By Wilson Campbell
Dallas Baptist University
Biblical Servant Leadership
Professor Tim Studstill
May 01, 2016
The spirituality of the Church, the Body of Christ, begins and ends with God. All aspects of the organization for which this plan is assigned will be to support the Body of Christ in fulfilling its responsibilities to the LORD our God. The goal of this Worship Plan is to outline the manner with which this organization will provide support to each individual member of the congregation as well as the corporate activities of the congregation as a whole. The outcome desired is that members of the organization are aided in creating and maintaining sound spiritual discipline individually and in support of one another in order to give all the glory of their lives to God in open and free worship, both privately and corporately, each according to their God given gifts and abilities.
The plan is three-fold in its design and intent. The first component of the plan is to provide members of the congregation education, training, and support in the practice of personal spiritual discipline and individual worship of God. The second component consists of providing opportunities for and encouragement of each member in the outward expressions of their spiritual growth. The third component pertains to the providing the facilities, tools, and other matter of things to bring the congregation together in corporate worship of the LORD our God. No single component is more important than the other and all three are to be equally implemented and comprise the entirety of the purpose of the organization.
Fostering Spiritual Discipline
The organization will be so organized and established as to openly and regularly promote the active practice of the spiritual disciplines by each individual member. This will consist of providing facilities, staff, and scheduling for educating and training individuals in proper Christian meditation, prayer, fasting, and study of the Word (Foster, Richard J.). The organization will also provide resources that will aid individual members in applying the knowledge and skills learned through education and training in their daily lives. In addition, the organization will aid in the formation of small groups or teams that can help to improve accountability and spiritual growth to new members and growing followers of Christ.
The organization will utilize the facilities that comprise the physical structure and location of the organization (i.e. the Sanctuary and Worship facility) to provide simple courses in understanding the spiritual disciplines of the Christian. These courses will educate members in what the spiritual disciplines are through use of informal classroom presentations, literature on spiritual discipline such as Richard J. Foster’s Celebration of Discipline, and online resources such as video presentations. These classes will stress the importance of spiritual discipline in strengthen the individual spirit of each member to increase their connection with and dependence on God, but that faith in Christ alone is what will bring them to God.
Beyond the completion of these courses, the organization will provide a library of some form (i.e. bookstore, online subscriptions to Biblical resources, etc.) which will offer various literature for their personal study. Those who are selected to be teachers/instructors for the courses will be encouraged to offer their time and communication with the members to answer questions and provide their experience and wisdom to help each member in their spiritual practice. The organization staff and pastors will be expected to include in their respective services some aspect of the spiritual disciplines as they preach, teach, and serve.
To further support and improve this pursuit of spiritual discipline for every member, the organization will develop a Small Group/Team ministry. This ministry will concentrate on building neighborhood teams, led by trusted and spiritually disciplined members of the congregation, as support groups. These groups will be focused on coming together in worship throughout the week to help members of each group find ways to implement spiritual discipline in their regular day to day life. From Bible study to peaceful places to meditate on the Word of God, to sharing in prayer practices, and providing encouragement through the process of fasting, these groups will help each member grow in their spiritual journey with Christ.
This particular component of the plan has the goal of educating, training, and supporting the members of the congregation in implementing the practice of spiritual discipline. The outcome of this component will be that every member has connection with someone who is experienced in the spiritual disciplines, and that each member always has someone to go to when they have questions. From the teachers/instructors, to sound Biblical resources, to friends and group members, there will always be someone available to help each member on their path regular daily practice of the spiritual discipline in their regular lives.
Opportunities for Spiritual Expression
The organization will regularly seek to provide opportunities for every member to express their growing strength of spirit. This will include opportunities to serve, assistance in simplifying their lives, and providing support for each member to find those necessary times of solitude and peace. These outward spiritual disciplines will aid the member in fully submitting to the will of God in their life, and the organization must be there to support the member in fulfilling whatever the Will of God has in store for him or her.
The staff of the organization will be responsible for reaching out to local and national organizations that conduct various ministries that seek to aid the poor and spread the Word. As they review organizations, staff members will be assigned as liaisons with these organizations. After ensuring the legitimacy of such organizations, they will be announced to the congregation to provide them with the opportunity to serve. The designated staff members will help connect congregation members to places where each member can volunteer to serve and support their ministry.
