Scripture-driven ministry is an idea that generated a multi-year process that is currently underway at Christian Fellowship of Toledo.
Many churches aspire to be based on the Bible. Sermons are preached from the Bible and programs exist that can be shown to fulfill Biblical mandates to the church. However, we need to ask ourselves, what is missing? Are our works partial, from a Scriptural perspective, or “complete” (Revelation 3:2)?
God brought Christian Fellowship to a place where the leadership decided it was the right time to stop and examine all that God says to the church and then evaluate ourselves in light of the Scripture. We:
- Formed eight “prayer and Bible study” groups analyzing the Scriptures in 8 functional areas.
- Catalogued the Scriptures to the church in a spreadsheet
- We turned the Scriptural mandates into questions to ourselves – are we doing X?
- We gave the questions to all of our ministry leaders asking if each ministry was either aiming to fulfill those mandates and/or actually fulfilling the mandate
- A no answer, produced a red color. A “sometimes” produced yellow and yes produced green. We found quite a bit of yellow and red, which showed us our “gaps.”
- We then asked the Lord in prayer and through Bible study, how do we proceed to fulfill the gaps. We felt led to start with “care for all” and “prayer” – we must pray and care for one another before we focus on other forms of ministry
- We rejuvenated small groups with the idea of including not only those who attend the small groups, but also to include non-attendees in the small groups. We discovered, through a careful examination of the scriptures, when we were doing steps 1-3 above, that “all” and “everyone” in the church needed to be cared for and prayed for. (1 Corinthians 12:25; Hebrews 3:12; Ephesians 6:18). We have designated these non-attendees as “adoptees.” So, we at this very moment are implementing the inclusion of the adoptees as part of the small groups. We are thankful to God for giving us the understanding of these scriptures so we could include everyone in small groups, and yet we realize there is much more to be done by the strength and grace of God.