'Church Life' Tagged Posts

'Church Life' Tagged Posts

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…

Women in Your Ministry Context: An Appeal for Male Christian Leaders to Choose Male Assistants

A fine young pastor and his family take a small church in a rural area, or perhaps in a tired part of an otherwise thriving city. It’s their first opportunity to lead a church, and they have dreams of something deep, growing, and lasting. There is little money given by the church to hire anyone else other than this single leader. Well enough. It can’t be other than it is in the beginning. But right off the pastor is in…

Less Lecture, More Learning: Ideas for a Better Sunday School Hour

My wife and I recently spoke with a woman from a church in town. “I don’t have any idea how to study the Bible,” she complained. “It’s so difficult to understand.” What’s worse, she concluded by saying, “So I don’t really read the Bible much.” I’m fairly familiar with this church and know it to be one that cares about the Bible. I also know for a fact that, for the last three years, this woman has been sitting in…

Christians and No Work Sundays

Believers haven’t always had Sundays free from work. Though our culture is changing in this regard, it still is largely expected that most of our members will be exempt from Sunday work to give attention to our worship. The earliest Christians did not have such a privilege. Though surely some believed that it should be so prior to this, it appears that “work free Sundays” were imposed upon the Roman society through an A.D. 321 decree of the Roman Emperor…