David Ripley, President

David Ripley, President

Vision Statement #8

“Double the number of churches in our mission territory, double attendance.

 

Let’s look at the 2nd of the 7 areas we will explore to increase attendance. Remember the reason we are eager to double our attendance; it is because we will be connecting twice as many people on a weekly basis to Jesus!

Atmosphere/Programming

Have you ever visited a large city and discovered that the atmosphere you are trying to breath is making you feel choked; not at all comfortable? You want to escape back to the wonderful fresh air of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, or Nunavut! If you have traveled to some large cities in other parts of the world you may have experienced even worse. Some large mega-cities have so many toxins in the air it blocks out the sun. I am amazed that the residents of some of these cities cough and sputter not realizing how toxic their air is. It has become the norm and they don’t even think about it. They are surprised when someone comments on the bad atmosphere.

Breathing Easy

What is the atmosphere in your church? Hopefully it is fresh and energizing. Unfortunately, in some churches the atmosphere is so toxic that guests are ready to escape. The regular attenders may be surprised when a first-time guest chokes, sputters, and runs away!

What we know is that the health and vitality of a congregation will be perceived by first time guests, even if it is only in the subconscious mind. If you have discord and resentment between brothers and sisters in your church it is your evangelistic duty to “clear the air” and dissipate the toxins. Do you want to double the attendance at your church? A major place to start is to unite as one in your love and worship of God.

Beyond this, atmosphere is also determined by the infrastructure items we wrote about last time. Comfortable temperatures, comfortable seating, clean well maintained facilities, and warm smiles.

 

The idea is to make sure that there is no “noise or static,” conscious or subconscious, between the worshipper and God. When the atmosphere is clear, and facility is comfortable, people feel free to concentrate on the worship service.

Worship Programs Guided by Evangelism, Not Personal Preference

woman-570883_1920 webThis brings us to programming. While atmosphere is talking about making sure there is nothing blocking people from God, programming is the intentional things that are done to lead people to worship God. Not a show, or entertainment, but assisting people to connect with the God of the universe.

Now as far as style of worship, there are so many people who have strong opinions on this. I will not attempt to prescribe a particular style to you. Some have suggested that you should look at what is considered a successful worship service in another church. I would ask you to use caution and not copy other churches. God has a form of worship unique to your church. While you may glean ideas from other churches, the place you should determine what style your church is should be done on your knees. Prayerfully ask God to show the best way to lead the congregation to worship Him. Develop a worship team made up of church Elders, the head deacon and deaconess, music ministries coordinator, and representatives from the different segments of your congregation (age groups and ethnic groups). Work as a leadership team to determine what will take people to the throne of God on Sabbath Morning.

Another caution is needed here. Be sure to ask the right question concerning worship. The question, “What do I like for a worship style?” should be secondary to the evangelistic question, “What style of worship help the people in our community meet Jesus and learn about making Him the Lord of their lives?”

Practical, Prayerful Steps

lightstock_258626_medium_user_39147891 webI recommend that the leaders of your church plan a weekend when they can spend quality time in prayer, Bible study, and seeking God’s will for worship in your church. There are several points in our Conference Vision statement that especially should guide you. Let’s review them.

  1. Foster a United Prayer emphasis for all our churches to strengthen the urgency of our mission for God.
  1. Uplift the importance of the preaching of a Righteousness by Faith in all the churches
  2. Cultivate a worship and guest care consciousness that builds relationships between unchurched people and God
  1. Based on our unique strengths, actively share Jesus and His soon coming with the Man-Sask Conference area through a multidimensional evangelistic outreach

Please spend time as a church and intentionally develop excellence in what happens on Sabbath morning. Yes, the members worship needs are important, but as Seventh-day Adventist with an urgent message for the final days of earth’s history, we must develop our Sabbath morning services to be evangelistic. A true disciple will always place evangelism over their own desires and likes. Fill your church with disciples, then you will surely develop a God focused worship service that will draw your community to Jesus!

What are some important items to consider for increased church attendance in each of these categories?

  1. Infrastructure
  2. Atmosphere/Programming
  3. Guest Care – coming up next!
  4. Discipleship
  5. Relationship
  6. Local Church Culture
  7. Local Church Governance Structure

 

Stay tuned! Let us discover together!
David Ripley, President

 

Mission & Vision_08AUG2016_Page_1_edit

Learn More: This article is part of a series focused on making the new Man-Sask Mission & Vision practical and applicable.

– Where did this Mission & Vision come from?
– How will it make a difference?
– How will it impact you?

Check out previous articles in the series here