認識教會 / Understanding Church (1)

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  • 1. Understanding “Church” (1): Avoiding Church Crash Good News Community Church March 8, 2009 Timothy Chan
  • 2. Korean Air
      • In the 1990’s, Korean Air had so many plane crashes that it lost its status as an airline
      • They discovered that the problem was “mitigated speech”, that is, downplaying or sugarcoating the meaning of what is being said
    Source: http://www. nakedpastor .com/archives/2778
  • 3. Korean Air
      • The flight crew had to go through training to unlearn their fear of challenging authority and be comfortable to speak honestly
      • Once mitigated speech was corrected, Korea Air rebounded and became a respected airline
    Source: http://www. nakedpastor .com/archives/2778
  • 4. Church Crash?
      • We need to deal with issues in the church with open and honest communication
    Source: http://www. nakedpastor .com/archives/2778
  • 5. Motivations for this class
      • Basic questions:
        • What is “church”?
        • What is the purpose of “church”?
        • Why do you “go to church”?
        • What are our expectations of “church”?
        • What should be the future direction of “church”?
      • Today’s class: What is NOT church?
  • 6. "Drive-In Church"!!!
      • June 9, 2008: small church in Marietta, GA offers drive-in church service ... this is probably not the "community" Jesus had in mind
    Source: http://www.ajc.com/search/content/metro/cobb/stories/2008/06/08/Drive_In_church_service.html
  • 7. "Drive-In Church"!!!
      • [Mr. & Mrs Allen] likes to listen to the service with the top down on their green convertible. “It allows me to have an enjoyable setting while praying,” Mrs. Ash-Allen said. “He and I both feel more comfortable in this setting.”
    Source: http://www. washingtontimes .com/news/2008/ jul /03/taking-worship-outside-church/
  • 8. Your Expectations?
      • Name the top 3 factors you think contributes to an effective church
  • 9. Typical Expectations of Church
      • Sermon/Sunday School
        • “ That sermon didn’t do anything for me!”
        • “ It was fun and to the point! I was inspired and 有得著 !”
      • Music
        • “ The band was lousy and it was too loud for me!”
        • “ I enjoyed the singing! The music sounded great!”
      • Fellowship
        • “ Nobody greeted me!”
      • Experience
        • “ I felt touched by the worship and prayer time!”
      • Ministry
        • “ There are many serving areas I can be involved in!”
      • Restoration/Healing
        • “ They really care about me spiritually!”
  • 10. Typical Expectations of Church
      • Sermon/Sunday School
        • “ That sermon didn’t do anything for me !”
        • “ It was fun and to the point! I was inspired and 有得著 !”
      • Music
        • “ The band was lousy and it was too loud for me !”
        • “ I enjoyed the singing! The music sounded great!”
      • Fellowship
        • “ Nobody greeted me !”
      • Experience
        • “ I felt touched by the worship and prayer time!”
      • Ministry
        • “ There are many serving areas I can be involved in!”
      • Restoration/Healing
        • “ They really care about me spiritually!”
  • 11. Underlying Expectations of Church
      • Sermon/Sunday School: Church = School
        • Are you our lives transformed to obey God’s will?
      • Music: Church = Concert
        • Who is the audience?
      • Fellowship: Church = Social Club
        • Does the church exist for its members?
      • Experience: Church = Emotional “High”
        • Are you addicted to re-creating an experience?
      • Ministry: Church = Corporation
        • Is your church involvement like a job?
      • Restoration/Healing: Church = Hospital
        • Can you be a doctor/nurse instead of just a patient?
    Adapted from: http://www. markdroberts .com/ htmfiles /resources/ whatisachurch . htm - oct606
  • 12. It’s All About Me
      • Story in “The Purpose-Driven Church” told by Rick Warren:
        • Win Arn, a consultant to churches, once told me about a survey he took. He surveyed members of nearly a thousand churches asking the question “Why does the church exist?” The results? Of the church members surveyed, 89 percent said, “The church’s purpose is to take care of my family’s and my needs.” For many, the role of the pastor is simply to keep the sheep who are already in the “pen” happy and not lose too many of them. Only 11 percent said, “The purpose of the church is to win the world for Jesus Christ.”
