A few questions from Marva Dawn to guide our thinking about what it means to be a congregation for the next generation…
1. Does the pastor preach the whole counsel of God and not just what is politically correct? Do the congregational leaders urge you and your children to wrestle with the whole Bible and not just read the parts you like?
2. Does the pastor preach sermons and do the leaders teach classes that rebuke and challenge you and your children? Do the elders admonish you?
3. Do the congregation’s small groups-including youth groups-hold you and your children accountable, support you in your times of weakness, and pray for you consistently?
4. Are there some people in your congregation that you don’t like?
5. Are there people in your congregation from other ethnic and ability groups?
6. Does the community’s life demand a lot from you and your children and call forth your spiritual gifts?
7. Does the whole congregation understand that everyone is responsible for helping to raise children in the faith?
8. Does the congregation give young people meaningful jobs to do in the parish?
9. Does the congregation encourage and enable your children to memorize the Scriptures, learn essential doctrines, delight in Christian symbols, value the noblest hymns and the best new songs, and cherish the heritage of the faith?
10. Does the congregation go beyond “evangelism programs” to help each member, young or old, become equipped to share his or her faith, to be hospitable to strangers, to be a friend to those who need the gospel?