'Church Life' Tagged Posts (Page 5)

'Church Life' Tagged Posts (Page 5)

From First Baptist Church to a House Church

The first church I pastored was a fairly traditional First Baptist Church (FBC). We met in a brick building. The Sunday morning gathering had the largest attendance, and the numbers dropped off significantly on Sunday evening and Wednesday. The sanctuary itself was typical, with pews arranged in rows and a stage at the front with a pulpit and choir loft. Our meetings had Scripture reading, prayers, singing, and preaching, as you might expect. When I arrived, there were 155 people…

Another Faithful Church Removes Deadbeat Members

At the end of a 4 year process, 1st Baptist Church, Gonzales, Louisiana, removed the final 250 people from the rolls of the church who do not attend. Now the remaining attendees are the real members of the church. Not every church will need to spend so long at the process, admittedly, but I commend the patience of this traditional SBC church for arriving at their goal without alienating the church itself. Only two voted against the final stroke of…

Bound to the Brochure: Why I’m Not a Fan of Topics for Conferences

Perhaps the dilemma I’m expressing, one which has caused me untold agony, will not seem important to many. Yet, I must express myself. It has to do with the practice of binding speakers to set topics in conferences.  Here’s the way it happens. A pastor (or set of leaders if it is a larger conference) determines who should speak at their next conference. Perhaps he really prays about it, but sometimes not. He jots a few speakers’ names down. Then…

Slick Card-itus: When Relevance Becomes Boring

Am I just tired of relevance, or what? I received the umpteenth glossy card in the mail this week from yet another church opening a brand new “state-of-the-art” facility in our city. It claimed the usual: “casual atmosphere, contemporary music, relevant messages and friendly people who genuinely care about each other.” This shiny oversized card explained the top ten reasons why people don’t go to church. It employed a strategy right out of the church growth handbooks that has become…

Church Member Bailouts

John didn’t imagine it would actually happen, but his job disappeared in one week. The building where he used to work is empty. Everyone had to leave. He has four kids and enough money to make it about six months with unemployment compensation; trouble is pacing outside his front door. Sarah always has this kind of difficulty as a single mom. There is never enough to make things work. Right now, her old car needs repairs, and she is nowhere…

Training Men

[Below is an article written by the elders of Christ Fellowship on how we seek to develop men in our church. Our church is made up of several home congregations, each led by an elder. This provides a structure to mentor men that is natural and effective. In fact, it is our commitment to mentor every man in the church! If your church is not set up this way, you may find other ways to subdivide the church in order…

Jews, Gentiles and Modern Missions

For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a…

Loving Even the Cantankerous

He was one of the most cantankerous men I had ever known. When all the church wished to move forward into a new area of ministry, you could count on him confronting the elders about it in a negative way. In fact, “negative” was his middle name. Our system of decision-making did not allow his views to be buried in a hidden vote, but brought him straight into contact with the leaders with whom he almost always disagreed. Time after…

The Corrupt Root and Bitter Fruit of Altar Call Evangelism

The last command Jesus gave before ascending into heaven was, “Go therefore and make disciples . . .” (Matthew 28:19). All true followers of Christ want to be a part of this “Great Commission.” But how should we go about it? Everyone who understands the importance of special revelation (i.e., God’s Word in the Bible) agrees that evangelism involves the evangel (i.e., the gospel). No one will be saved without it. As Paul asked, “How then will they call on…

The Elderly Mr. Phipp

James, the youth: Is affection necessary for true spirituality? I mean, can’t a man be Christian, yet cold as a stone emotionally? Mr. Brockton: Affection cannot be separated from true religion. James: But are we to strain to be affectionate toward God when it is not natural? Brockton: We are to strain to know God, and that is enough. Mr. Phipp will make my point for me. Hear his story: When the elderly Mr. Phipp lost his wife, he cried…

Five Minute Beliefs Survey

Please do not add your name to this survey. We are asking for the most honest answers you can give. Do not record what you think your leaders want you to say, but what you really believe. You will leave some items unchecked. Check only what you actually believe in each category, and as many as you wish. Age (must be at least in grade school and able to read to take the survey) ( ) 6-12 years     …

God’s Glory in the Joy of Men

“I will,“ God said, “forge for Myself, Out of the vastness of My wealth, An immeasurable expanse With stars and planets in a dance Rejoined by all of heaven’s host For joy that I would choose to boast The power of My potent hand. In this, I will have caused to stand The earth. Like some immense platform; A battle-ground for battle-storm Laid bare before heaven’s wondering eye. That it might be the place where I Display My power and…