There are 3 levels to decisions that we make within the church world. Three different ways to interpret how to make the best decision for the glory of God. Each of these feed into one another and inform how we view the other, but enough prefacing I’ll give them to you:
Theology -> Philosophy-> Methodology
Your theology will inform your philosophy which dictates your methodology. Now there are many issues that take place in the church world that vary from: bad theology, thinking your methodology is your theology, skipping philosophy, having non biblical methodology, and many more. But each of these are important in the decision making process. When you have a good theology it’ll inform the way you think which will inform the way you act.
Now to the title of this blog. Your THEOLOGY should be solid. Someone with a changing theology is someone who is probably confused and shouldn’t be in leadership. Now when I say this I’m NOT implying that we will EVER completely understand all things pertaining to theology, but for the most part you shouldn’t have an ever shifting theology. I challenge you let the BIBLE ALONE be your theology, and then it won’t shift often. Your PHILOSOPHY on the other hand should be flexible. The scriptures never change, but as we grow we begin to see things and view things differently; as we begin to view things differently our philosphy of ministry will change. Our METHODOLOGY should be fluid. Something that is ever changing based on the culture we are in. A common mistake that I find is people mix up methods and theology; they think the way they do it is the way the bible tells us to, but often they are ignorant of cultural backgrounds, and are completley missing the culture their in.
Now to give an example of this at work
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching (2 Tim 4:1-2, ESV)
God’s people should gather all together once a week to hear to preaching of God’s word.
We will preach conversation style, using videos & props to creatively communicate the scripture.
I’ll give you one more
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20, ESV)
Discipleship happens through relationship, and within the context of small environments where Jesus is the center of the environment.
Small groups (no more than 12), in peoples homes, with food, and lesson plans. Leaders need to take time to also meet with people throughout the week for coffee or a meal and cultivate friendship and love.
Now these two example are very simple, but this is the process that leaders should walk through. One of biggest mistake is often see is in the area of methodology. People often treat their methods like the bible instead of admitting that they are being a missionary to their culture. If your culture is urban you need different methods, if its a older white community using Hip/hop is irrelevant. But in the end we are all trying to accomplish the same thing. I challenge you in your leadership as you walk through this process, do it with and by grace. With grace knowing that others are going through the same process, they aren’t perfect, and neither are you. And by grace knowing that you need Jesus’ help to do work for his kingdom.