MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

Who’s the Target?

July 25th, 2007 Viewed 2114 times, 1 so far today

One of the biggest questions we must answer when it comes to Vacation Bible School is who the target audience is.  There are two audiences that always vie for attention in the Christian church– the churched and the unchurched.  The one that you’re targeting makes all the difference in your approach.

Targeting the Unchurched Child

This target has many advantages.  They don’t know most of the Bible stories, so everything’s fresh and new.  They have interesting questions that churched children may already have the answers to or may never thought of.  They may be looking for answers.  They may be lost and in need of a Savior.  They’re not going to a church, so they could join your church.

In this setting, it’s important to have simple Bible Stories that focus on sin and forgiveness.  You don’t need to dwell on the Hebrew and Greek.  Your goal is simply to show them their need for a Savior and pray that the Holy Spirit does His work and they come to a saving knowledge of Christ.

Targeting the Churched Child

The churched child is a different ball game.  They know all the Bible stories and can probably tell you parts that you didn’t even remember.  They are familiar with all the leaders, and don’t have a problem “spoiling” the climatic ending.  They generally have already expressed faith in Christ for salvation, and therefore do not benefit as much from the reminders of their faith.

Here I believe that the biggest benefit to them would be in learning life application lessons– or even better, that they would learn how to study the Word of God themselves.  Too many Sunday School classes and other places where they hear about God’s Word are focused on the stories, but not how to draw life lessons out of it.  These children need to be equipped to be reaching their peers.  They could be a valuable aid to reaching the lost, but they don’t need to hear the salvation message again.

Mixed Targets

If you have a mixed audience you have to choose your topics carefully, or offer separate classes.  What you will need to do is always have a strong salvation message, but offer life application messages as well.  You may also need to incorporate some discipleship training into your presentation so that everyone can learn to read from the Bible.

What’s the target of your church’s VBS?  How well do you think your church does in reaching the target?

How Not To Reach Them

July 8th, 2007 Viewed 1749 times

We’ve recently gone through a series on How to Reach Them and we talked about the different kinds of things that we can do to reach those that are lost.  We are indeed living in different times– defined by two different groups of people.

Christians Tending to Themselves

This first group of Christians realizes that the numbers in the church are dwindling, but doesn’t know what to do about it.  I characterize them by the following ideas:

  • We have to keep the programs that we’ve always had running.
  • We can’t try different classrooms, because the ones we have have always worked.
  • We don’t have time during the week to do anything but the services that we normally attend.  Don’t ask us to attend service on a special night.
  • We have a problem with family so-and-so, or with the way the church is being run, so we may not be back.

It is these people that are forgetting two very important things.  Christ’s command that we love one another as He loved us was specifically addressed to believers about believers.  That doesn’t mean that we love sin, but that does mean that we should go out of our way to try to restore one another, and to look after one another.

The other thing that I think gets forgotten here is that if we’re so busy ministering to each other– who’s out reaching lost souls and discipling new converts.  Christianity was never meant to be a stale, treading-water affair, but was meant to be a vibrant faith that spread.

Christians Justifying the Means

This next category of Christian will do anything to get the message out– including some of the things I showed in a post last week.  It seems that no trick is to low, no idea to far away that a Christian will try it.

Some will use cheap tricks with $20 bills to try to get the Gospel out.  Now, no matter what you think about tract’s effectiveness, trying to hook people by making one look like a $20 just to have it be something else is deceitful.  Or maybe dressing in immodest attire and parading around a sanctuary is more the right thing to do.  Now I know that these are catholic nuns, but it’s just a matter of time until Protestants see how many men are coming in to see the women.

And it’s not just these blatant problems, it’s more subtle ones.  Christians will use gimmicks to get people in.  I have to admit, while writing my series I had to keep thinking about whether I was trying to do a gimmick, or really trying to reach people in a Biblical way.

We Need to Get Back to Basics

What we need is to get back to the Word.  To get back to original Christianity and the power of the Cross.  If we could realize what we’re here to do, and focus on that rather than ourselves I think that we’d see a big difference in our churches.  We wouldn’t have to rely on gimmicks, trickery, or clowns leading a service.  The Word of God and how it impacts lives would be on display as we lived the Word of God in our lives and in our services.

Losing a Generation

April 26th, 2007 Viewed 4021 times, 1 so far today

It has only recently become evident that the key to changing society was through the next generation.  For many years, Christians watched as the Bible and Godly morals were questioned and removed from our schools and we got somewhat upset, but did not realize the full impact of the replacement.

Now, many wage their battles with our children in the schools, and many have removed their children from the schools altogether– realizing just how powerful having the time every day to expose children to values in this way is.

Godly Husband: Are You a Leader?

November 27th, 2006 Viewed 5734 times

olderhusbandandwifeheader.jpgMen, are you the spiritual leader in your home?  I can hear the excuses now:

  • But she knows more scripture than I do!
  • Women are better at praying than men are.
  • I take the family to church, don’t I?
  • Did you say supper was on the table?

The Internet’s Effect on Godly Women

November 14th, 2006 Viewed 4417 times

My Girl

I think to begin this post we must first define what we mean by “godly” woman. The best place for that is the Word. According to 1 Timothy 3:11 which is about how to choose Deacons; a deacon’s wife must be “… grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.” Another place where we can discern what it means to be a godly woman is in Titus 2.

“The aged women likewise, that [they be] in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers (honest, not gossips), not given to much wine, teachers of good things;That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,[To be] discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” (Titus 2:3-5)(Things added in parenthesis are mine, as are the emphasized words.)

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.