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Why Big Weekend Worship Services are not the Goal of the Church

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I’ve personally been following Jesus for more than 30 years and in full-time ministry now for more than 20 years and there are still times that I get frustrated and wish the Bible gave us more answers than it really does. The New Testament is notorious for being way more descriptive than prescriptive in its approach. It describes much of what happened during the early stages of this new movement called the Church getting off the ground but it shares very little about how we should be doing Church today.

For instance, even the idea of having deacons was a pragmatic response that the Apostles had in Acts chapter 6 to meet the need of running a feeding program so they could focus on what they were supposed to focus on. And churches have been mimicking this practice ever since.

That being said, it’s really interesting to me that the modern church has fallen in love with a practice that the New Testament doesn’t actually prescribe anywhere, weekend worship services.

Now don’t hear what I’m not saying. I’m a big proponent of churches providing meaningful, engaging and relevant weekend worship services. Not because that’s the mission of the church, but because it’s the most effective strategy in North America to expose people to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In other words large weekend worship gatherings are a strategy, not the mission.

The Mission is the Goal not the Strategy

When you love a strategy more then you love the mission you’ve got the right recipe for a declining church. When the strategy stops working it’s not time to give up on the mission, it’s time to employ a new strategy. The mission of the church is not to get a bunch of people in a big room at one time for a great show, the mission of the church is to help people meet Jesus. Don’t get those two things confused.

Strategies are Designed to Serve the Mission not the other way around

Strategies are fine as long as they are effective in moving you towards the mission Jesus has already defined for His Church. The moment a strategy becomes a lid or a hindrance to accomplishing the mission it’s time for it to go. If your weekend worship service is no longer effective it’s time for it to change. And the easiest way to measure the effectiveness of the weekend worship service at your church is by measuring life-change. Are people meeting Jesus and are their lives changing as they get to know Him and follow Him?


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation

3 Responses to “Why Big Weekend Worship Services are not the Goal of the Church”

  1. Bill Weisler October 17, 2016 at 11:44 pm #

    Love this article. What makes me sad is how many churches get lost in the strategy. How many churches do we see using non-churched professionals to simply satisfy the strategy. Evidence of lives growing in Christ take many forms from people saying Yes, to baptisms, to then doing as Jesus commanded and taking Him to the rest of the world.

    Good job.

  2. Brian Hendrickson November 7, 2016 at 3:49 pm #

    Thank you for this uncomfortable truth. Sometimes we don’t see the forest for the trees. I will be reading more of your blogs.

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