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Website Evaluation Essay Essay

1. Ministry is…praying for others.
Does the church have a prayer ministry? What does it look like? Yes. Brookhollow’s prayer ministries are integrated into small groups for congregation members and community outreaches. Some of the prayer ministries are set up for direct services. For example, people whose lives are affected in some way by cancer can contact Pastoral Care. Brookhollow also has a “Prayer Request” tab on the homepage of the website.

2. Ministry is…following Jesus’ example by practicing spiritual mentoring and multiplying. Does the church have a strategy for evangelism? Yes

Does the church have a strategy for discipleship? Yes

Briefly describe what they look like. Both are integrated into groups ranging from infant to adult, which are also for the church and the community. An example of the youth community groups are youth groups for ages 13 through 17; one is called DITR (Diamonds in the Rough) for girls, and the mentoring group Boys to Men. In addition, this church provides programs that are too many to list; however, two examples listed here give an idea of the services that are available. One outreach is designed to evangelize to people that are incarcerated and their families. Another, is an outreach ministry called “Storehouse Ministry” that provides a page for people in need of food, clothing, and miscellaneous items. This page lists their pantry times and when available miscellaneous items, such as appliances or household items. This page is to assist impoverished people within their surrounding communities. Everything is listed under simple drop-down menus that are titled generally for easy navigation.

3. Ministry is…leading small groups.
Does the church have a small group ministry? What can learn about their small group ministry from their website? The website provides an extensive list of group ministries. Their small group ministries are unique for most churches, as they open up opportunities for members to become active and serve. This church even provides a retreat ministry that is designed to serve the spouses of their pastors and congregational leaders. The list reveals that this church tries to reach groups through specifically designed ministries, and it attempts to serve needs of people in special areas including, all ages, genders, and circumstances.

4. Ministry is…biblically balanced preaching and teaching
Does the website exhibit that the church has a strong Bible base? No, it does exhibit a strong community base and the desire for God’s word to be shared.

Are verses used throughout the website to support ministries, doctrinal statements, etc.? I was unsuccessful in locating scripture within the website.

Does the church have an organized Christian Education program? If so, what does it look like? Yes, one is allocated as a daycare for infants and its youngest members of the church. A second program is divided into age appropriate groups that study four key areas of Christianity: Discipleship (Studying God’s Word), Fellowship (Connecting in Relationship), Service (Finding your place to Serve), and Evangelism (Inviting Others to Belong). In addition Christian education is integrated into the small groups that were previously mentioned.

5. Ministry is…cultivating a culture of godly accountability for yourself and for those you serve. Does the church have an organized accountability program? If so, what does it look like? This church does not list such a program specifically on their website.

6. What do you feel is the church’s priority? I strongly feel the main objective of Brookhollow Baptist Church is to receive as many new members that they are able to reach through their visitor’s ministry group, worship ministry that goes out to local businesses or areas and praises unto God through worship, while sharing the Gospel; and also, with online streaming. I also believe they have a strong focus on small groups, like the aforementioned examples. This church specifically utilizes small group ministries to reach the needs of people and the surrounding communities. Church #2 Name: Blue Ridge Community Church

Church #2 Website: www.blue-ridge.org

1. Ministry is…praying for others.
a. Does the church have a prayer ministry? What does it look like? Yes. A page is available to enter your information so they may reach you, along with your prayer request. This page is available for members and non-members. Blue Ridge has designed a specific area for people in crisis to reach out for prayer, or to one of its staff members. There are many crisis areas they address; for example, suffering from loss, or recovering from an addiction, just to name a couple. One specific prayer ministry is their “Global Mission Prayer Team.” They are the prayer support for their mission’s teams and their members out in the fields.

2. Ministry is…following Jesus’ example by practicing spiritual mentoring and multiplying. a. Does the church have a strategy for evangelism? They list under their “Why we Exist” located in their mission statement and their objective is to go to the people with the good news of our Lord. This section takes a bit of searching around in order to find it. The main page has only three titles on it. The titles read, “Visit” “Get Involved,” and “More.”

b. Does the church have a strategy for discipleship? Yes. Also, under the “Why We Exist” tab is a list that includes the church’s mission statement; they believe they are to Go, Gather, Grow, Give, and Glorify our Father through evangelism and bringing people to Christ to serve Him. The desire to help people have a relationship with God is admirable. There is a video series that has a main focus on discipleship titled, “Why do it?” from 2013.In the video series are messages that were preached, explaining the importance of discipleship and the Great Commission.

c. Briefly describe what they look like. The website describes this body of Christ as casual people that build relationships with each other, the community around them, and mission fields globally. The sight is set up with boxes that are simply titled, so a person may click on it and read the direction below. The church simply states a clear objective on their web page: “…We put prayer, the Bible, and our belief in Jesus, front and center.” The goal is to bring people to a relationship with Christ and help them understand how God wants them to serve Him.

