Posts Tagged ‘church leadership’

I have been dormant for awhile. I have been sitting back observing the Christian landscape. I feel it may be time for me to start talking again.  My observations have led me to believe the church is in dire need of a dose of male leadership. Men in the church appear to be weak and unwilling to lead, even in their own households. I have seen some disturbing examples.

First is the consumption of material that is potentially harmful. The best example is the widespread popularity in churches of a book called The Shack. Men are sitting and watching as their wives and children read this book. As spiritual leaders of the household, men should be monitoring the spiritual intake of their families. Men have neglected the responsibility placed on them by God to lead in this area. The Shack is a book filled with heresy, and Christians have become so poor at discernment that they have no idea it is bad.

The other thing that I have noticed is the trend towards what I call Christian buffet. It is where a family attends this church for this program, and another church for a different program or ministry. We have lost the unity of the church that we are called to. Even leaders in the church send their children to other churches for programs.

Ephesians 4:1-16 – I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it says, “When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, And He gave gifts to men.” 9 Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things. 11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

The church is to be unified through it’s gifts and diversity. Men today have failed to lead in this area. As a result we have lost the bond of the local church. We are called to be a part of one local fellowship. We destroy the bond of unity when are not devoted to our local congregation. I have heard the well all their friends go to a different church excuse. Is our ultimate goal that our children get to be with their friends for an extra hour each week? Or is it in the training up of our children, and the building up of your local church? This practice definitely breeds discouragement in the leaders working in the ministry that suffers as a result. We definitely live in a please me world today, and it has infected the church. As a result people are being tossed around by every wave and fad that comes through.

It is time for some men to stand up and be willing to fight for the spiritual maturity of their families, and for the building up of their local church. I will continue to struggle, even if all the other men scatter like dust. Sacrifice we must, just as Christ did for us.

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I want to take a look at a resolution from this year’s Southern Baptist Convention. It is listed below.


6. On Regenerate Church Membership And Church Member Restoration
June 2008
WHEREAS, The ideal of a regenerate church membership has long been and remains a cherished Baptist principle, with Article VI of the Baptist Faith and Message describing the church as a “local congregation of baptized believers”; and

WHEREAS, A New Testament church is composed only of those who have been born again by the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the Word, becoming disciples of Jesus Christ, the local church’s only Lord, by grace through faith (John 3:5; Ephesians 2:8-9), which church practices believers’ only baptism by immersion (Matthew 28:16-20), and the Lord’s supper (Matthew 26:26-30); and

WHEREAS, Local associations, state conventions, and the Southern Baptist Convention compile statistics reported by the churches to make decisions for the future; and

WHEREAS, The 2007 Southern Baptist Convention annual Church Profiles indicate that there are 16,266,920 members in Southern Baptist churches; and

WHEREAS, Those same profiles indicate that only 6,148,868 of those members attend a primary worship service of their church in a typical week; and

WHEREAS, The Scriptures admonish us to exercise church discipline as we seek to restore any professed brother or sister in Christ who has strayed from the truth and is in sin (Matthew 18:15-35; Galatians 6:1); and now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, June 10-11, 2008, urge churches to maintain a regenerate membership by acknowledging the necessity of spiritual regeneration and Christ’s lordship for all members; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we humbly urge our churches to maintain accurate membership rolls for the purpose of fostering ministry and accountability among all members of the congregation; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we urge the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention to repent of the failure among us to live up to our professed commitment to regenerate church membership and any failure to obey Jesus Christ in the practice of lovingly correcting wayward church members (Matthew 18:15-18); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we humbly encourage denominational servants to support and encourage churches that seek to recover and implement our Savior’s teachings on church discipline, even if such efforts result in the reduction in the number of members that are reported in those churches, and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we humbly urge the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention and their pastors to implement a plan to minister to, counsel, and restore wayward church members based upon the commands and principles given in Scripture (Matthew 18:15-35; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15; Galatians 6:1; James 5:19-20).

Many churches have become so numbers driven that they no longer follow this type of church membership. As a result we have church members who do not hold to the beliefs of the church or are not even Christians. There must be expectations given and known that go along with church membership. The lack of these expectations leads to no source of accountability. It is hard to use the Bible for accountability and discipline, when it was not used in reference to membership. What results is chaos and division. Top this off with many churches lack of understanding of  biblical church leadership ( correct roles of elders, deacons and congregation) and you have a really bad situation.

Church membership should be dependent on 4 things. Belief in Jesus Christ, which is observable by the fruit of their lives and their testimony. Baptism which is our outward expression of our affiliation with Christ. The final two are the approval and signing of the church’s Statement of Faith and Covenant. The last two are important because they lay out the biblical beliefs and the way a member is expected to live. Now if a person begins to live in a way contrary to the Bible, we have a means for church discipline. Upon church membership they entered into a covenant with the church to live according to that standard.

Next the church needs to keep it’s membership records updated. If a member has not been at church in a very long time, they need to be contacted. If they are attending somewhere else, their membership needs to be transferred or removed. If they are not attending anywhere, the church first needs to lovingly attempt to draw them back. If that does not work, church discipline needs to be initiated because they are not in accordance with what the bible commands. If they are unrepentant, discipline should continue to escalate up to and including the removal of church membership. This same method should be used for anyone who continues to live in unrepentant sin.

Our ultimate goal should be the bringing back of wayward members to fellowship. If that is not possible, we must severe ties to uphold the unity and purity of the church. There can be not unity in the body until we learn to follow the biblical example for church leadership and discipline. The church has fallen away from this, and needs to return. We need to begin looking at what the Bible says on the roles of elders and deacons. And we need to begin searching what Scripture says about proper church discipline. We need to humbly follow what we find there. It may not be want we think or want, but it is what we need.