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Church Membership - Serious Obligations Require Order

Posted on Aug. 29, 2011

This article is the third of a five-part series on Church Membership. Click here to read the first article, and here to read the second.

Serious Obligations Require Order

Even a cursory glance at the relationships described in the New Testament brings us to an irrefutable conclusion – the local church is serious business. God has called us into weighty accountability with our leaders and meaningful obligations with our brothers and sisters. He requires these relationships to function according to His word, and we not only ignore what God has said to our own peril, we also miss out on the richness of a life that transcends the shallow connections of the “normal” church.

The obligations of those who lead and those who follow

Hebrews 13:17 is striking: “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.” If that doesn’t give you pause about your choice of a local church, you haven’t thought about it very deeply. Obey. Be submissive. Give an account for souls. This should make leaders and followers equally sober-minded. This is no baby shower, where we show up, chat awhile, eat cake and then go home.

That admonition is far from isolated. Paul says, “And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves” (1 Thess. 5:12-13). We see a theme developing. There is very real structure and authority in the church, but it is intended to be anything but adversarial. It is serious but affectionate. Those who follow recognize and highly esteem their leaders in love, and those who lead work hard on behalf of those in the church. Souls are being watched out for. Honor is being rendered.

1 Timothy 5:17 continues the theme: “Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.” Diligent oversight. Labor. Honor.

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Discussions with Scott Brown: The Cause of the Exodus of Youth

Posted on Aug. 27, 2011

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Most Common Objections to Divided Answered

Posted on Aug. 26, 2011

If we eliminate age-segregated youth ministry, how do we reach a lost generation of youth?

As we consider how to reach a lost generation of youth, it is important to examine our assumptions. The false assumption that often underlies this question is that systematic, age-segregated youth ministry, as defined in this book, is actually effective in reaching lost youth. People who maintain this assumption often believe that there are two ways to engage a lost generation: an effective way, through age-segregated youth ministry, and an ineffective way, through the obedience of individuals and the ministry of biblically ordered families and churches. This false assumption asserts that if the church gathers all the generations together, it is going to be ineffective in reaching the rising generation.

It is important to begin with biblical assumptions and practices. The primary principle we should embrace is that the best results in reaching youth will always come from obeying biblical commands and honoring explicitly biblical principles. If we are faithful to obey biblical commands in the church and the home, live out the great commission, and devote our life to that of “the watchman,” (Ezek. 33:6-7), we will be living a lifestyle of biblical faithfulness that will be effective in reaching a lost generation. In this sense, faithfulness to God’s Word is success. If we can agree on this principle, then we can take the next step of debating which methods are biblical and which ones are not.

Where Is This Lost Generation?

We must be careful to identify accurately where these lost youth are. This unevangelized generation can be found in two places: inside the church and outside the church.

We should not forget that many of today’s lost generation are in families that are already in the church. They are lost in their sins and remain unconverted until God regenerates them and they repent and believe the Gospel.

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D.A Carson - Profound Insights on the Generational Conflict in the Church

Posted on Aug. 25, 2011

 

D.A. Carson makes some insightful comments, first of all acknowledging the history of how we have created conflict by adopting various traditions and practices. He writes:

Doubtless there have always been generational conflicts of one sort or another. Arguably, however, in some ways they are becoming worse. There are at least two reasons for this. First, the rate of cultural change has sped up, making it far more difficult for older people to empathize with a world so very different from the one in which they grew up three or four decades earlier, while making it far more difficult for younger people to empathize with a world in which people used typewriters and wired telephones and had never heard of Facebook or Twitter. Second, and far more important, the social dynamics of most Western cultures have been changing dramatically for decades. The Sixties tore huge breaches into the fabric that had united young and old, assigning more and more authority to the young. The cult of youth and health that characterized the Eighties and Nineties, complete with hair transplants and liposuction, along with gated communities for the middle-class elderly and social welfare that meant families did not really have to care for, or even interact much with, the older generation, built a world in which integration across generational lines could be happily avoided. Even the new digital tools that facilitate interaction tend to enable people to link up with very similar people—very much unlike the way the church is supposed to be, bringing together very different redeemed people who have but one thing in common, Jesus Christ and his gospel.

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Most Common Objections to Divided Answered

Posted on Aug. 24, 2011

What about those who are abandoned by their parents? single mothers? or fathers who are not around?

Scripture teaches that the church, the family, and the individual have a responsibility to care for the fatherless and widow. However, each does not share the same responsibilities in this care.

The church is carefully constructed to take care of those who have no biological family. The family of God provides what family members might be missing in this world. God brings the fatherless into His household of spiritual brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers: “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit”em> (Eph. 2:19-22).

The church has dedicated a specific office, deacon, to allocate time to care for widows: “Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, ‘It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word’” (Acts 6:1-4).

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Watch TLN TV Interview of Scott Brown Tonight Online!

Posted on Aug. 24, 2011

 

Join Jerry Rose and Scott Brown this evening as they discuss the controversial Divided the movie on the Total Living Network (TLN).

You can view the show online on the Total Living Network at 7 PM (CST).

 

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Scott Brown Interviewed on New Zealand Radio

Posted on Aug. 23, 2011

Rhema Radio Logo

Scott Brown interviewed by Aaron Ironsides on New Zealand Radio station, the New Zealand’s Rhema.

You can download it here:

Mr. Brown Radio 8_16 Aaron Ironside.mp3

 

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Church of Christ in Indiana is Seeking Uneducated, Tattooed Dude with No Ministry Experience to Lead

Posted on Aug. 23, 2011

 

Here is a voice from what I will call the lunatic fringe of youth ministry, listed on the Youth Specialties website. This is a real ad:

Small, growing, easy going, no problem church. Seeking a young man (no experience, no education is no problem). Piercings, tattoos, hair, etc. is no problem. We are good at reaching the types of young people who are traditionally not welcome in churches. We can pay very very small amount, apartment in church available. The perfect place for a young dude who wants to step out into this kind of ministry, but thought he couldn’t due to experience, age, education, looks, etc. We are no liberal, we are out of the box workers. all of us here at First Church of Christ are long since tired of churchy church, tradition, discriminating of people due to whatever, etc. If you are in doubt…give us a shout…you just may be surprised.

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Three Pastors Tell Their Stories of Transition

Posted on Aug. 22, 2011

Craig Houston
Westside Baptist Church

Matt Hudson
Basswood Church

Paul Thompson
Eastside Baptist Church

Divided Conference Call

 

 Monday night we hosted a conference call and interviewed three pastors, Matt Hudson, Craig Houston, and Paul Thompson, to discuss topics relating to Divided. During this 50 minute call, I asked the following questions:

“What were some of the first steps you took to prepare your church for the change?”

“What were some fears you had to overcome as a Pastor through this process?”

“Did you lose people?”

“What do you wish you could have done better?”

“How do you evangelize and do outreach now, and how is that different then before?”

“How do you minister to young teenagers that come into your churches from broken homes?”

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