Every culture has their own traditions surrounding Church, and in Nigeria, church is a celebration of faith.
Worship will include special numbers from women’s fellowship, the youth program, and somebody’s uncle who just released a worship CD that week. Your feet and hips will keep moving through the main bands beautiful worship medley and down the aisle to drop your offering in a basket at the front of the church. You won’t get away without greeting your neighbor, standing if you are a visitor, or listening to all of the announcements… so many announcements. Church services will last anywhere from one hour- to seven (yes, this happened to me, and no, this is generally not recommended).
I arrived for church one Easter prepared to worship and then help out with the younger children when they were called down for Sunday School. What I did not expect was for the pastor to announce that there was going to be no message that day.
Instead, the pastor gave a brief overview on how to share your faith. After that, he grouped the adults up and sent them all out to share the Easter message with the community, inviting everyone they came across to attend our church the following Sunday.
I stayed behind with my sunday school class and watched, amazed, as the various groups met up and headed out the door, excited to boldly share the hope of Jesus’ resurrection.
Can you imagine if we did this in America?
If families from the church took the time to walk around and meet people where they are instead of sticking to their own social groups? If the church made a name for itself within the city simply by engaging the people who live there and bringing them to Christ?
“Without outreach, churches merely become places of social gathering.”
The church today has lost much of its culture of evangelism. Without outreach, churches merely become places of social gathering. If your church does not have a strong emphasis on sharing the gospel, asking a member of your church how they would share their faith will be met with a stuttering response. When your congregation does not know how to share their faith, no one new will walk through the doors of your church- and the number one sign of a dying church is a lack of growth.
As someone who participates in any kind of ministry, you’re going to have the opportunity to tell, or participate in the telling of a story that is central to the gospel. Instead of giving your congregation fish, why not teach them to become fishers of men?