Thinking Outside the Church Building
Many years ago Ralph Neighbor drew attention to the fact that most of our church programming is based on getting people inside our building. The truth of the matter is, if we are to ever be successful getting them into our building, we're going to have to go outside the building to find them. In Matt. 28:19-20, Jesus commanded us to "Go and make disciples of all nations..." We are not commanded to "invite them", or even "bring them". He said "Go". The literal translation of that is "as you are going". Therefore, our disciple making is to take place as we are going about our normal traffic pattern of life. When we connect to people where they are, and build meaningful relationships, it is then easier to get them to accompany us to church.
This being true, the purpose of our time "in" church should be preparation for going outside the church and doing the work of ministry there. Everything that happens in the building; Worship, Bible Study, Fellowship and Prayer should be preparing us to go into the world, where the people are, and communicate the love of Christ in tangible ways. We must remember that it is Jesus who builds His church, and that God "adds to the church those who are being saved". It sounds as if they are being saved elsewhere and then God puts them in the church to be trained to go back into the world and repeat the process that brought them to the church initially. Think about it...and share with me your thoughts in a comment.