5 signs of a Family-oriented Church.

A vibrant church is a church that (among the many other areas we look at) also has its focus on the family.  What does it mean to have a Family-oriented church?

1).  Classes and and training for all ages.  A family oriented church will have some of the following: Sunday School classes, Children’s Church, Children’s Choir, Evening Programs (like Awana, Master Clubs, Truth Trackers, etc.).  The Family-oriented church will take great care and concern in their curriculum, making sure that the teaching for all age groups is foundational and appropriate.

2). Activities for all ages.  A family oriented church will have Sunday School picnics, Game nights, movie nights, pizza parties, bowling parties, etc.  Times will be designated for the church families to all get together for fellowship.

3). Involvement for all ages.  Opportunities should be given for every age group to be involved.  Children’s Choirs, Youth participation days, Men serving the ladies at a ladies banquet, Youth serving the seniors at a seniors dinner – these are just a few ideas of how to have involvement for all ages.

4). Help the hurting family.  To be family oriented the church must be prepared to help those families that are fractured and hurting.  Having a Divorce support group, Addictions support group, dealing with rebellious children training, etc.  These are some of the many needs that families are facing.

5). Teach Family Foundations from the Pulpit.  Preach on the family.  Teach on the roles of the Husband, Father, Wife, Mother, Children from the Word of God.


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A Christ-centered Church

To build a vibrant church it is essential that the local Church is Christ-centered.  Here are some quick points:

1. Mankind exists to bring Glory to Jesus Christ and the Godhead.  Therefore the Church’s full focus and goal is to glorify the Almighty.  Every service, activity, program, board meeting, Sunday school class, bus route, etc must be focused on Glorifying Him.

2. To Glorify Christ the Church must Teach about Him, must Worship Him, must Tell Others about Him, and we must Talk about Him.

3. A Christ-centered Church will find ways to tell the Lost about Him.  All events become evangelistic opportunities.

4. A Christ-centered Church is a Church that will stand unwavering upon His Word!

5. A Christ-centered Church will spend time Talking to Him in Prayer!

6. A Christ-centered Church will understand that we desire a Relationship and not just a Religion.


Building a Vibrant Church

Since the beginning of this month, Work of the Ministry has re-focused its emphasis towards advice and information for building a vibrant church.  Our focus is not on building a church numerically, though that will also be an outcome, but towards building a church that is alive and focused on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We will focus primarily on Ministry but will also share Resources, News stories, and helpful Links for your church.

This website is a ministry of Cedar Hill Baptist Church in Dillsburg, PA.  The church website will include our full doctrinal statement.

Your thoughts and comments are always welcomed.


* This is taken from theBlaze and written by Billy Hallowell.  Written on December 21, 2012


Faith and religion were an integral part of the 2012 news cycle. From the contraceptive mandate to intense violence in the Middle East, many of the year’s most pertinent news stories involved the separation of church and state and the role — or lack thereof — of belief in a higher power in domestic and international events.

Last month, the Religion Newswriters Association commissioned a poll of professional religion reporters to determine the 10 most significant religious events of the year. The study, which was taken before the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting (which many would argue has a place on the list), pinpointed some fascinating happenings — important events that, in many ways, defined and transformed the year.

The 10 Biggest & Most Significant Faith & Religion Stories of 2012

Photo Credit: AP

1. The number one ranked story among professional journalists was the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate and the battle with religious leaders over its implementation. TheBlaze has covered this issue extensively throughout the year and will continue to as lawsuits and challenges continue into 2013.

2. The second most significant religion story of 2012 was the startling finding that the “nones” are a rising group in America. According to surveys, one-in-five Americans report having no religious adherence. While not all of these individuals are atheists, they are unattached to a particular faith. And, to top it off, they comprise the fastest-growing “religious group” in the nation.

The 10 Biggest & Most Significant Faith & Religion Stories of 2012

Moroccan women shout slogans during a demonstration against a film deemed offensive to Islam, on September 12, 2012 near the US consulate in Casablanca. A film at the center of anti-US protests in the Middle East which killed a diplomat was made by an Israeli-American who describes Islam as a ‘cancer,’ the Wall Street Journal reported. The movie, ‘Innocence of Muslims,’ was directed and produced by Sam Bacile, a 52-year-old real-estate developer from southern California who says Islam is a hateful religion.Credit: AFP/Getty Images


3. And considering the furor surrounding Benghazi, Libya, and the violence that broke out in the Middle East on and immediately following the Sept. 11 anniversary this year, the fact that the “Innocence of Muslims” film comes in third is no surprise. TheBlaze brought you the now-infamous trailer and a plethora of stories surrounding the movie that some blamed for anti-American violence in the region.

4. As for Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate who lost the 2012 presidential election to President Barack Obama, his Mormon faith made an appearance on the list, coming in as the fourth most important religion story of the year. In the end, despite conjecture, his religious views ended up having little impact on his candidacy, as evangelicals inevitably supported him on election day.