    Source: http://books. google .com/books?pg=PA82&id=Hkc7VgXVJEcC&output=html
  • 13. It’s All About Me
      • What happens if every churchgoer demands their needs to be met? What happens if every churchgoer demands their preferences to be met?
        • How a sermon or Sunday school is conducted
        • What level of respect the church staff gives me
        • What my preferred style of music is
        • What position of service I want to engage in, and when I can do it
        • What “spiritual menu” of programs are offered for me
      • What is the value system reflected in all this?
      • What kind of God do we worship?
  • 14. Philippians 2:3-8
      • 3 不要自私自利,也不要貪圖虛榮,只要謙卑,看別人比自己強;
      • 4 各人不要單顧自己的事,也要顧別人的事。
      • 5 你們當以基督耶穌的心為心。
      • 6 他本來有 神的形象,卻不堅持自己與 神平等的地位,
      • 7 反而倒空自己,取了奴僕的形象,成為人的樣式;
      • 8 既然有人的樣子,就自甘卑微,順服至死,而且死在十字架上。
  • 15. The Rise of the Church Consumer
      • The church exists to fulfill my needs
        • Churchgoer = consumer
        • Church = vendor of religion
      • Story in blog entry titled 「你再唔改善,我就走!」 by 陳榆 :
        • 昨天跟孩子到一家禮儀教會崇拜。證道時,主任牧師提到收到兩封匿名信,投訴講壇之差勁。其中一封更講明若沒有改善,就會蟬過別枝。
      • Problems:
        • So how good is your 聽道 ?
        • If your mom or wife is a poor cook, would you go eat somewhere else?
        • Does the church exist to glorify God or satisfy you?
    Sources: http://readingreport.blogspot.com/2008/07/blog-post_15.html http://www. xanga .com/GCFHK/665990402/240662011735264228256529508004/
  • 16. The Rise of the Freelance Christian
      • Individualism
        • I can freely leave and join any church I want
        • The church is seen as a collection of individuals
        • I don’t necessarily need to join a local church
        • I can work out my spirituality by myself
      • Do we need to be part of a church?
        • We are already a part of the Universal church
        • The Bible usually addresses believers in plural terms
        • We are members of the body of Christ
          • We “need” each other (1 Cor 12:21)
          • We “belong to” each other (Romans 12:5)
  • 17. Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)
      • Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in “Life Together”:
        • If we do not give thanks daily for the Christian fellowship in which we have been placed, even where there is no great experience, no discoverable riches, but much weakness, small faith, and difficulty; if on the contrary, we only keep complaining to God that everything is so paltry and petty, so far from what we expected, then we hinder God from letting our fellowship grow according to the measure and riches which are there for us in Jesus Christ.
  • 18. Ephesians 4:1-6
      • 1 因此,我這為主被囚禁的勸你們:行事為人,要配得上你們所蒙的呼召,
      • 2 凡事謙虛、溫柔、忍耐,用愛心彼此寬容;
      • 3 以和睦聯繫,竭力持守聖靈所賜的合一。
      • 4 身體只有一個,聖靈只有一位,就像你們蒙召只是藉著一個盼望。
      • 5 主只有一位,信仰只有一個,洗禮只有一種;
      • 6  神只有一位,就是萬有的父。他超越萬有,貫徹萬有,並且在萬有之中。
  • 19. John 17:20-23
      • 20 我不但為他們求,也為那些因他們的話而信我的人求,
      • 21 使他們都合而為一,像父你在我裡面,我在你裡面一樣;使他們也在我們裡面,讓世人相信你差了我來。
      • 22 你賜給我的榮耀,我已經賜給了他們,使他們合而為一,像我們合而為一。
      • 23 我在他們裡面,你在我裡面,使他們完完全全合而為一,讓世人知道你差了我來,並且知道你愛他們,好像愛我一樣。
  • 20. Church Unity
      • Jesus’ prayer for current and future believers…
        • … was NOT for the church to grow to be a megachurch
        • … was NOT for the effectiveness of the church ministry
        • … was for the church to be in unity
      • Purpose of church unity mentioned in the prayer
        • “ that they may all be one … so that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:21)
  • 21. Narrow view of Church Unity
      • Good relationships with each other
      • No cliques in the fellowship
      • No arguments or complaints
      • Everyone in peace and harmony
    Source: “ 榮耀神的教會” audio sermon (2006) by Alan Yu at http:// afcspeaks . blogspot .com/2006/10/ blog -post_11.html
  • 22. Broad view of Church Unity
      • Local/regional
        • Regional churches aligned with the same agendas, the same visions, the same missions to the society
        • Learn from homosexual political organizations
      • Global
        • Do we treat them as part of the family of God?
