'Church Life' Tagged Posts

'Church Life' Tagged Posts

Above Reproach — But What About the Kids?

The wise Apostle Paul insists that overseers be above reproach. By overseers he means those who not only are called by that title, but also that of pastor or elder. These words are used for the same person. That person, that overseer, that pastor, that elder, MUST be above reproach. Between Paul’s words — “IF ANYONE IS ABOVE REPROACH” — and “AN OVERSEER, AS GOD’S STEWARD, MUST BE ABOVE REPROACH,” he brings the family into our perview. See what I…

Getting John 1:12 Right: Should You Invite Jesus Into Your Heart?

Is it useful to critique any person’s or ministry’s method of evangelism? For one thing, there are not enough people calling on others to follow Christ. Should I attempt to cripple anyone’s efforts in the slightest way, even for the few who might listen to me? I hope I will not. I would rather think that I’m improving our evangelism. And it does need improving. The apparent results of the method of evangelistic appeal built upon the verse in question…

The Lord’s Supper is a Meal, Part V

We have come to the fifth article in the series entitled, “The Lord’s Supper is a Meal.” Below are the links to all the articles written so far. I am also going to add Part VI in order to answer questions that have come to me during the writing of these articles or that seem appropriate for me to set forward in order to clarify.  Part I The Lord’s Supper is a Weekly Meal Part II  The Lord’s Supper is a…

The Lord’s Supper is a Meal, Part IV

Because I’m writing these articles first online (perhaps later as a small book), I will take the liberty to edit as I’m going. This happens as I realize the need for improvements in the writing or content, sometimes reflecting comments and questions being sent to me. Speaking of the questions that arise, I will also be able to answer some of them in the practical section about implementation, Part V, and in Part VI, a section I will add just…

The Lord’s Supper is a Meal, Part III

In Part I, we saw that the Lord’s Supper is a weekly meal. In Part II, we saw that the Lord’s Supper is an experience of intentional fellowship. We live out that fellowship in a focused way in the meal itself. In most churches this meal is nonexistent. Rather, the Lord’s Supper has become for many the most independent and even private (or vertical only) aspect of worship in their gatherings, essentially emptied of the fellowship with one another which…

The Lord’s Supper is a Meal, Part II

In Part I we saw that the Lord’s Supper is an actual meal. At the center of that meal is the bread and wine (or the less fermented juice), about which we will talk later. We also saw that this was a weekly meal. It was, no doubt, the way early believers thought of church life together. They would have said, “We come together to eat.”  But Paul also expressed a concern related to that meal that had already caused…

The Lord’s Supper is a Meal, Part I

The purpose for these five articles: I want to stimulate the churches to eat the Lord’s Supper as an actual meal for the purpose of augmenting authentic fellowship in Christ, while highlighting the special cup and bread which symbolize the only reason for our union, worship, and mutual edification. Alexio had become a believer in Christ when the Apostle Paul visited Corinth in Achaia, today’s southern Greece. Corinth was the largest city there, out-sizing Athens. He was a wealthy man,…

Closing With Christ

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…

The Head of the Church Knows Best: Benefits of Having a Team of Elders

In the first church I served as a pastor, I was the only elder. I was in that position for nearly five years.  Since 2007, I’ve served as one elder on a team of elders. In the 1990s, I became convinced biblically that this is God’s design for each local church — to be led by multiple qualified elders (cf. Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5). I’ll not argue for that here. I simply want to list some of the benefits of…

Why do Some Pastors Deliberately Avoid Teaching Doctrine?

I have been involved in leading churches for four decades, with an emphasis on church planting in the last few years. I’ve also visited and addressed hundreds of churches around the world and have had the privilege of meeting thousands of Christian leaders. Through this time I’ve watched an unintentional doctrinal imprecision on the part of many pastors become intentional. In other words, I have witnessed a new “conventional wisdom” emerge. Simply stated it is the “wisdom” of attempting to…

Rebuilding Our Churches with Bible Reading

I’m no prophet, but I believe we may soon see a swelling interest in reading the Bible both together & alone that could rebuild our faltering churches, and improve the good ones. My information is purely anecdotal but substantial. I’m certainly not the only one seeing this tremendous need and trying to do something about it. Perhaps God will use each of us who care about this to repair the crumbling base in these slanderous, corrupt and morally compromised days.…

Tolerance Trouble

The Corinthian church boasted about its tolerance of the incestuous man who was permitted to retain membership and acceptance within the Corinthian church. They were congratulating themselves for such open-mindedness when they should have been weeping. Their tolerance was beyond even what Roman law allowed. “We should note that under Roman law both this man and his stepmother would be sentenced to exile on an island, his possessions would be confiscated, and his social status would be repealed.” (Schnabel: Paul…