Jump Start # 2902
1 Thessalonians 1:8 “For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything.”
Here is an interesting question. “Is it possible for a church to do too much?” Someone asked me that recently. I wonder if he was talking about us. We do a lot. There are five blogs, three podcasts, daily quick quote, a Friday Five, two sermons, two classes, and daily Bible reading every week. With every Sunday sermon is a notecard for people to fill out. There is a weekly bulletin. Every week. Mixed in that are the special videos that are made for our Bible classes, as well as teen devos. We are busy. Swamped would be a better word. And, as we round the corner for the final quarter of the year, a massive blitz will take place for a theme and wrapping everything around that theme to be launched at the start of next year. That’s a lot. I’ve had some preachers tell me, “That’s too much work.”
Here is how I look at it.
First, I realize not everyone in the congregation is participating in all of these. That’s ok. Some like to read and a blog is great for them. Others like to listen and the podcasts are their thing. What we try to do is provide is a medium that will help every age bracket. We don’t want anyone left out. The carpenter will have multiple tools available and so should a church.
Second, these platforms make it convenient and easy for others to share them via social media. Our folks are doing a great job of that. That helps us spread the word. The methods of evangelism has changed through the years and using livestream and Facebook has enabled us to contact people that we may never have been able to before.
Third, we have found through these various teaching tools, that bringing everyone down to the church building at a specific hour during the week doesn’t work too well. We are to gather on Sunday. That’s commanded. We want folks to be actively involved in a Bible class and that often meets on a Wednesday. But we see that people can read the blogs, listen to the podcasts at all different hours and even days. That is very useful.
Fourth, using all of these tools has allowed us to become global. Our readership of Jump Starts is international. We know of people that are using our other tools all over the world. What a wonderful opportunity this is.
But there are some other considerations to keep in mind:
First, we have slowly added all of these things. To jump in with all of this is way too much and it overwhelms people. Keep in mind the goal and purpose of why you are introducing something. This has always been at the forefront of what we launch.
Second, it takes people to do these things. Thankfully we have two preachers. Thankfully we have skilled people who love to edit videos and understand the nature of networking and how to do all of those things. Get ideas from others and talk to others about how things are done.
Third, remember that people are busy and that they need time for family. Indeed, a church can do too much. We could have classes day and night, every day of the week. But those that teach also need to breathe and recharge their batteries. People need opportunities to serve and not just take in and learn.
Fourth, some things are expensive and a church has to stay within its budget or it might get into trouble.
Our verse today tells us that the word of the Lord sounded forth from the Thessalonians. This was done without Twitter, Facebook, livestreaming, podcasts, or blogs. No social media. No recordings. Likely, no printed papers. But what was done was members who were convinced and committed told others. They invited others. They lived as they believed. This is central to all the other things a church may do. It begins with committed hearts to the Lord.
Is it possible to sound forth the message without all the “stuff” of today? Certainly. Absolutely. That still needs to be done. The best PR campaign a church has is when one member talks to a friend about Jesus. That’s it. That’s always the best.
Some congregations sit on a pile of money but the lack vision and the people to do anything. Others have ideas but so little money that they are limited in what they do. But for those who have the resources, the staff, the vision and the drive, to whom much is given, much is required.
When someone asks that question, “Do you think a church can do too much?” it’s similar to the question, “Do you think a church can get too big?” Now, it may outgrow the church building, but TOO BIG? Never! I don’t think the Lord will be saying to us, “You did too much.”
Find what works—get help– get ideas—get going. Open the barn doors and let the Thoroughbreds run. Don’t keep the seed in the barn. Get it out where it will do good. Don’t get stuck in the old ways of doing things. Get busy and get to work for the kingdom.