m human) – but over the years I have learned to let it roll off my back.

People ask me, “Is the way Eagle Pointe is doing church the RIGHT way.” My response is always, “No, it is a different way!” There are so many different people in this world… and it is going to take so many different styles of church & styles of pastors to reach them. To claim that there is ONE worship style that is right is both dangerous, narrow minded and egotistical. And to attack people who ARE NOT compromising the Gospel… or compromising Scripture is both arrogant and wrong.

There are several questions that I think need to be asked when evaluating a ministry to see if it is in line…

#1 – Is It Growing?

Jesus called us to reach people–period. Healthy things grow–period. And NO ONE can make a BIBLICAL case for a church remaining small & not caring about the community in which it exists.

I hear it from time to time, “We’re small – but we love each other and it is our call to minister to one another.” That is a partial truth… it is A PART of our call… but another part is to go and reach people for Christ. A church that is inward focused & gives the community the middle finger and tells them to go to hell is not doing it right – period.

It’s not about the style of worship either. There is a baptist church near us that is growing like crazy – and they are as traditional as they come. We must be VERY careful NEVER to confuse methodology with theology!

#2 – Is It Scriptural?

I am all for doing anything & everything, “whatever it takes” to reach people for Jesus! However, Scripture must never be compromised!

Now here is where people will look at churches like Eagle Pointe and claim we are compromising Scripture by not dressing up… or they will condemn the fact that we have a rock-n-roll worship band & other things like that.

The problem is that these objections are based on personal preferences rather than precepts, and that is a dangerous line to cross.

#3 – Is It Engaging?

I think there is one word to describe a church that is boring – SIN! Look at it this way – God is not boring. He invented laughter. He invented the sunset. He’s the One who developed the concept of sex! (Thank you Jesus!)

And Jesus – He was not a boring dude. He was always telling stories… and wherever He went there was this crowd that followed Him. (So much for keeping it small!) And when He walked on the water… or turned water into wine – trust me – He engaged people.

And the Holy Spirit – one good read through Acts chapter two will highlight the fact that when He moves it is completely obvious!

And the Bible – is the most exciting book ever written. There are stories of war, romance, kings and queens, you name it – it’s in there.

Unfortunately I know too many churches who have taken God, Jesus, the Spirit, and the Bible and made them the most boring and irrelevant things on the planet.

God is NOT boring – His Bride, the Church, should not be either!

I know we are not perfect – we never will be. I tell our church often that as long as I am the pastor that things will probably be screwed up around here. However, I believe with all of my heart that we are doing exactly what Jesus has called US to do in OUR church & in OUR community… and that we are doing it exactly how He has called us to do it. And that is the conviction that every pastor and the leadership of every church must have.

So – style – doesn’t matter. Dress – doesn’t matter. Political preferences – doesn’t matter. Jesus matters! His Kingdom matters! The world around us that does not know Him as Lord & Savior matter! Let’s stop tearing down other pastors & churches – & let’s start building the Kingdom of Christ!

 Those are my thoughts on the matter – what are yours?

*** Some parts/ideas borrowed from Dan Southerland, Rick Warren, & Perry Noble


8 responses

  1. Eleanor


    November 3, 2011 at 2:26 pm

  2. Scott

    Thank God for making us uniquely different so we can reach all of his children not just some we think fit the bill.

    November 3, 2011 at 4:38 pm

  3. Thanks for doing church the way you do at EP! We would not feel comfortable anywhere else.


    November 3, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    • Love having you guys be a part of what God is doing here.

      November 3, 2011 at 8:19 pm

  4. You said it the way it needs to be said and more importantly, you live it the way it needs to be lived… and this from The Bromance Guy

    November 3, 2011 at 6:59 pm

  5. Aaron Lay

    Bec ( my wife) and I have shared a similar view for some time now. No one church can reach the nations, their are many different personalities there fore we need many different churches. The Bible can not be comprimised and if we’re not growing we’re not reaching the lost, if we’re not reaching the lost then the bible is comprimised. The Great commission is to teach the word and make disciples. I could go on for much longer but I guess my point is made.

    November 3, 2011 at 7:54 pm

  6. Dave Stewart

    Well said, sir! The best part is that boring church = sin. Thanks for sharing your insight.

    November 5, 2011 at 3:00 pm

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