Section Eleven The Church & Ministry

Section Eleven: Survey

The Church & Ministry

In the right hand margin, write "true" or "false" after each of the following statements.


The Church is a building utilized for religious purposes.



Fellowship with a local group of believers is optional.



Stimulating one another to love and good deeds is the purpose of a church gathering.



Ministry is receiving.



Formal ministry is more important than informal ministry.



If you can't find a church you enjoy, you shouldn't go.


Section Eleven The Church & Ministry

Key/Memory Verse: Hebrews 10:24-2 5 N.A.S.

"And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near."


One of the exciting things about becoming a Christian is that you have now joined a family. When you were born, you were a part of a family, so now, you have entered God's family by spiritual birth. Being a part of God's family is more than a position, more than a title, and more than a list of benefits. It is a relationship with God, your Father, it is relationship with other Christians, our brothers and sisters. These relationships, with God and Christians, are described by several different words in the New Testament. This study sheet will loaf; at one common reference to Christians and their God - the word "Church."

I. The Church Defined & Described

"The Church is not a physical building, but a group of believers; not a denomination, sect, or association, but a spiritual body. The Church is not an organization, but a communion, a fellowship of one body, and it includes all believers." (The Church - The Body of Christ, John MacArthur)

In Matthew 16:18, Jesus spoke firmly of His plans ... "I will build My Church; and the gates of Hell shall not overpower it."

"The Most exciting happening in history is the building of Christ's church, This church is not constructed with wood and stone but with people who have come to trust Christ's loving forgiveness to the point of becoming His disciples.

His Church started with 120 disciples gathered for prayer. When the Holy Spirit was poured out upon them, Peter preached a heart-stirring sermon and 3,000 new disciples were converted and baptized. Now the super-structure of His church began to take shape. These new disciples became participants in the greatest building project in the history of the world, They started to build Christ's Church and thus become part of the fulfillment of Jesus' promise, ‘I will build My church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it." (Dick Anderson, an article titled, I will Build My Church)

II. The Local Church:

The New Testament describes the local church as a group of believers in a certain place, banded together for instruction, fellowship, worship, and service.

What does Hebrews 10:25 warn us not to neglect? gathering together

According to Hebrews 10:24, 25, what are some of the purposes for gathering together? stimulate each other to good deeds and love

Each Christian should select his church because he is convinced that within its particular structure he will find the greatest opportunities for spiritual growth, the greatest satisfactions for his human needs, and the greatest chance to be of helpful service to those around him." - BiUy Graham

Our desires as a Church is to stimulate, encourage, and equip you to live a life of devotion and obedience despite the circumstances you face or feelings you experience. This is a process that takes time, involves biblical teaching, godly models, hard choices, and the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Opportunities for encouragement are found in our Sunday morning worship service! This is a time of Celebration where the entire church gathers together to worship and be taught.

Another primary time for encouragement is also on Sunday mornings in the Sunday School. These different Congregations are smaller groups than the worship service and provide an opportunity for relationships to develop, common issues and needs to be addressed from the Word, discussion, prayer and caring to take place.

Finally, there are small groups or Cells. Composed of 6- 12 people, these groups offer the most personal opportunity for ministry, prayer, support and friendships.

We encourage you to be a part of our Celebration, Congregations, and Cells.

III. Ministry

Ministry is a very important word at Sierra Madre Congregational Church,

What is "ministry?" Put simply, ministry is Service.

Beneficially serving others is ministry—whether that service is helping move a refrigerator, leading a discipleship study, setting up chairs, or preaching a sermon.

A. Distinctions In Ministry;

1. Informal Ministry -

That ministry which occurs naturally or spontaneously by individual believers without a formal organization. Informal ministry does not imply that the work is disorganized or poorly done. It merely points to a ministry that occurs without a formal organization.

Referring to the Scripture, determine the "informal" ministry and suggest at least one way it could be applied today.

Scripture Ministry

  • James 2:14-17
  • Acts 9:36-39
  • Mark 9:41
  • Matt. 25:3 5-40
  • 1 Peter 4:9
  • 1 Timothy 2:1
  • Romans 12:7
  • Romans 12:8a
  • 1 Corinthians 12:28
  • 1 Corinthians 12:8b
  • 1 Corinthians 13:3
  • Acts 6:1
  • 1 Timothy 5:16
  • Colossians 3:17, 23
  • Matthew 28: 19-20

2. Formal Ministries -

That ministry which is the result of a formal organization designed to accomplish that ministry.

Sierra Madre Congregational Church has a variety of formal ministries. Included in this section is a list of ministries here at SMCC that can and do utilize members in the body for a variety of equally important roles and tasks. Look over the form and check any ministries you would be interested in knowing more about and return the form to your teacher.

3. Clarifications

a. One type of ministry (formal or informal) is not more valuable than the other. Both are important and contribute to the encouragement and ministry to others.

b. Both are as effective or ineffective as the believers who are involved.

c. Both are necessary.

d. Informal ministry ought to be the result of a Christian lifestyle.

Informal ministry is not an option, but should characterize the Christian's life. The Christian's time schedule, commitments, family life or qualifications may preempt his/her getting involved in formal ministries. Again, informal ministry in not an option.

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