The kind of church that reaches unbelievers is not always (or often) the kind of church that reaches believers.
So what happens, when one person wants to start a group, effort or church that reaches unbelievers, and those from an existing church challenge him (or her)?
“Who gave you the right to do that? Why are you doing it that way? That’s the wrong way! You shouldn’t do that.”
There are many potential responses, but this may be the best one:
“Why don’t we study what the Bible has to say about it, together?”
Can everyone make disciples? What Scriptures would you study?
Can everyone baptize new believers? What Scriptures would you study?
Can everyone give/take communion? What Scriptures would you study?
Often we make knee-jerk, reflexive statements (“You shouldn’t do that” or “Of course I can do that”) without going to the Scriptures and studying it out.
(Going to the Scriptures and studying it out does not equate to reading someone else’s one page devotional, or their commentary on the Scriptures. It means actually reading the Scriptures themselves, praying together, and discussing what they mean and how they can be applied.)
Not everyone will agree with everyone’s interpretation of Scripture. For example, consider 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. Do these Scriptures suggest that an elder in the church must be married and have children? Does this automatically disqualify anyone who is not married, or does not have children? What then does this say about those who choose to live unmarried (as Paul urged, 1 Corinthians 7), or those who are childless or barren? What about the widowed?
If the best way is to study Scriptures together, how do you handle disagreement? What would you do?