3. Ministry is…leading small groups.
a. Does the church have a small group ministry? What can learn about their small group ministry from their website? This area of the website is beautifully designed; it is simple to navigate, with tabs specific to gender, singles, and school ages. Once a tab is chosen, several needs-based ministries within these categories are available for both members and non-members. For example, the “Adults” tab has options for people preparing for marriage, or in a marriage, even those suffering through a divorce. The tabs also included, but were not limited to fitness, recovery, Bible study, and global missions. This church tends to care about real-life circumstances and provides support to both its members and its surrounding communities. Some of the topics may seem to be taboo in some churches; however, Blue Ridge puts them right out in front and provides support.

4. Ministry is…biblically balanced preaching and teaching
a. Does the website exhibit that the church has a strong Bible base? Yes. Several video series are available that are titled by a scripture. Blue Ridge also provides a blog for people within the congregation to share special events or services. Some events are not an everyday practice in modern congregations; these have proven essential for sharing the love within scripture. For example a woman that grew up in the mountains of North Carolina uses her gift of Hospitality to help young women set up their homes as she and her family share the Gospel with them. This amazing woman has also held special events such as barn dances and meals during special seasons. Her pool was the original baptism waters of Blue Ridge. Here is where the people serve God through their church and help the community become aware of non-traditional events, services, and hear the word of God.

b. Are verses used throughout the website to support ministries, doctrinal statements, etc.? I was unsuccessful in locating scripture within the pages of the website; however, this website is mainly video based. They do offer several series of sermons that focus on a specific scripture, for a period of several weeks. c. Does the church have an organized Christian Education program? If so, what does it look like? Yes. They have a section that is allocated for kids and another for middle school and high school students. They provide the same information that is preached in the chapel in age appropriate classes that help next and new generations understand the Gospel.

5. Ministry is…cultivating a culture of godly accountability for yourself and for those you serve. a. Does the church have an organized accountability program? If so, what does it look like? I was unsuccessful in locating anything regarding accountability, except they have it integrated into their classes. I discovered one class that focused on “insecurities” in teen girls. I would believe this service would include being accountable for themselves and each other as they face peer pressure and High School or Middle School drama and temptations.

6. What do you feel is the church’s priority? I strongly feel Blue Ridge’s priorities are missions. Locally and internationally they have community awareness events and groups, and they have a strong focus on the youth within the congregation and its community. Church #3 Name: Brooklyn
Tabernacle

Church #3 Website: www.brooklyntabernacle.org

1. Ministry is…praying for others.
a. Does the church have a prayer ministry? What does it look like? Yes. It is rather extensive; the homepage has a “Prayer Center” tab. This tab has 3 sub-tabs labeled “Continual Prayer,” “Prayer Options” and “Prayer Requests.” People can submit prayer requests anonymously while trying to break free from sin. They also hold two prayer services, one is for individual prayer at Tuesday’s noon “Prayer Hour,” and that night they hold a prayer service meeting. In addition, they have a prayer band that shares the gospel all around the inner-city of Brooklyn. b.

2. Ministry is…following Jesus’ example by practicing spiritual mentoring and multiplying. a. Does the church have a strategy for evangelism? Yes. They state that they are about ministering to “the cross cultural melting pot of New York City.” They have a strong foundation on the inerrancy of the Bible and the way to receive salvation. They offer ministry preparation courses to help prepare people to minister in the area their gifts place them in to serve for the Glory of God.

b. Does the church have a strategy for discipleship? Yes. They offer age appropriate classes to prepare the next generation to be a part of their community outreaches, as well as prepare people for long-term, short-term, and local missions.

c. Briefly describe what they look like. They offer such a variety of opportunities for people to evangelize and minister both within their congregation, to their community, and even around the world.

3. Ministry is…leading small groups.
a. Does the church have a small group ministry? What can learn about their small group ministry from their website? Yes. They offer a “Get Involved” tab on the website that has (too many to list) a general list of places a person can become actively involved. For example, “ I have a compassion for the Needy,” or “ I am called to Missions.” These open into drop down menus of places where people can serve God in all His glory to reach the lost, suffering, and heartbroken. The Brooklyn Tabernacle truly offers something for all its members to offer their gifts to serve God and feel a part of a church family.

4. Ministry is…biblically balanced preaching and teaching
a. Does the website exhibit that the church has a strong Bible base? Yes. But there are no scriptures displayed on the website.

b. Are verses used throughout the website to support ministries, doctrinal statements, etc.? The pages allocated for the youth ministries, ages 13-18, appear to have a devotional in progress that offers the address for a specific scripture that follows the words of encouragement that are posted for this ministry’s blog.

c. Does the church have an organized Christian Education program? If so, what does it look like? Yes. They offer two 7-week Bible Foundation Courses. One is a basic Bible course, and the second is for more advanced studies. This appears to be for the young adult to adult ages. They also offer courses that help people prepare to volunteer for ministries that are in the administrative area of the church, or to help with their ‘registration team’ there is a base ministry preparation course that does not list the specific placement of this ministry course.

