'Church Life' Tagged Posts (Page 3)

'Church Life' Tagged Posts (Page 3)

Looking For a Church? Here’s What to Look For

My list doesn’t include a gymnasium or a youth group that does a lot of fun things, since the Bible doesn’t require a church to have these amenities. Here are a few items, however, that are absolutely critical for your consideration: 1. A resolve on the part of its leaders to seek the will of the Head of the Church You may think that this is a “given” among most leaders, but you would be wrong. Many pastors and church…

Restoring Those Who Fall

Our Statement Regarding Church Discipline Church discipline is one of the primary means God uses to correct and restore His children when they fall into sin. It is also one way in which He maintains the unity, purity, integrity, and reputation of the church. Through private or public instruction, warning, counsel, or rebuke, and even social avoidance or expulsion from membership, God corrects his disobedient children or removes those who are not truly His. Christ Himself declared the church to…

Discouraged Pastors

There are plenty of pastors with generous smiles on their faces each Sunday who, deep down, are very disheartened. Pastoring a church is hard work. For one thing, it is usually thankless. I know there are some churches that seem to remember their pastors with such fanfare, but most do not ever esteem them. They don’t work for just the members ultimately, so they can get over it, but never hearing those words, “Thanks for what you do, pastor,” is…

Finding the Right Church

Here’s a reality that never changes: there is always another church that does something better than your church. You can never find the perfect church any more than you can marry the perfect mate or be employed at the perfect job. But you can find God’s will for you and your family. What should you look for? 1. Leaders that seek above all else to obey the Head of the church 2. Teaching that probes the Scriptures and let’s you…

A Journey in Search of Comfort as a Christian Parent of Unconverted Children

There are few events in the Christian life that can be more disturbing and cause more anguish of heart than to see your children become young adults while continuing to evidence a spiritual disposition that seems to betray that these most precious gifts from God remain strangers to His grace. Yes, they may think that they are believers, but there is no love for His Word, no desire to be with His people, and no desire to live for the…

Suggestions For Pastors When Your Church Is Not Happy With You

Years ago, in a church that was experiencing good changes and lots of growth, I heard from various sources that the many people were not happy with me. This floating disapproval went on for some time. As a younger pastor this was extremely disconcerting. Like most pastors, I was concerned about being liked by the congregation that I was given to lead—a natural tendency. But mainly, I didn’t want the church to suffer through distraction, and, if I was leading…

Nine Men at Panera

A group of nine men and I just finished a year and half discussion about John. I’m not going to let you in on the beauties of the book at this point, but rather I want to comment on the idea of men reading and studying the Scripture together. My comments apply to women and youth also, but my experience is with men, so I will lay this out in that context. These men, members of my congregation, met at…

What About Your Relatives?

In the New Testament, we find new believers confronting their own family first with the gospel. One writer calls this "oikos evangelism." The word "oikos" means "household" in the language of the New Testament. A model for reaching our families is found in the first encounter Andrew had with Jesus. Read what it motivated him to do: "He found first his own brother Simon [Peter], and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which translated means Christ). He brought…

Hearing Aids for Believers

Let’s face it-sometimes it is hard to get much out of the sermon or teaching you receive in your church. While some of the blame often lies at the feet of the presenter, it is still the obligation of the listener to scratch for something nourishing for the soul. Here are some hearing aids: 1. Sleep more. Not during the meeting, of course, but the night before. This takes some planning. It is especially difficult with youth, who use Saturday…

Book Tribalism

A tribe was exposed to the Bible for the first time in its own language. For fifteen to twenty years, this was all they had. If there were questions about practices or beliefs, the Bible alone was studied by the elders until a clear view emerged. The people memorized it, read it aloud to each other, enjoyed its language and encouragement, and heeded its rebukes and challenges. They taught the Bible to their families and in their church as if…

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…

What If Churches Started Churches?

I’ve been in some churches that should not take the advice I’m about to give. They are much too weak, or sinful, or distorted in their beliefs and practices to be in the business of starting anything. It would be better for them to concentrate on the simple things, like breathing good spiritual air or eating good biblical food. But good churches should add “church starting” to the list of ingredients that define their health. In the same way that…