One way for pastors to pay attention to all the flock is to commit themselves to the practice of pastoral visits—that is, systematically ensuring that elders spend personal time with every member.
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?
As guys come out of chaotic and addictive backgrounds, our investment in discipleship that moves toward leadership isn’t going to be a two-year process, but way longer than that.
A church should not baptize young people apart from church membership. To do so is unbiblical, unhelpful, and unloving.
Church membership isn’t just a useful tool in the pastoral tool belt; it’s the tool belt itself.
Pastors committed to the importance of church membership need to be cautious. In our righteous zeal to address deficient views of the church, we may be tempted to an unrighteous zeal.
So what do you do about people who either are members or want to join, and are willing to attend regularly, but are not able?
Elders are to oversee the flock, but that doesn’t override the congregation’s responsibility in affirming truth.
Mailbag #82: How to Confront Those Who Rarely Attend Church . . . How Does 1 Timothy 5:17’s “Double Honor” Apply to Non-Staff Elders?By A. Duty, J. Rinne | 04.26.2019
— How should pastors confront members or regular attenders who are mere consumers or whose attendance is inconsistent? — How do you apply 1 Timothy 5:17’s “double honor” to non-paid elders? Is it even right to use this passage when determining paid elder compensation?
Mailbag #81: Helping a Church Grow in Discipling . . . How to Receive Members Who Left a Former Church Poorly.By B. Johnson, J. de Koning | 04.19.2019
— How can I help my church grow in discipling? — Receiving members who left their former church on bad terms.
Because words are a window into the heart, pastors must learn to cultivate the discipline of listening well.
In the same way that God values the populations in cities, God values the populations in rural areas. In the same way that God calls men and women to serve in the cities, God still calls men and women to faithfully serve in rural areas. The two areas could not be more different, but Christ builds his church in cities and rural areas alike.
Let’s consider the deacon’s role, requirements, and reward.
Arrington suggests that preachers use videos, props, and interviews to make your sermons more engaging and exciting. But God’s Word alone ought to compel our listeners to respond, not gimmicks and fluff.
If you want to see your church move toward health, the church budget has to move toward health.