'Church Life' Tagged Posts

'Church Life' Tagged Posts

Is Baptism a Requirement for Church Membership?

In our view, baptism and membership in a local church are inseparable, the former necessarily preceding the latter. While baptism is never explicitly said to be a prerequisite for church membership, the following biblical factors lead to that conclusion: Baptism is commanded of every believer.Baptism is an act of obedience, not only on the part of the individual Christian, but on the part of those who are commanded to baptize new disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). Disciples who will not submit to…

Music in the Church: How Special Should We Make It?

You could put the entire teaching about church music in the New Testament in a paragraph or two. Add to this teaching those spirited illustrations of corporate singing in heaven displayed in the last book of the Bible, when angels and throngs of people fill the air with thundering six to eight line choruses. When it comes to intentional instruction about music, however, there are really only four passages in the New Testament: Speaking to one another in psalms and…

Asahel Nettleton: The Forgotten Evangelist

The year was 1812. America had just declared war on Great Britain in June and lost its first battle in October. In the midst of that climate, a young, unimpressive minister on his way to an assignment in New York stopped at a church in the community of South Britain, Connecticut.[1] When he was invited to preach, no one could have anticipated the impact his ministry would have, not only on this small church, but also on all the East Coast over the…

Seriousness In Children and Teens

It is increasingly obvious that children and young people in many evangelical churches are anything but serious about Christ. There are notable exceptions, but in many churches a cursory look at the behavioral signals put out by the young people reveal a profound disinterest. On the one hand there is a sort of giddiness and silliness by some who believe that church is there only to provide them a place for enjoying friends and impressing the opposite sex. On the…

Personal Evangelism Under New Testament Scrutiny: Becoming a Biblical Presenter

Our evangelism, on the main, begs for a complete makeover, and leaders are tirelessly inventive in the ways they are attempting to do that. They are as frantically creative as cutting edge businesses, and not at all ashamed of comparing themselves to them. You will find the Bible way down on the list of books about evangelistic strategy, even in most seminaries. This is so not only in corporate evangelism, but sadly, this is true concerning personal evangelistic methods as…

Pastors Moving to Other Churches: Why?

There is no biblical record of a pastor leaving one established church to become a pastor of another. This is clearly seen in the starting of new churches. The biblical precedent was for a new church to start without any official leadership. Outside of the Jerusalem church where the apostles were the first leaders, I’m not aware of any church in the New Testament starting with a pastor in place. This may come as a surprise to many, but it…

Reformation or Revival?

If you have been around me very long, you have heard me emphasize that the crying need, the absolutely desperate need of the hour, is reformation. You have also been aware that for years I have also longed for revival. Recently I was asked what the difference actually is, if any, between revival and reformation. This is an important question worthy of your precious time to think it through. Though many are blinded to the current dilemma, the fact is…

When Pastors Aren’t Able to Pastor

The church is medium-sized in attendance, yet, on paper the membership roll is even larger. Its solo pastor is a frustrated man. There are some good days, and certainly some fine people who encourage him, but he’s frustrated because the job God called him to do just cannot be done. He has many people to tend to, numbers of which are missing, and even those who are present are more than any average man could possibly care for—that is, really care for. So,…

An Appeal to Churches to Use Bibles

I’ll never forget my shock the first time I attended a Bible-less church. My kind of church was a Bible-teaching one and Bibles were standard operating equipment. The last word I heard as I got in the car to drive to church was, “Jimmy, do you have your Bible?” A child might forget his belt or socks, but never his Bible. Just as dutifully, the church children found their mothers after the church meeting to load her up with their…

Elders’ Meetings that Do Something

Elders’ meetings should not be an exercise in futility. Rather, to be effective for the church and interesting for the elders, some thought must be put into your time together. Some suggestions: 1. Plan for meeting together more often and for a longer period of time.      We find meeting for at least three hours weekly is about right. For us now, we meet from 5:30-8:30 a.m.Even then we find that we want more time. In fact, for quite…

The Gospel and Divine Visitation—An Indivisible Union

It was spring in 1630. A few ladies were traveling through the Scottish countryside near Shotts when their carriage broke down. Thankfully the minister of the Kirk of Shotts, John Home, was able to assist them in their predicament. Struck with the poor condition of his manse, these wealthy Christian ladies determined to build another one for this kind man. Naturally, the grateful Home asked if he could do anything in exchange for their generosity. The ladies asked if they…

Why Churches Lose Members

A church might lose members because its leaders are burdened with a new direction the people are unwilling to travel. Or, it might lose members because of natural calamities or factory closings. Perhaps the demographics of the community have changed, such as in rural areas where land that once used to be teeming with large families is now controlled by farming conglomerates. But often a church will lose members for less noble reasons. Some people will tell you to just…