Church attendance "Lab reports"

Regular "lab reports" are due in the Ministry, Church, and Society course throughout the semester. Those lab reports are to be based on your participation in the previous week or weeks (depending on how often the reports are submitted,) in the life of a local church. These lab reports are NOT to be sermon summaries. They are to be thoughtful reflections on what you observe in a local congregation's life and ministry as a community of faith.

Writing something about your attendance at an SNU chapel or on-campus Bible study does not fulfill the objectives of this assignment. This assignment must reflect your current attendance in a multi-generational faith community.

drawing of church as a

Starter questions

You need not answer any (and certainly not all) of these

  1. What triggered some ecclesiological reflections (thoughts about what the church is supposed to be and do)?
  2. This week, how did you sense God's purposes for His Church being fulfilled in a local congregation?
  3. In what ways did you feel God's presence?
  4. What is the "glue" that holds this church together?
  5. Do the members of this congregation view their church as a cruise ship or as a battleship?
  6. What is this church doing that proclaims it to be a community that lifts up Jesus Christ as Lord?
  7. What evidence is there that this is a covenant people of God made new in Christ?
  8. In what ways is this congregation fostering a sense of community?
  9. How is this church making listening to a sermon, taking an offering, or singing a song into acts of worship?
  10. How is that congregation ministering in Jesus' name?
  11. In what specific ways was this congregation's obedience to Christ highlighted this week?
  12. What evidence do you see of mutual accountability?
  13. Did you see some unexpected avenues of ministry open up?
  14. Did you reflect on specific things we have covered in the textbooks or the classroom?
  15. What person's ministry did you most appreciate this week?
  16. If you had to compose a prayer of thanks to God for this church experience, what items would be on the list?
  17. Ask yourself: "What kind of a Christian will I be after attending this church for 10 years?"

"Churches," Ed Robinson wrote, "are faith communities that are shaped and formed over time. They wind up with:

As you write these "lab reports," think about the congregation you are reporting on in light of Ed Robinson's list of characteristics.

"As a follower of Jesus, I can't be all I ought to be without the church, and the church can't be all it ought to be without me." — Travis Collins, pastor in Richmond, Virginia

    -- Howard Culbertson,


Involvement in the activities of a church congregation during a course on the nature and theology of the Church can be compared to lab work for a science student for several reasons:

In summary, attending church during a course on the nature and theology of the Church serves as a practical complement to classroom learning, much like lab work does for science students.

How should Christians view the surrounding culture?

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rightWhat position should believers take vis-a-vis the culture in which they live? [ more ]

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