        • Do we know what’s happening over there?
      • Historical
        • You cannot understand today’s church without seeing the historical lineage of the church and the mark of the Holy Spirit in the church throughout history
      • Eschatological
        • Leave the legacy of a stronger church for future
    Source: “ 榮耀神的教會” audio sermon (2006) by Alan Yu at http:// afcspeaks . blogspot .com/2006/10/ blog -post_11.html
  • 23. What about Our Differences?
      • Our differences contribute to our unity (1 Cor 12)
        • “ A goal for evangelicals in the postmodern world is to accept diversity as a historical reality, but to seek unity in the midst of it” – Robert E. Webber
      • Understand the different types of differences
        • Fundamentals & Non-negotiables
        • Lessons from church traditions
        • Styles, preferences, methodologies, biases
      • God’s story is bigger than our biases
      • Some differences are “healthy tensions” such as:
        • Head vs. Heart
        • Formal vs. Informal
        • Ministering to believers vs. to non-believers
        • Biblically rooted vs. Culturally relevant
  • 24. A Prostitute & The Church
      • Story in “What’s So Amazing About Grace?” told by Philip Yancey:
        • A prostitute came to me in wretched straits, homeless, sick, unable to buy food for her two-year-old daughter. Through sobs and tears, she told me she had been renting out her daughter – two years old! – to men interested in kinky sex. She made more renting out her daughter for an hour than she could earn on her own in a night. She had to do it, she said, to support her own drug habit. I could hardly bear hearing her sordid story. For one thing, it made me legally liable – I’m required to report cases of child abuse. I had no idea what to say about this woman.
        • (continued…)
    Source: http://books. google .com/books?pg=PA11& lpg =PA11&ct=result&id=ivCUEaXWKn8C&output=html
  • 25. A Prostitute & The Church
        • (continuing…)
        • At last I asked if she had ever thought of going to a church for help. I will never forget the look of pure, naive shock that crossed her face. “Church!” she cried. “Why would I ever go there? I was already feeling terrible about myself. They’d just make me feel worse.”
      • Evidently, those who need Jesus the most no longer feel welcome in the church … What has happened to the church?
    Source: http://books. google .com/books?pg=PA11& lpg =PA11&ct=result&id=ivCUEaXWKn8C&output=html
  • 26. Matthew 5:13-16
      • 13 你們是地上的鹽;如果鹽失了味,怎能使它再鹹呢?結果毫無用處,唯有丟在外面任人踐踏。
      • 14 你們是世上的光。建在山上的城是無法隱藏的;
      • 15 人點了燈,不會放在量器底下,而是放在燈臺上,就照亮一家人。
      • 16 照樣,你們的光也應當照在人前,讓他們看見你們的好行為,又頌讚你們在天上的父。
  • 27. Salt & Light
      • Who should take the blame for the problems in the world?
        • People who stir up bad morals in the society? No.
      • Is the church truly exercising its functions of being salt & light?
      • Do we want our church to be “thrown out and trampled under foot by men”?
  • 28. Recommended Resources
      • “ 榮耀神的教會” audio sermon (2006) by Alan Yu: http://afcspeaks.blogspot.com/2006/10/blog-post_11.html
      • “ Exit Interviews: Revealing Stories of Why People Are Leaving The Church” (1993) by William D. Hendricks
      • “ Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America” (1998) ed. by Darrell L. Guder