In my previous post, “Is Too Much Bible Teaching the Problem or the Solution?” I wrote about the failure of many churches when it comes to systematic instruction in the Word of God and theology. My reader who writes under the name “beatthedrum” commented on perhaps the need for two different services on Sunday’s. One would specifically designed to reach the Lost the other to disciple the found. Now, what I am about to tell you is not earth shattering nor profound and is completely unoriginal. In fact, it is not even my idea. But a former fellow seminary student of mine has in his church developed what I think is the best setup to address this kind of need.
Ken Brown is Pastor of Community Baptist Church has developed what I think is an ideal solution to the problem of teaching the gospel to the lost and discipling the found. Now, Ken’s church was originally a church plant that he started so this is easier to do from the get-go than trying to do it in an existing congregation but here we go…
What is the normal time that unbelievers think “church” happens? Usually anywhere between 10:30 AM to 11:15 AM on Sunday morning depending on the specific time when churches operate. This will be the time they usually come to a church because this is when they believe they are supposed to come. The problem is, the morning worship service, in my opinoin, is not designed for unbelievers but for the believers. It is a time for the body of Christ to gather together to worship and study and grow together around the Word. Now, obviously unbelievers can learn the truth and repent in those services but these services are ultimately not designed for them. And most attempts at making them more “seeker friendly” fail from the beginning since they are changing a service for the saved to one for the unsaved and thus alienating both groups generally!
So, Ken did something different. He designed his Sunday mornings with the morning worship service happening before the normal time. His morning service happens at 9:30 AM when most churches are having their Sunday School time. Then, during the “normal” morning worship time, Ken has what he calls “DiscoveringGod.”
This is the main service designed specifically to reach out and speak to unbelievers without treating them as if they are not intelligent enough for a regular worship service. Instead, the church assumes that the regular worship service is really not designed for them. So, let’s create something new and different to reach the unsaved. I will post directly from Communit Baptist’s website to describe the nature of their “DiscoveringGod” service.”
At 11:00, we gather for Discovering God. In this hour, Ken Brown teaches us what the Bible says about God and how we can have a relationship with Him. Although designed for those who want to be introduced to God, all who desire to know more about establishing and nurturing a relationship with their Creator will benefit from this class. Pastor Ken teaches the truths of Christianity in everyday language and his messages are designed to address the needs of real people living in a real world. The sessions take place in a relaxed atmosphere (come as you are!) that allows for questions and, don’t worry, you won’t be asked to give money!
So here is how Ken reaches the lost in his congregation. He decided that there needed to be a specific time in the life of his congregation where the unique issues and needs of the lost would be addressed. This would be a time where the gospel would be taught and would be applied to the every day issues of life and would be used by God to show the lostness of people left to themselves and force them to reach out and embrace Christ as Lord and Saviour. Of course, ultimately, it is God who saves the lost but He has ordained us to be the means to accomplishing that end. Here is a helpful and effective means to accomplishing that end by having two unique services on Sunday’s. One that specifically addresses the saved, and one that specifically addresses the lost.
This may not work in every church nor should it be tried in every church. But this is one example amongst many of how to address both the saved and unsaved in the life of the preaching/teaching ministry of the church.