Eight Ways We Focus Our Congregation on the Word of God
Following are eight ways the elders of our church, Hope Baptist, desire to focus her people on the Word of God, and saturate them with the Word of God.
Our prayer is that the whole church would wrap their lives around the Scripture that is the focus of our weekly preaching. As you will see we have a strategic plan to work the Scriptures into our lives through multiple connections each week.
Our view is that the Church is best equipped by making the preaching of the Word of God the central matter of church life. It is the primary means for leading the Church, equipping the Church and evangelizing the lost. We pray that the most prominent question of those who attend Hope Baptist is this: How is God changing us by the power of His Word?
First, through expository preaching. We engage in sequential expository preaching that focuses the church on the actual words of Scripture in their literary and historical contexts. Our church constitution features two of the Pillars’ of Hope Baptist. This preaching always features the centrality of the Gospel. (1 Cor 15:1-4; Rev 14:6-7; Deut 6:4-9; Ezra 7:10; Neh 8:1-12; Matt 4:4; 1 Tim 4:13; 2 Tim 3:14-4:5; Titus 1:3, 9; Heb 4:12; 1 Peter 1:22-2:3)
Second, through anticipation. We attempt to make it plain each week that everyone in the church is informed of the text we are preaching on from week to week so that they can build anticipation for it by meditating on it, and talking about it during the week.
Third, through study before the sermon. We gather men together on Tuesday mornings to discuss the preaching text for the upcoming Sunday.
Fourth, through a weekly letter. We send out a weekly email, "This Week at Hope," on Tuesday or Wednesday explaining various aspects of that text. We write it so that it might affect your thinking, living and teaching in your family during the week.
Fifth, through prayer. We desire that we will remember to pray about the teaching of the text for the week during our Wednesday night prayer meeting.
Sixth, through singing. We choose songs for Sunday worship that are in harmony with the preaching text.
Seventh, by gathering to hear. We gather the church on Sunday morning around that text to hear the preaching.
Eighth, through personal conversation. We encourage the conversation during the Sunday afternoon fellowship time to be centered around the preaching of the Word of God that day.
Please consider if you are walking in the ways outlined above. Are you engaging each member of your family in these patterns? We as elders feel the blessings that can come from this kind of approach will be significant.
Scott T. Brown is the director of the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches and elder at Hope Baptist Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Scott graduated from California State University in Fullerton with a degree in History and received a Master of Divinity degree from Talbot School of Theology. He gives his time to expository preaching and local pastoral ministry, as well as conferences on Biblical doctrine and church and family reformation. He and his wife Deborah have four grown children. Scott helps people think through the two greatest evangelistic and discipleship institutions God has provided — the church and the family.