'Church Life' Tagged Posts

'Church Life' Tagged Posts

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…

How Inclusive Should the Local Church Be?

I once attended a Methodist church Bible study in another city. In the study I was verbally accosted in the class by the husband of the teacher for some things that I said. To my knowledge, I was only saying what any true believer ought to say, but he took exception. After the class we talked further about the different way we looked at the issue. At one point I asked him about an even more foundational matter: Do you…

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…