What are our aims for the shaping of our church fellowship, and for its growth? Do we have an agenda or framework of desired objectives? The apostle Paul had a very definite policy, and called it his ‘purpose’, using a Greek word which means – a plan or strategy displayed for all to see. This book sets out ten policy ideals, gleaned from Paul’s teaching, all of which are essential for the health and growth of a congregation today.
A new revised edition of Do We Have a Policy? (2002)
In Spurgeon’s day an American Christian newspaper editor once decided to spend a week at the Tabernacle to make a survey of the great man’s ministry. But as this editor surveyed the work of the Tabernacle evening after evening, an entirely unexpected scene met him. The basements and rooms of the building were constantly alive with activity. Groups assembled for district visitation; prayer gatherings convened; ragged school classes were under way; Sunday School teachers’ briefings took place, and a host of other activities. This editor came to extol the work of a pulpiteer, but discovered also a working church.
Sadly, in many fellowships today, most members loyally attend the services and financially maintain the work, but beyond this they are little more than comfortable observers. On the principle that God uses human instruments, nothing much can be accomplished if we do not persuade as many people as possible to be willingly committed to avenues of Christian service. This is the policy of the working church. It is magnificently spelled out in Ephesians 4.16, where Paul attributes church growth to ‘the whole body fitly joined together’ in Christian service. It is ‘according to the effectual working in the measure of every part’ that the body secures its growth, and edifies itself in love.
Many local church leaders today say they would love to have vibrant Sunday Schools, but they cannot persuade anyone to staff them. Good Christians have lost touch with the old standard of a working church, and no one wants to be committed to demanding tasks. It may sound unspiritual, but the fact is – no Christian service means no growth. Furthermore, the absence of Christian service eventually leads to an introspective, self-preoccupied, spiritually unfulfilled people, dependent for happiness on self-indulgence in the secular aspects of life.
Table of Contents
‘Prothesis’ – Paul’s Blueprint
Policy 1: A Worshipping Church
Policy 2: A Praying Church
Policy 3: A Sanctified Church
Policy 4: A Working Church
Policy 5: A Learning Church
Policy 6: An Evangelistic Church
Policy 7: A Separated Church
Policy 8: A Sacrificial Church
Policy 9: A Loving Church
Policy 10: A Believing Church