This week's question about church

A city sky line by the water and with trees

Your questions—your Church community’s answers. Each week, we’ll feature a new question from the Field, with responses from two experienced spiritual thinkers to kick off the discussion. Next, it’s your turn to help bring new insights, ideas, and solutions to light by posting a comment or participating in our discussion forums.

Share your questions here!

Responses by Rebecca Odegaard and Mark Swinney. Christ Jesus declared that “The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few” (Luke 10:2) and then instructed that we pray to God for more laborers, — not because the labor is great, but because the harvest is! The harvest, or yield, from working in church must be the innumerable blessings that come to us by way of selflessness, increased patience, forgiving love, and the pure joy of serving God. 

Responses by Anne Cooling and Mark Unger. Sometimes you may find what is on the websites will just support you as the teacher putting together your lessons, and sometimes it may be appropriate to add them in as an addition to your lessons within the class. The Father will guide you each time. 

Responses by Dawn-Marie Cornett and Dave Stevens. Maybe this is the key to the question here. What are we serving? Is it really that we need to be devoted to church, or is it that our fellow man needs to know about God, about Christian Science, about the healing that comes from this knowledge? Christ Jesus said that the two most important commandments were to love God and love each other. If this is being expressed in our church work, then I think we're good. However, if we find that we've minimized or forgotten this sense of inspired purpose, maybe there is more we can do. 

Responses by Mary Alice Rose and John Q. Adams For a branch church to be healthy, it must be a collective demonstration where all views are heard, and all are given access to filling the different positions, offices, and activities. Our Leader set this tone of equality and fairness by emphasizing rotation in office. more

Responses by Tim Myers and Michelle Nanouche. More than meeting a requirement, lectures bless those that plan, sponsor, and attend. Because of your expectation of good results, I have to assume your church is giving fresh eyes to the lecture work, and approaching it with prayer before, during, and after. So if, with all that, you aren’t finding even a trickle of interest in your church, is there something wrong? Not necessarily. 

Responses by Todd Herzer and Lois Herr. In the church service, the solo is traditionally viewed as an opportunity for quiet reflection setting the stage for the upcoming Lesson-Sermon. For many, an applause following the solo might be an unwanted distraction.

However, the role of music in worship services is evolving significantly and becoming more contemporized to reflect the changing values of society.

Responses by Patricia Tupper Hyatt and Don Adams. Rotation in office is vital to the growth of a branch church. Each time a member assumes a new responsibility, he or she is forced to grow—and, as each member grows, the church grows. 

Responses by Tim Mitchinson and Becky Buhl. Two phrases jump out from this question: “in their places” and “to silently prepare.” The place of a Christian Scientist is fundamentally mental—being immovably God-centered; perpetually prayerful. Are we coming to services (and meetings) embodying church alive? What are we bringing to church? 

Responses by Annette Dutenhoffer and Curt Wahlberg. There is no guideline in the Manual for the length of silent prayer during our services, but certainly it shouldn’t be so brief that the congregation is surprised to hear the congregation saying, “Our Father,” before they’ve even bowed their heads. And, it shouldn’t be so long that they’re tempted to get out their smart phones and check their e-mail while waiting! 

Responses by Pamela Cook and John Rinnert. In considering the mission of our Reading Rooms, we might ask, “What can we do to make sure every man and woman knows the ‘infinite value and firm basis’ of Christian Science?” We might consider every proposed activity in the context of this goal. 

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