Changes in the Way We Do Church

There are new skills that leaders of churches will need to learn if they are to be a part of the church that Jesus is building today. Let me comment on two today… (see the list on September 27th blog)

The day of oral tradition is back. In the days of Moses and Jesus the stories of God’s interaction with His people were told orally and often were not written down for many generations. People were able to listen and to remember. Story telling was a vital part of their daily life as the elders shared the history of events that had formed them as a people.

E-mail has brought us back to that place once again – where oral tradition or storytelling is making a comeback. Today, people learn more through well-told stories than through the old fact-and-lecture method. Personal stories are often the best at getting a point across. Many churches are reverting to using personal testimonies from their people as part of the worship message – having the person tell their story right within the context of the message or sermon being delivered.

This, of course, flies in the face of what most Bible school or seminary graduates were taught as well as what most popular children’s curriculum is based on today. So, we are going to see a major change but it will come slowly as those now leaders learn new skills or set aside to allow other younger leaders to lead and teach.

Another major change today will be the use of the leader’s time. In the past he would be seen teaching the confirmation class as they prepared to make a commitment to the Lord or the baptism class where he would prepare people for this awesome act of obedience. This an visiting members would occupy most of his working day. This will no longer be the case.

The most important thing that leaders today do is to gather and coach a core team of adult leaders. The effective pastor will spend the vast majority of their time in the selection, training, and mentoring of this group of leaders.

Effective and authentic leaders realize that the church is not based on democratic principles and the the fewer people the leader works with the stronger the local church will be over time. The key is to take a core team deep and then have structures in place for that core to replicate itself throughout every level of the local church.

Just two major changes in the way that we “do church” today…

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