I’ve been around church long enough now to remember some things that worked well at one point, but that lost their glamour over time. Some still exist, but often in weaker forms than in the past. I’m not arguing that any of these things must come back in the same form we once used, but I do think it’s worth our time to consider bringing back these strategies in a strengthened form:
- Bus ministry. I know we don’t drive busses around anymore to pick up kids for church, but I also know that there are kids who would come if somebody would give them a ride. I think there’s a place for a “transportation ministry” still. By the way, I’m one of those kids who rode the bus to church each week.
- Bible drill. Our children need to know the Word of God, and we need to train them to memorize it and know it when they’re young. If nothing else, Bible drill gave us a strategy to get there.
- Good hymns. I don’t mean bad hymns, or even good hymns done poorly. I mean theologically rich, singable, well-done hymns of our faith.
- Discipleship training. More and more churches are adopting strong discipleship strategies now, and that’s a huge plus for the kingdom. Too many churches still, though, assume people will become disciples just by showing up at church.
- Children’s sermons. Frankly, I never liked doing children’s sermons when I served as pastor, but I admit that they forced me to communicate the gospel in a clear, simple way. I was a better preacher to adults because of this task.
- Evangelistic Bible studies. Often held in homes, but sometimes offered in regular small groups, these short-term Bible studies intentionally led non-believers to the gospel. Participation demanded that believers invite their non-believing friends to attend.
- Preschool and children’s missions training. Most often, I now see this kind of training (if it’s offered at all) as only an “add on” to some other regular event. We miss the opportunity to raise up missionaries when we wait too long to introduce them to a lost world and to God’s calling.
- Testimony time. We don’t need to just hand a microphone to anybody, but we do need to hear one another’s stories of grace and salvation. Because of electronic media, we have no reason not to record and share testimonies regularly.
What do you think? Let me hear from you.