A hat tip to Rick Ianniello for the following lead on a video released by The Foursquare Church (a good, old-fashioned Azusa Street revival descendant):
This is Discipling from The Foursquare Church on Vimeo.
You don’t change churches to adapt to the spirit of the age. You don’t turn them into sources of entertainment to draw people. And you certainly don’t dumb them down and alter their function to make them more appealing to unbelievers.
No, you do the opposite: You make them intense sources for the most meaty teaching possible, the toughest training conceivable, the most spiritually deep wells imaginable, then you send out your fully equipped people to go do the work of the Church outside the four walls of the meeting place.
Period. End of story.
It is worth seeing if The Foursquare Church as a whole is able to make this concept work. Honestly, it’s the biblical model, so it’s the way it and every church on the planet SHOULD be doing evangelism and discipleship.
God help us if we don’t get this right.
6 thoughts on “A Major Denomination Gets It Right–Will Yours?”
The big distinction that fails to be made is that of “church-centered” discipleship and “Christ-centered discipleship.” I’m glad Foursquare’s getting this- I thought this was waning and then I just recently (accidentally) listened to a few minutes of a sermon on Christian radio in which mission and the “sent” nature of the church was equated with inviting people church services. Gaaaah.
Well, this is news to me. I am a member of a Foursquare church. I visited four of their churches in my area to decide where to go and the one I chose is the lesser of the er three evils. Our worship probably exceeds the city’s decibel level law, and is very unanointed, the preaching is a tad better than the other three but not much better, everyone who gets onto the platform to speak tries to be hip, cool and funny like they are trying out for the comedy clubs in West Hollywood, and we never see or hear anything “Pentecostal,” including healing, although there is a rumor that somewhere in the church they do pray for the sick. I have been in this church for almost a year and it and the others in the L.A. Area are sad. The exceptions are the ethnic churches–the Armenians, Latinos, Korean, etc., but, their services are in their language. I just finished reading two biographies of their founder, Aimee Semple McPherson, and while she was certainly the drama queen, her doctrines and practices (including her social work) were excellent. Oh, that we could have that type of Pentecost again.
If I recall correctly, Jack Hayford is Foursquare as well; he’s one of the few TV preachers who seems to have his theological head screwed on straight. They might just have some wise as well as spirit-filled folks there.
Great video. Thanks for sharing. I have one bone to pick though. In the launch portion, where golden light streams from from the USA to other countries around the world. I get tweaked when American evangelicals need to think they are the one that’ll get sent around the world to set everything straight. The American church needs to humbly accept the reciprocity that comes with working along side the faithful from other cultures. (Besides this, the light streams looked an awful lot like ICBM trackings from those ‘day=after’ movies…)
I attend church regularly. I get tired of them trying to get me to join a small group — and implying I am not in the will of God if I don’t.
I find their mindset is you come to us — not we go to you. We go to you is what I think Jesus meant when He sent them forth.
The video was very good.
Sulan: “I get tired of them trying to get me to join a small group”
Why is it that after having built up these enormous Gigachurches, the pastors turn around and want everyone to join “small groups”?
What’s peculiar is that these “small groups” don’t spontaneously form from the bottom up. Instead, they are dictated from the top down, and usually have to follow some script or template delivered from above. I never even heard of “small groups” like this until they hit the scene like a fad of some kind.
Years ago, we had groups and even bible studies in homes and so forth. But there wasn’t this amount of centralized control that I am seeing nowadays.