The Five Activities of Church Life at PHBF

You may have noticed that, at Parker Hills, we keep our schedule stripped down and focused, deliberately avoiding a busy schedule of ministries and church functions during the week. The reason is simple: we want to keep our members freed up and centered on the five activities that are most clearly and most frequently exemplified in the life of Jesus and the ministry of the early church. When you scan the Gospels and the book of Acts, you’ll clearly find these five activities there.

In other words, we want our members to be growing in Christlikeness, not just busy doing lots of church stuff. So what do growing Christians do? We believe the list is fairly short and very specific. Christians who are being obedient to Christ and are growing in their faith are:

  • Sharing the gospel with unbelievers through EVANGELISM
  • Helping at least one other believer follow Christ through DISCIPLESHIP
  • Bringing praise and petitions to God with the rest of the church in PRAYER
  • Connecting with other believers for mutual service and love in FELLOWSHIP
  • Gathering with the church to rehearse and celebrate the gospel in WORSHIP

The first two (evangelism and discipleship) by nature are highly individual and decentralized, making it difficult for us to schedule an event or structure a program for these activities. Instead, we emphasize them in our pastoral care visits, sermon applications, and overall church culture. The other three (prayer, fellowship & worship) we emphasize by scheduling them and calling the whole church to participate.

It’s true that the good things are often the worst enemies of the best things. If you’ve been a church member elsewhere for any length of time, you may have noticed the potential to fill up your entire week with church events alone, leaving no time to evangelize your neighbors, spend time discipling a younger believer, or even invest deeply in other members’ lives in a care group. That’s not just sad; it’s tragic and wrong, because these five activities are the “best things” of church life. These are the non-negotiables for every Christian—the activities which all Christians must engage in if they are going to be obedient to Jesus Christ.

As we sometimes say, “If you are doing all five of these things every week and you still have time left over, then we’ll be glad to schedule more church stuff just for you!”