The organization itself will also create its own ministries to provide for members and the local community. These organizations must provide opportunities for members of the congregation to join in service to those who are in need. These ministries may include things such as counseling, financial support, job assistance, and child care among others. Though the staff of the organization will be the primary leaders of these ministries, and those assigned will require any special certifications that may be necessary by law, they must offer opportunities for members to serve and submit themselves to the service of God through the ministry.
One key ministry will be a service the organization will provide to members of the congregation that will aid them in simplifying their lives. Activities and services will include assistance with debt resolution, help with moving, selling off of personal belongings or donation of those items to those in need, and other such things. The objective being to help each member lead a simple life as Christ expects each one of us to live (Foster, Richard J.). Services that include child care for single parents or couples where both family members must work will also be provided.
In addition to such services, there must be an activity that permits members of the congregation to have the opportunity to find solitude in their life. Providing child care is one aspect of this particular ministry, but it may also include partnering with local organizations that provide peaceful locations where members may take a vacation to in order to find a time of solitude. This ministry may also provide a means through the acquisition of land and property where members may visit that can provide places of solitude to aid members in practicing this discipline.
The outcome desired by this particular component is that every member of the congregation may serve the LORD our God as they fully submit themselves to his Will. Opportunities will always be available to members so that they may serve the community as they feel God to call them, and will support their efforts to do so. It will also provide the necessary support that members may require so that they may also find moments of solitude to listen for the LORD and have times of peace with him.
Together in Corporate Discipline
The organization, being formed to provide a physical location for the Body of Christ to come together in the worship of our LORD and Savior, must also bring the congregation together in corporate worship. This must include facilities and activities that allow every member to come together to observe the corporate disciplines of confession, worship, guidance, and celebration (Foster, Richard J.). There must be activities at the physical location that permit opportunities for members to come and openly confess amongst one another, and seek guidance in repentance and full submission to God. It must also hold regular services of Worship, not just on each Sunday, but at other times each week. Then, to foster fellowship and brotherhood, offering times of celebration and festiveness must also be done.
For aiding in open confession, the organization’s facilities must be open throughout the week for members to come and find brothers and sister in Christ ready to welcome them. The organization must develop some means to provide this activity, and to control it for the safety of the members. At times of confession, there are many things the organization must be prepared for. So the staff of the organization must be ready to provide support to the confessor, and must have appropriate agencies and organizations available to assist in any manner that may be required by law, or simply by God’s mercy.
There must be staff or volunteers available to provide spiritual guidance to members of the congregation. This include guidance on how to act in repentance after confession, but also in making regular daily decisions in life. Developing a network of experienced and spiritually disciplined members of the congregation will aid in implementing this particular activity of the organization. Building members into “Team Leaders” and providing them with education and training in fields such as counseling or other such areas must be done.
In addition to all these, the organization must also provide facilities and activities that bring the congregation together in corporate worship and celebration of our God. Regular worship services on Sundays as is our tradition shall be conducted in a manner that is appropriate. All music provided during the worship service must include in its words mention of the acts of God throughout history, Christ and his life with us, scripture in its purest since, and practical relevance to the Christian life. The style of music must be of modest intent, but permit the celebration of our God in an engaging and inclusive manner (Wiersbe, Warran,W).
The staff will be responsible for developing an annual plan of celebration. In addition to the regular weekly Sunday Services, the organization will need to create a schedule of special events that revolve around special and significant events in the history of the church. Regular celebrations for Christmas and Easter are the obvious two, but also holding celebrations that will help our congregation remember our roots in Judaism will bring focus and purity to these events. As important as it is to celebrate the coming of Christ, it is important to remember what God has done for his people across all of human history.
But beyond the Sunday services and celebrations, it will also be important to provide opportunities for members to come and join in corporate worship throughout the week. Having the sanctuary and worship center open during the week will be of great importance to provide opportunities for the congregation to come together regularly in daily worship. Having events available in the mornings where small groups can come and meet in worship and prayer to prepare for the busy work day will help to reinvigorate life in our church. Holding evening worship services will provide folks a means to come in and cleans their minds, spiritually, in worship each dy. The opportunity to come and end one’s work day with even just 30 minutes of worship to give the glory of one’s labor to God each day can help people to dedicate themselves and fully submit themselves to the worship of God.
Foster, Richard, J. (1988). Celebration of Discipline. Harper & Row. San Franciso, CA.
Wiersbe, Warren, W. (2000). Real Worship. Baker Books. Grand Rapids, MI.