5. Ministry is…cultivating a culture of godly accountability for yourself and for those you serve. a. Does the church have an organized accountability program? If so, what does it look like? Yes. On the homepage there is a “Finical Accountability” tab that offers to help members in financial areas. Brooklyn Tabernacle also has a “Pastoral References” page that asks for support and Godly encouragement from its members for its Pastoral leaders. I also discovered a “Be Transformed” page that focuses on recognizing destructive behavioral and emotional patterns; this group gets together and helps support each other as they learn how applying doctrinal truths will help build intimacy with Christ and bring healing from emotional, relational, and spiritual hurts.

6. What do you feel is the church’s priority? This church appears to have a strong desire to prepare its members to be active Christians in their church and in the mission fields, whether locally or globally.

Complete the following within 2–3 pages.
What 3 ministry ideas stood out to you and why?
I was extremely intrigued by all the churches I had the pleasure of evaluating. The churches I studied were creative in the design of their group ministries. There are more than three that caught my interest; however, only a few will be discussed. People that cannot participate in traditional group ministries may find their place in one of the many unorthodox, yet exciting small group ministries. It is human nature to desire a sense of belonging, and we can be participants or spectators in the pews. God desires us to draw near to Him. I found the most interesting arts ministries. Brookhollow Baptist offers an arts ministry of dance and drama. Portraying Bible heroes in any form of drama or choreographed dance gives way to expressing one’s self and learning the story or character the performer is expressing. This gives way for members to grow in Christ and find fellowship beyond the traditional small group ministries.

Brooklyn Tabernacle has so much to offer. Their ministries appear to have a place and purpose for everyone to serve. They also offer an arts ministry; however, I found myself drawn to their mission’s ministries. I have a compassion for the impoverished, being a single and abused mother that struggled most of my son’s young life. I found myself living a worldly, empty, and lonely life; with Jesus in my life now, I feel this ministry is crucial to others that are out there unaware of the love God has for them. This particular mission helps reach women, men, and families in homeless shelters. Having been in that position, I see the urgency for more missions like this one.

Brooklyn Tabernacle offers another ministry that really touched my heart; I found Blue Ridge Community has a similar passion for an extensive international outreach program. Ever since I had begun helping with a human trafficking mission in my home church, I began to feel God’s call for me to eventually serve Him in missions. I had only provided research; yet, after reading how these two churches put so much love and emphasis on helping poverty stricken nations, my heart was touched. There is such urgency for people to know God has not forgotten them. God Bless these ministries. Do you currently participate in these kinds of ministries? If so, how can your research help you enhance what you are doing? If not, how can you include these ides in your ministry?

I have held a fundraiser to help with a mission in the Philippines; however, funds and availability of church leadership to keep this mission active became limited. My home church recently inducted the head of Eagles Wings Ministries as the new Bishop. This transition has set other things in motion and, unfortunately, slowed some down. This research provided me an opportunity to view the possibilities that surround these ministries from a new perspective. Through these ministries one can become more prepared and interested to serve in either a local or international mission group. Discovering Brooklyn Tabernacle and how they offer missions preparation is beneficial to both missions and church members to enhance awareness, interest, and possibly involvement. What differences did you identify between these churches?

One main difference between all three churches evaluated are their “visitors or guests” information that is available on their website. For example, Blue-Ridge is simple; they provide their address, service times, and a welcome letters. Brookhollow offers “Plan your Visit” forms to fill out so arrangements for them to greeted upon arrival. In addition, membership information is also readily available. Brooklyn Tabernacle offers a menu strictly for visitors; it contains a list of local restaurants, hotels, and even local taxi services. It appears the larger the community or city, the more information that is available on the church’s website for convenience purpose. When visiting a church in a large metropolitan area, this information being readily available would prove to be essential to a successful visit. Do you think that size, geographic location or financial resources should influence your philosophy of ministry? If so, how? If not, why not?

This answer could vary depending on one’s perspective. Yes, in some ways one’s philosophy of ministry could be influenced by geographical location; it would be crucial to consider the needs of the surrounding communities, especially to effectively reach people with the Word of God in a positive and productive manner. If one considers the location and community of Blue Ridge being not as large as the two metropolitan churches evaluated, being smaller does not necessarily mean their ministries need to be smaller than or not as extravagant as the larger communities outreached, they are just as urgently needed.

The church I respected the most with no disrespect to Brooklyn Tabernacle. Brooklyn Baptist did not put as much emphasis on her leaders as she did on her members. And the importance of finding God’s place for them is in His works. For, the body of Christ as a whole is vital to the Great Commission and sharing the Gospel Jesus said, “Go then and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Teaching them all I have commanded you, and behold I am with you…” (Matthew 28:19-20. AMP). People are in need of Christ in their hearts, and one person cannot do everything; therefore, as a body of Christ, all should follow the example of Christ and tell the world they are loved!


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