'Church Life' Tagged Posts (Page 6)

'Church Life' Tagged Posts (Page 6)

Why People Don’t Get It

I talked with a charter member of the church I attended in another town that Sunday, a church with less-than-conservative views on the Bible. The question I asked was designed not only to give me information, but also to engage my new friend in thinking about his beliefs. "What is your church’s view on the Bible?" I posed. "Well," he answered, "I’m a chaplain for the Masons and I think we have a little stronger view of the Bible there…

Interview with Jim Elliff

(www.blackandreformedministries.com) Lionell Woods (LW): Pastor Jim, I guess the first thing I have been meaning to ask you is this: How long have you been a Christian and can you give us a brief testimony?   Jim Elliff (JE): I repented of my sin and believed in Christ as a child of nine in a home of believers. My dad was a pastor, as was my grandfather. I’ve been a believer for 51 years now! Many children turn out to…

The Church That Disciplines

Let me tell you why church discipline is important to me. A number of years ago my minister father left my mother after an adulterous affair with his secretary. I’m telling this story with his permission. My father is now 90 years old. This turn of events jarred us. We’ve not seen divorce often in our extended family. All of us are believers, and most of us are in the ministry, for four generations. While my father was working as…

Multi-ethnic Glory in the Church: Should We Have Black Churches and White Churches? Or Cowboy Churches?

I have just returned from Milan, Italy, where a portion of my time was spent with leaders of The International Church of Milan (ICM). We talked together about the diversity of their congregation, which consists of 14 nations so far. Among the leaders were two families who are not only working with this congregation, but are praying and feeling their way toward an Italian-speaking congregation that will work in tandem with the ICM. I felt compelled to express my concern…

The House Church Way of Life

I still appreciate the institutional church. I’ve spent most of my life in such churches, leading them, speaking to them, attempting to nurture believers in them. I have most of my memories of God’s work in my life related to them. Almost every church I speak to today is an institutional one. I haven’t given up on this model, but I think I have discovered something far better for meeting my expectations of church life and my compelling interests as…

Should I Say More About Meeting in Homes?

I have only six and a half years of experience with a house church model. My inexperience may disqualify me from saying much. Though I don’t want to get older any more quickly, I am anxious to have years of experience so as to speak more convincingly about this concept. I also do not in any way wish to imply that we are experiencing the absolute “right method,” or that, in fact, other meeting patterns could not be even more…

Thoughts on Improving Baptisms

Since water baptism is so important to the churches, I want to put forward a few ideas that may help churches make more of this important symbolic act. What I’m suggesting is in the way of pastoral advice, not doctrine. You can take or leave these ideas, but in my own experience and through information received from many pastors over the years, these suggestions could make this experience much more memorable and effective. Most of these suggestions will apply to…

Vacation Bible School and the Doctrine of Hell

Vacation Bible School (VBS) was nearly upon us, and the children’s ministry workers had gathered for a final preparatory meeting. Anticipation filled the room as we eagerly awaited the opportunity to minister to the precious little souls that the Lord would send our way. Thankfully, we would be using curriculum that faithfully proclaimed the Gospel.  The meeting was progressing well until a “pillar” in the church suggested that we “avoid speaking about hell and judgment and those types of things…

What You Can  Do When Your Church is Failing

You’re stuck. The church you once loved is now sliding downhill. Some are disgruntled, leadership is faltering, attendance is low, fellowship is almost non-existent, and interest in improvement is weak. Even the building reflects the neglect of dispassionate saints. What should you do? I realize the problem is systemic, but there are some things that may yet be done to revitalize the church. I’m not going to give you the main things (restoring regenerate membership, establishing church discipline, promoting forgiveness,…

How Should We Get a Crowd for the Gospel?

The title expresses one of the two main questions concerning evangelism that are before us at this time in our history. The other question is, “What is the gospel?” That question has been discussed in relation to the Lordship controversy some years earlier, the current New Perspective issue, and the ongoing Calvinism/Arminianism debate. A lot hangs in the balance on these various viewpoints, and evangelistic practice is governed by which side you are on even if you are not aware…

Reading Our Children: Is There Somebody Alive in There?

I have tried to say with as much clarity as possible, and often, that the assurance a person has that he or she is actually a Christian does not have to do with praying a prescribed prayer, being affirmed by a Christian leader, walking an aisle, signing a card or raising a hand, but whether that person has life from God. An unregenerate person does not have this life, even if he is religious. A child who is unregenerate, for…

The Negotiables

I am a lover of the local church in any form I find it, provided we mean the same thing by “church.” I’ve had forty years of ministry in all kinds of churches, internationally and here in the States. I have seen some great ones and some very sad, sickly ones—and that has little to do with size. If it is a true church, however, I’m for it and wish to see it flourish. I’ve not lost my enthusiasm for…