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On Wednesday Night, April 9th, we will have a discussion about Evangelism and Church Growth through “Affinity Groups.” Recently, I received a newsletter from a Baptist denomination encouraging churches to open up and reach out into our communities through the use of “affinity groups… Affinity groups are people with certain commonalities. Some examples are: a golf club ministry, target shooting ministry, miniature race car ministry. On and on we could go. People like to do what they like to do. And they enjoy doing those things with like-minded people. [Affinity] ministries are things your people like to do and are doing anyway. They are simply doing things they are passionate about to reach others with the Gospel and bring them into the church. There is almost no activity so secular that it cannot be used to create a side door into your church.”
As you read Christian newspapers and magazines, it’s not unusual to read feature articles about Biker Ministries, Cowboy Church, RV Camping Churches, NASCAR Church, etc. Are these ministries proper ways to share the gospel or is this simply baptizing “worldliness”?
In the Old Testament, the “Children of Israel” were warned against mixing the worship of God with the pagan practices of the ungodly world around them. Theologians call this mixing of beliefs and behaviors “syncretism.” Syncretism was forbidden in the Old Testament. When we get to the New Testament, the Apostle Paul says in 1Corinthians 9:22 “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” This verse is interpreted by many Christians to mean that Christians can engage in a wide variety of activities in order to evangelize the lost. What do you think?
Is it holy for churches to build ministries around secular activities?
- No (53%, 10 Votes)
- Not Sure (32%, 6 Votes)
- Yes (16%, 3 Votes)
Total Voters: 19