It is logically easier to be baptistic without being congregational than to be congregational without being baptistic. Yet the two convictions fit together snugly. Maybe our earliest English ecclesiological ancestors were on to something.
Mailbag #88: Must Elders Agree on Tongues & Prophecy? . . . How Can We Wisely Hire a Pastor from Outside the Church?By D. Russell, J. Rinne | 08.09.2019
— How much agreement must elders have on the issue of tongues and prophecy? — In a congregational church, how should we hire a new pastor from the outside? How can we give enough time for the church to properly vet the candidate?
It’s true. Confession could cost your reputation. It could result in an awkward conversation. But freedom in the gracious, holy light of God is priceless.
Let’s briefly consider some of the “good-faith” objections to discipline we’ve encountered and how we try to help church members understand the theological principles undergirding discipline.
I’ve pastored my church for over twelve years. We’ve always had two morning services, and I never gave them much thought. Until . . .
Mailbag #84: I Live too Far from A Healthy Church. What Should I Do? . . . Among Baptists, What’s the History of a Plurality of Elders?By S. Emadi, S. DeMars | 05.31.2019
— I live in an extremely rural area where we have many churches but none that are healthy. What should I do? — Many Baptist churches now have multiple elders. I understand the biblical case for this, but what’s the history of a plurality of elders among Baptists?
Mailbag #83: Protecting the Sunday Gathering by Limiting Reasons to Be Out of Room . . . Caring for Over-Worked Children’s Ministry WorkersBy D. Russell, J. Leeman | 05.13.2019
— To what extent should the church protect the Sunday morning gathering by limiting reasons for members to be “at church” but out of the room? — What do you do to care for the spiritual health of your children’s ministry leaders?
If you’re looking for the words “thou shalt be a church member” in Scripture, you won’t find them. But if that troubles you, let me encourage you to think a little differently about how to arrive at biblical conclusions.
Church membership is an office, too. It’s a job that comes with authority and responsibility.
A church should not baptize young people apart from church membership. To do so is unbiblical, unhelpful, and unloving.
If we want to see the gospel advance in Russia, then our churches must return to meaningful and biblical church membership—embracing the heritage left to us by Scripture and faithful Russian churches in previous generations.
Churches in Africa needs to teach and practice biblical church membership because it helps address the false sense of community, nominal Christianity, and the subtle relativism.
How should we talk about membership on the West Coast? Let me offer three ways that have proven helpful within our body over the past few years.
Pastors in rural areas must take into account certain challenges while leading Christ’s bride to experience the joy of meaningful membership.
Size shouldn’t be an excuse for neglecting membership.