We are continuing our leadership series exploring the place of different methodological components of the local church. In the first section, we explored the different components of the main church services or meeting times. In this section, we are considering the different components of the local church’s overall ministry method.
I have seen churches do a multitude of things other than preaching the word. The Bible does not explicitly restrict us from doing extra stuff. I have seen these extra things range from hosting an Easter egg hunt for children to hosting Christmas musicals, cantatas, Gospel concerts, plays, and even one high school graduation. Is it biblical for churches to host any type of extra-curricular event? Why or why not?
Since these types of events are not mentioned in the Scriptures and since we have previously covered the basic Biblical principles related to ‘performance’ matters, I will remind us of the principles we discovered and then move on to more community-oriented events (like hosting a graduation, party, or dance). When it comes to Easter egg hunts for children, Christmas musicals, cantatas, Gospel concerts, plays, conferences, or anything that we might refer to as a special church event or “outreach” event (usually meant as a drawing point), we remember these principles:
- Proper church music is a response to God’s excellent greatness, not our preference.
- Proper church music professes the humility and insufficiency of humankind.
- Proper church music professes the glory of God.
- Proper church music incorporates a variety of instruments and techniques.
- Proper church music serves the good of God’s people in declaring the Gospel again with gentleness.
- Proper church music is selected without regard to selfish ambition.
The primary medium of any event can be substituted in place of “church music” and there we have the Biblical principles to help us evaluate any potential or current event. When these extra-curricular events are planned, the only proper way is in genuine service to our communities and in such a way that the true Gospel is presented to the participants as a result of having that event. We should be careful to do these things and not be guilty of trying to entertain people into our seats.
This first class of events might be referred to as outreach events. The second class would be something like “gratuitous events.” In this sense, the church is hosting an event that someone else is essentially planning and running. In my experience, it could be something like a school dance or graduation, or something else. Churches should develop policies for this type of use for their facilities. There is no explicit instruction in the Scriptures on this point. So, we follow similar principles- doing everything we can to serve our community and build relationships for the cause of Christ’s Gospel. When we do these things, we do so with discernment and for God’s glory alone.