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What does the Church need?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Last week we had our Spring Planning/ Evaluation meetings and during the discussion we talked about our original purpose. Back in 1927, when the college began, its main purpose was to be a support to the Church or church (Global or local - I’m not sure if it was defined but that’s beside the point).

I think we all agreed that we need to keep that purpose in mind today. With that agreed upon we asked the next question, “What do we do/can we do/should we do for the church?” Before we got too far in answering this question we realized we needed to answer one other question first: “What does the church need?”

To put your mind at ease - I think we all agreed that we, as a college, should not be so arrogant as to think we should have all the answers to this question. Nor should we necessarily be the ones to give direction to the church in this regard. Rather, it was mentioned that we should probably open up some sort of dialogue with churches to determine what it is that they could use from us.

I think this question is a good one. I have my own ideas in this regard but I am much more curious to hear what other people think. I know there are whole books written on this sort of question but I'm kinda curious about what the average person thinks. So let me ask this question to you and please comment (even if your not an average person). I'll even accept some anonymous comments (if I have to).

“What do you think the church (local) needs?”

“What do you think the Church (global) needs?”

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  1. Blogger Markio | 1:09 PM |  

    The local church needs a revolution. It needs people who are up on their theology and culture. It also needs people who can develop people and release people to use their various gifts in the church in and in the community. It needs leaders who can see the weakness of internal focus and make positive transformation to external focus.

    I think the needs of the church local and church global are the same. We need Christians, pastors and leaders who are willing to seriously look at the challenges that face us and ask the hard questions that may lead us to the conclusion that we are not fulfilling the mission of God.

    There needs to be enough positive attitude to encourage what is working well but enough critical edge to push boundaries.

    I remember your grade 4 birthday party. :)

  2. Blogger Jared | 1:29 PM |  

    i think that the local church needs love, it needs people not to hate it anymore. when we talk about the church as a body of people there are so many people that are hated and not loved when they walk in the doors every sunday morning. love is what the bride needs and all to often we at bible schools breed church haters.

    the global church needs a very similar thing that the local church needs but most of all the global church needs our support from N.A. the underground church in china needs to know that we support and love them.

    just my average thoughts

  3. Blogger Heidi | 1:36 PM |  

    It needs people who know how to show that 'church life' and 'real life' should be recognized/lived as the same life. (Sit in on a Allan sermon, you'll see that there)
    It needs people who understand and are willing to really explain why certain things are wrong or right. People don't accept 'it just is' anymore.
    It needs people who are willing to try and figure out ways to bridge the gaps in the church instead of letting them grow wider and wider. By this I mean the gaps between; young and old, poor and rich, and Christian and non-Christian (ect).
    And finally it needs some one who's willing to come over to my apartment; vacume, do my dishes, and then make me lunch...now.

  4. Anonymous Keith | 7:40 PM |  

    The church (local)needs something for sure. I'm not sure exactly what. I think since I've been away from college I've noticed the huge loss of having a mentoring relationship. A mutual growing relationship. The church needs encouragement. I was thinking how in missions we often send teams on short term to help out, what a huge encouragement that is to the missionaries (hopefully)to get a bunch of willing servants to come along side nad share the load or just to be there letting them know they're not alone. In the church local it seems like 10% of the people are often doing all the work I don't know why exactly that is. I know people want to volunteer...I've heard being too busy as a reason quite often. maybe we've too easily lost sight of heaven for the world. How can a Bible college work towards some of these things well I think it already is when I think about my senior class most if not all of us are working to build the Kingdom I guess we could pray for more worker because the harvest is too plenty for the few out there right now. Financial restraints have kept many from even considering going to college to learn about God, it seems more sensible to many to go study for a trade. Not sure if this helps it seems they're more like random thoughts and feelings than answers but oh well. they're good questions I'll be thinking of.

  5. Blogger Clayton | 11:35 PM |  

    Dave, I like your approach here. I guess I can think of a few things that I see the church needing. Hopefully it can be of some help.
    As Jared said, the church needs love...but not just the feeling, love in 1 Corinthians 13 style.
    The church needs to be held accountable...we all need to learn to hold others accountable and be willing to accept the same from others.
    The church needs to encourage people to use the gifts that God has given them for the furtherment of his kingdom (seems basic, but I don't see a whole lot of this actually carried out) instead of just allowing people to do stuff if they want.
    I think that's all I have to add. I like some of the other comments here. I hope that all these are helpful in some live long way.

  6. Anonymous Leighton Tebay | 9:34 AM |  

    I think the church needs a lot of things but first and foremost it needs to know and be empowered by Jesus. We understand salvation almost solely as a final destination. We don't really understand how to experience salvation and "eternal life" in this life. In our haste to get decisions out of people we employ salesmanship methods and get shallow conversions. The church needs to return to a more complete gospel message. We convert people to a powerless faith. I definitely agree with Mark when he says people need to understand theology. I believe the basic gospel message would be the starting point for that.

    We need leaders that understand that sacrifice and even suffering are an integral part of following Christ.
    When we minister with a mix of selfish motives and Godly motives we cut ourselves off from the Holy Spirit. We have a poor idea of how we can put ourselves in a place where it is Jesus ministering to people rather than people ministering for Jesus.

    I think how we do church should fit the context. What works in one place isn't going to work in another. No one approach or model is going to fit.

    The church needs to rethink discipleship for adults and children. It is clear in scripture that parents are responsible for their children. The whole host of childrens and youth programs we've invented in the last 100 years have been counter productive.

    We often fall in to the trap of looking at what we do and finding support for it in scripture. We need to look at scripture first, then orient ourselves around accomplishing what we are called to do. Right now we are like an archer that paints a target around an arrow.