The 10 Biggest & Most Significant Faith & Religion Stories of 2012

2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (Photo Credit: AP)

5. As for Monsignor William Lynn of Philadelphia, he distinguished himself as the first Catholic official in the nation to be found guilty in covering up child abuse at the hands of priests. And, as RNA notes, Bishop Robert Finn ended up being the first bishop to face the same fate. Theseabuse stories come in collectively as the fifth most impactful among religion reporters.

6 – 10. The five remaining events, which can be read about in detail over on the RNA web siteinclude: the Vatican’s criticism of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and the related fallout, the legalization of gay marriage in Maine, Maryland and Washington, the Episcopal Church’s adoption of a trial ritual for blessing gay couples, the Sikh temple shooting and the Southern Baptist Convention’s election of the Rev. Fred Luter, its first black president.

Stay tuned to 2013, when TheBlaze will, once again, bring you the most important and significant faith and religion stories and events.

Editor’s Note: TheBlaze’s Billy Hallowell participated in the RNA survey.

Love for others

The vibrant church must have a sincere and obvious love for each other and for the community.  The world needs to see that the church body genuinely cares for the needs within the congregation.  The community will be greatly impacted when we can take that love and compassion and reach those that may be hurting in our area.  Here are some ideas for showing compassion outside of the church:

1) Be involved with your First Responders.  Know the police chief and fire chief that services your area and recognize them and include them in special events.

2) Be there for families in the area that are enduring heartache.  When a neighborhood house burns down, step up with benevolence to help them.  When an area child is hurt or battling a disease, assist the family with meals or non perishable foods.

3) Show up and be involved in community events: local fairs, parades, celebrations.  Have a booth set up at the local ‘night out’ against crime.

4) Offer programs at your church such as: Divorce Care, Reformers Unanimous, counseling, etc.


And of some have compassion, making a difference:  Jude 22


Preeminence of the Word of God

The vibrant growing church MUST exalt the Preeminence of the Word of God!  The Word of God is the cornerstone of all that the church believes and all of the goals that we strive for.

Churches today will far too often focus on catchy programs, slick advertising, gimmicky lesson series, feel good advice messages, etc.  People are starving for truth!  People want an Absolute in a world of constant change.  People are looking for something solid while everything else in their lives is unstable.  Your congregation will thrive under strong, Bible based preaching and teaching.

Without the Word of God – we are merely teaching opinions.  Our opinions are worthless in eternity but the Word of God will never fail and will never fade away!

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

II Timothy 4:2


Discipleship Minded

A vibrant church must be Discipleship Minded.  We must be telling souls about Jesus Christ, but it must not stop there.  We must be helping people grow in the Lord once they have accepted Him as Saviour.

We previewed the Discipleship book Daily in the Word on December 12 on this website.  This is a great resource for one on one Discipleship building.

Discipleship can be in a Sunday School class, Bible study or in a one on one setting.  It is great to find individuals in your church that are interested in helping to disciple new Christians.  I actually took the time in my own church to use the above mentioned book and go through it with my entire church on a series of Sunday Evenings.  It was beneficial for all and there were certain people who, at the end, cam to me with a sincere interest in helping to disciple others.


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I believe it is essential for a vibrant, growing church to keep records of prospects.  This should be done in a couple of different categories.

1. Prospects for church attendance or membership.  Those people that have come through the church that are looking for a church home.  These are probably found on your visitor cards.  By going through your visitor cards you will immediately discount some as potential prospects: people on vacation that are traveling through the area, family of your congregation from out of the area, people that attend another church and have just visited for a special event, etc.  I keep a notebook beside my desk with potential prospects for church attendance.  I make sure they are invited for special events here at the church and I keep contact with them throughout the year.

2. Prospects for Salvation.  These prospects may or may not attend your church.  I have a section of my notebook dedicated to just those people that have not accepted Christ as Saviour.  I know to pray for them, contact them for special events, and visit them as needed.  Some of these are spouses or loved ones of church members, some are neighbors of the church, and some are just people that I have contact with on a regular basis but don’t know the Lord (for example: our mailman, UPS delivery person, furnace repair man, etc. )

Following is a sample of the Prospect Card I made and use regularly:


Last Name: ___________________________

First Name: ____________________

Address: ____________________________________________________________


Home Phone # _____________________   Cell Phone # ______________________

Family: _____________________________________________________________


Other Information: ___________________________________________________



Contact: _____________________________________________________________



Contact: _____________________________________________________________



Contact: ____________________________________________________________



Recommended Resource: Ministry 127 Website

Ministry 127 is a ministry of Lancaster Baptist Church and West Coast Baptist College in Lancaster, CA.  Dr. Paul Chappell and his staff have provided this great resource for churches to use.  This website includes, but is not limited to:

1. Articles:  You can find great articles on many topics related to church ministry and spiritual growth.  All of these articles are easily found by topic or by author.

2. Slides:  You can find dozens and dozens of great PowerPoint slides for your church ministry,  All of the slides include not only the information that was posted when the slide was originated, but also blank version for your own use.

3. Videos:  All of the videos produced for announcements or other lessons are available for download.  Not all will be applicable for your church, but many are.

4. Outlines:  Dr. Chappell puts a new outline series on this site each month for free download.