When many of today’s churches cater to those seeking entertainment-based worship services, they demand very little of the average Christian and offer little or no shepherding or accountability. As a result, many people slip in and out below the radar. Though these churches often attract crowds, can this model sustain a life of faith across the decades? Michael Horton discusses this issue with Steve Parks and Mike Brown as we kick off a brand-new series called Sustainable Churches.
The Nature of Spiritual Growth
While it’s true that big box churches continue to see growth in numbers, there is a real question as to whether Christians in these churches experience true spiritual growth. So how do faithful churches grow, and what does it mean to be a lifelong disciple who is maturing in Christ (Eph 4:15)? On this program Michael Horton, Kim Riddlebarger, and Jeff Mallinson will trace the horticultural metaphors in Scripture for health and growth.
In addition to making life-long Christian disciples, churches in our day need to equip the saints so that they can faithfully share the gospel with outsiders. As we take the gospel out to the world, we need to resist the temptation to change or dilute the message in order to remove the offense of the cross. Joining Michael Horton to discuss this topic is Rico Tice, founder of Christianity Explored Ministries and author of a new book titled Honest Evangelism: How to Talk About Jesus Even When It’s Tough.
Successful churches in our time are often led by dynamic pastors with excellent communication skills. But are these particular virtues praised in the pages of the New Testament? On this program the hosts will take a look at the issue Paul faced with the “super apostles” of his own day, and they’ll discuss how this manifests itself in various forms, both in Protestant and Catholic circles. What we need are ordinary shepherds who know and care for the sheep, and who faithfully lead them to the waters of life.