'Church Life' Tagged Posts

'Church Life' Tagged Posts

Southern Baptists, an Unregenerate Denomination

“How are you doing?” “Pretty well, under the circumstances.” “What are the circumstances?” “Well, I have a very effective arm. It moves with quite a bit of animation. But then I have my bad leg.” “What’s wrong with it?” “I guess it’s paralyzed. At least it doesn’t do much except twitch once a week or so. But that’s nothing compared with the rest of me.” “What’s the problem? “From all appearances, the rest is dead. At least it stinks and…

Starting Churches with No Money

I don’t want to presume that I know how you ought to start a church, but I’m increasingly less than satisfied with the kind of approach to church starting that takes loads of start-up money. Often U.S. church planters spend a year or two raising funds for the launch of their new church. Here are the reasons I think this is often (though not always) unwise. I don’t want to labor to prove my points, as if there is no…

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…

Christ’s Headship in the Church: The Neglected First Principle of Decision-making

I may seem naïve and overly simplistic when I say that Christ is the Head of the church and that this one fact, properly understood, will do more to clear up confusion over decision-making in the church than any other consideration. From this truth we are able to deduce that elders and members have one goal in decision-making—to find out what the Head of the church wills for His church. I don’t think most church leaders think this way. Starting…

The Rural Church Dilemma

Some time ago I drove to several small towns in rural Arkansas with my 89 year old father and my siblings, tracking the steps of the ministry of both my dad and his father. The experience was memorable. We visited small towns that even Arkansans might not recognize today: Cotter, Caledonia, Hagersville, Greenwood, LaVaca—twelve in all. These were the places where my father, and his father, labored for Christ eighty and ninety years ago. Much has changed in the landscape…

When Ball Becomes Baal

It’s rare to see kids playing sports in the neighborhood anymore. We’re now organized and “professionalized”—including uniforms, state-of-the-art facilities, endless trips to the field, competitive coaches, equally competitive parents, and the after-season tournaments designed to give parents “bleacher bottom.” In addition, you’ve got to pay to play—and when you’ve paid that much, you’ll be sure to play. It is also fun, and it can be instructive. I love to watch my kids play sports. In fact, they need to play—some.…

Thinking Biblically and Strategically About Inter-Church Relationships

I am focused in this article on “inter-church” relationships, not “intra-church” relationships. There is a significant difference. An online dictionary (www.dictionary.com) gives this information: “Inter– is a common prefix that means between or among groups,” whereas, “intra– is a prefix which means within or inside one group.” So the content to follow is not about relationships within a single church (intra-), but relationships between multiple churches (inter-).  My church is part of a fellowship of churches that meets annually for…

A Three-legged Stool: All Sides of God’s Salvation Process

Election by a sovereign God was one of the mainstay doctrines in the preaching used by God during great days of awakening. During the revival ministry of Asahel Nettleton (1783-1844) more than 25,000 were converted, principally in the New England area. According to John Thornbury this figure would be about 600,000 if percentaged to our present population.1 Nettleton, for one, did not shrink back from proclaiming a God who elected. The following vignette comes from the book on his life…

Closing With Christ: Rethinking What Has Become Sacrosanct

When modern evangelical churches seek to bring the unregenerate to Christ (and they should do so with passion), they often fall prey to a formula which produces disappointing results. The pattern runs something like this: Extending a public altar call Praying “the sinner’s prayer” Giving immediate verbal assurance that one is in Christ on the basis of the sinner’s sincerity and the accuracy of the wording of the prayer Immediate, or near immediate, public announcement that this person is now…

Comfort for Christian Parents of Unconverted Children

All Christian parents wish that God would show us something to do to secure our child’s salvation, and then “we’ll do it with all our might” because we love our child so much. Yet, God has not made salvation the effect of somebody else’s faith; our son or daughter must come to Christ on his or her own. John shows us that all Christians are born into God’s family “not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor…

An Appeal for the Use of House Churches to Extend Sanctuary-Style Churches

This brief article is a plea. I’m not going to give an apologetic for the house church model. You may read some of this on our website (christfellowshipkc.org) or other places. I am only going to make an appeal for sanctuary-style churches to consider using the house church concept to advance their work for God. I am especially concerned that readers of our articles, most of whom have sound theology and practice, would pick up the burden for this now.…

Do We Still Need the Local Church?

The down-the-street local church is not the only show in town anymore. We are able to enjoy faith-building messages, listen to the latest Christian music, and explore the rich diversity and variety found in the most noted Christian gatherings, all with the click of the mouse or the touch of a button. Many local church pastors now say, “The world is my parish,” just as did the horseback-riding evangelist, John Wesley. But they mean this without ever going out of…