CHAPTER 10 - The Roles of the Different Gatherings
You can read along on pages 129-140
Adult Education Hour (Sunday School)
An integrated system of teaching that begins to equip members in the areas of basic Christianity for starters, living the Christian life, Old and New Testament overviews, systematic theology, church history, and Christian growth. The idea is to provide people with a growing backpack of resources for understanding the Bible more accurately and living the Christian life more faithfully. When a person has completed all the classes (which may take up to four or five years, depending on the amount of material offered), then he is encouraged to attend the adult education classes with a younger Christian friend, or even a teenaged son or daughter (p 130).
Sunday Morning Service
The Sunday morning service is the main feeding time... the sermon should normally be an evangelistic exposition—it should expose both believers and unbelievers to the content of the gospel and its implications for each as the natural result of making the point of the passage the point of the message (p 131).
Service leading is a great opportunity to explain what we’re doing in the service, why we’re doing a particular thing, and why we’re doing it in that way. At its best, service leading teaches the “whys” behind our “hows,” and helps the congregation follow our lead in the public ministry of the Word (p 132).
Sunday Evening Service
The Sunday evening service is the main family time of the church... this service may be better used to develop the mutual concern and familial closeness that nurtures selfless Christian community (p 132).
In other words, we want to be intentional about gradually moving the congregation away from just praying for the physical needs of members and nonmembers, and toward praying for the spiritual needs of members, their own spiritual needs, evangelistic opportunities, and prospects for local church planting and international missions. We’re encouraging members to be open about both their spiritual needs and their ministry opportunities, and to embrace a prayerful concern for the needs and opportunities of others in the congregation (p 133).
And we make it clear to people when they are joining the church that we expect them normally to attend this meeting (p 134).
Wednesday Evening Service
The Wednesday evening service is the main study time. We have benefited greatly from using this as a time for the whole church to gather for inductive Bible study (p 135).
When I first started doing this, I sometimes had to wait through thirty (or even sixty!) seconds of silence before someone would raise their hand to offer an answer. But now that the congregation has gotten used to the idea and has had a few years of practice at it, those silences are both shorter and much less frequent (p 136).
Members’ meetings are the main administrative times.
In what ways is WCRC really thriving when it comes to this chapter?
What are some areas we can improve on?
What stages/phases would be included in your plan to take WCRC from where we're at now to meeting all of the criteria for a thriving church described in this chapter?