Our church recently transitioned from an “elder-rule” model of church government to “elder-led congregationalism.” As I have talked with pastor friends from various streams, many are stumped as to why we would do that.
For conservatives, baptism was not a subjective reality to be left to the conscience of every church and every individual, but an actual command of Christ that they had no liberty to disobey. If Jesus commanded his disciples to baptize only believers by immersion, what authority did they have to edit Jesus?
Jesus instituted church discipline both to maintain the holiness of the church and to remind his people that he forgives them as they repent of their sins and submit to his lordship.
To illustrate our problem, in 2018, one beloved historic Southern Baptist Church whose name most Baptists would recognize claimed 30,000 members and an average of 6,801 attending.
Here are four ways to care for lay pastors who go the extra mile for their flocks.
Church membership is not only good for missionaries, it’s also good for mission. Missionaries are often portrayed as spiritual giants, but they need church care at least as much as any Christian.
Low ecclesiology can cause confusion about missionaries’ involvement in local churches where they serve. Should we attend? Should we be members? For many missionaries, the practical answers are “no” and “no.”
Your local church’s history is integral to your members caring for one another, for at least three reasons.
The liturgies of assembled, embodied, gospel worship point us toward one set of beliefs and values, while the liturgies of Internet membership point us toward a different set.
What happens when a member’s “inward quest for personal psychological happiness” contradicts the teaching of Scripture? Who decides whether that’s true?
What should a pastor do when faced with wandering sheep, those who have left the safe pastures of the local church and found themselves in dangerous territory away from the herd?
Baptists disciplined for non-attendance because they believed attendance was part of the covenant obligations of church membership. Here’s a brief history.
This work of “hedging and fencing” is what keeps the church distinct from the world. And as the pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Spurgeon saw it was one of his chief duties.
Jonathan Leeman reflects on the recent and popular project of “deconstructing” evangelicalism.
Your membership directory is more than a list of addresses and phone numbers. Each picture should represent Christ’s work, his priestly service of purification and redemption.