    In the rise of the small group movement people started saying the core of church is what happens in small groups. I'm not sure I agree with that anymore. This is a new thought for me but I think the most powerful ministry happens in groups of 2 or 3. There are things that can be done effectively in small groups and large but it is easiest to make a big diffence in very small groups. Any church that empowers and facilitates that kind of ministry will see powerful things happen.

  7. Blogger Nick Boschman | 8:33 PM |  

    I readily agree that the church needs people with a positive attitude. One of the things I notice at Bethany is that attempts to help the church often slide into 'what is wrong with the church?' This isn't a bad question to ask but I think that it needs to be changed into 'what can the church do better?' or 'how can the church improve?'

    The church needs to be a place where there should exist a contagious sentiment of love. I don't think this can happen without a positive attitude. Do we need to address problems and encourage accountability? Absolutely, but it must be need done in a way that will build it up.

  8. Blogger Jennine | 5:52 PM |  

    The local church needs to refocus on the true meaning of 'community.’ While continuing to reach seekers, they need to provide opportunities and nourishment for the 'regulars.' The local church needs to become more involved in the lives of young adults especially. In addition to encouraging them to seek God through a ‘Christian experience’, whether that be Bible College, Missions, Camp,etc.., the church needs to be open to the lessons they’ve learned while away. I believe that God presents us with opportunities, in the hope of influencing more lives than our own.

    As both Christians and the church, we need to rid of our pride so that we can fess up when we make mistakes or lose focus. We need to be real. Those on the 'outside' know that no one’s perfect, so why do Christians feel they need to be. Our lives in their entirety are transparent. We need to show the world that we are in fact human, but that as Christians we are called to live ‘in but not of the world.’

    The church needs help in decreasing its ‘politics’ and favouritism.

    On a global level, the church needs Christians who are not afraid to cross cultural boundaries; who are willing to step out in faith. I recently heard that approximately only 4% of students who feel called into ministry make it to the field. And of that 4%, approximately only 2% continue serving in Christian ministry beyond their initial term (1-2yrs). While the percentage of those who feel called to ministry and endeavour to pursue it is large, there is a growing number of people who become discouraged over the course of preparation. Therefore, I wonder what it is that churches, institutions, and organizations are/are not doing to avoid this discouragement.

  9. Anonymous Rob Kroeker | 6:18 PM |  

    The local church needs more people capable of doing what I would call "mini-church". More people need to be equipped to be mini-pastors at their church. Real problems only come out in a strong relationship level (unless you go door to door - then you get ALL the problem ridden people coming to YOUR house or church). I guess what we need, or perhaps a niche that BBC could fill is that of the Jack-of-all-trades working man Christian. Being able to lead a small study or conversation is something some in the larger church take for granted. Not everyone knows every story from the OT, or know what the Beattitudes even are?!
    Anyways, train people to get out of their comfort zone to gather, and then to teach, and then naturally to release all the while modelling what it's like for the everyday working man to be a Christian. - Rob Kroeker

  10. Anonymous Brian | 9:07 PM |  

    To reiterate some things, or confirm them if you prefer. I think the church needs to realize what community is again.

    Community happens when people in the church are deeply committed to caring for the people in their circle of influence. To loving them, hanging out with them, talking with them, including new-comers. I think that in order for it to be called community it needs to happen as often as possible. The notion of going out somewhere to experience church or a small group I think needs to change to a realization that individuals need not travel anywhere to experience 'church.'

    People in the church need to start loving people who are not. To quote my good friend 'we must love people in ways that do not compute.' Words in our culture are becoming a some what outmoded form of testimony. Whoever said actions speak louder than words knew their stuff.

    One last thing, I know this is done a lot already, but I think prayer needs to emphasised. Corporate prayer, in two or threes. Whenever I have seen people in a community all praying all the time is when I have witnessed the most change. I think we get lost in what we think we need to change or do when if we would turn and pray we would see the most change of all.



  11. Blogger Jason "Muffin" Braun | 11:01 PM |  

    The church, both localy and globaly, needs Love, Love, Love, Love!! we need to be a Body of Christ that loves each other (even across denominational lines) and loves the unsaved and LOVES God the Father! because works without love is Nothing. yes, we need to do more missions work, and ministry, but our primary focus is LOVE!

  12. Blogger Englers | 1:21 PM |  

    hey dave -- this is denise (williams) from bbi days. jon knoll just told me about your blog -- was looking for stuff / pictures of your dear wifey, and i see that you have a son! congratulations! i'll be lurking!

  13. Blogger Nicole | 8:37 PM |  

    I agree with a lot of what people are saying here, but there's something that I'd like to add. It may sound trite, but what I think the church needs is a better understanding of forgiveness. I think all of us have either been hurt by the church or know people who've been hurt by the church. Maybe if we as a body had a better understanding of how to forgive, be forgiven, and experience the healing and wholeness that forgiveness offers, we will be better equipped to be a community of grace, compassion, and love. Unfortunately this is easier said than done, but that's why I think it's an area that the church really needs to work on.

  14. Blogger Dave | 1:30 PM |  

    Great Comments!! Thanks to all - watch for a summary to come on my next post.

  15. Blogger Dave | 1:32 PM |  

    Markio - glad you left a link to your site otherwise it might have been just a bit too freaky to hear you end with "I remember oyour grade 4 birthday party"

  16. Blogger Dave | 1:34 PM |  

    Clayton - just so you know its livelong not "live long"

  17. Anonymous Anonymous | 9:53 PM |  

    i guess i am only here to echo whats already been said.

    the church (global and local) needs people who know theology and how it fits with real life. they need to know how to reach people in new and interesting ways. each local church needs to know its focus (the people it serves, local culture, people it wants to reach, etc etc)

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