The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) is the second largest Presbyterian denomination in the USA and relatively young as far as denominations go, begun in 1973. Overall, Presbyterians are a small minority of Christians in America. We need to realize, however, that we are part of something bigger than we usually think.
It becomes more and more obvious that people are deficient in understanding the church and the kingdom; hence, they have not embraced nor understood them as clearly as God would have. As a result, from a human standpoint, the church is taking a licking. People, lacking a biblical view of both, are saying things that should not be said about either. There is apparent confusion about how the local church fits into the universal church and then how the universal church, including the local, relates to and is part of the kingdom.
The great football coach, Weeb Eubank, had a tradition at the beginning of every season. He would take all the new and seasoned players, sit them down, and then begin his lecture. He would take a football, stick it in their faces, and say to them, “Gentlemen, this is a football! Get to know it all over again.” He would go on to explain that unless they remembered the basics of the game of football, they could not win.
The same is true of the church. Unless we keep going back to the basics of who we are and what we believe, we will not continue to grow in the truth, for the truth starts with the basics.
Understanding the different generations is a part of understanding our world. You cannot read a book like Soul Searching (Christian Smith) or After the Baby Boomers (Wuthnow) and conclude that we can ignore what they are saying. Wuthnow explains what is happening as we experience in America an estimated six million less churchgoers today than in the past
The subject of the church has been on our hearts lately for several reasons. It appears that for some, the church is not viewed as the bride of Christ and given the place it deserves within the Christian faith. The famous saying of John Calvin, “He who has God for his father, will have the church for his mother,” is not taken very seriously nor is the strategic place of the church in God’s design. This is especially true today.
A Christian/biblical worldview is foundational to building a lifestyle that is a glory to God, and stewardship is what you build upon that foundation, whether it is gold, silver, precious stones, or wood, hay, and straw. Each one’s work will be manifest by fire in that Day. (II Cor.3:10ff.)
Time is the most precious commodity God has given to us, and it is not renewable! Once it is gone you can never make up for lost time. No one has more, or less, time than you do. You have 1440 minutes per day and 168 hours each week in which to offer faithful service. Even Jesus had the same amount of hours in His day, but think about the ways He invested that time. Peter said to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3:18).
Instead of our usual “In Case You’re Asked” page where we respond to some of your questions, we have decided to use this page to pass on to you an action taken by the 2007 General Assembly regarding a theological issue that the church was asked to study and respond to. The entire report will be in the Minutes of this year’s Assembly, but because of the importance of the issue, we wanted our readers to have a copy of the declaration portion of the report. The following is a list of recommendations passed by the Assembly and the declaration portion of that report.
In keeping with the two previous Equip to Disciple issues of 2007,we are featuring two churches, one large and one small that represent churches committed to supporting the whole work of the church. Obviously, there are other churches following their example. We highlight these two for their commitment, practice, and example in this kind of stewardship giving.
To answer this question we need to go back and define what parts of the church involve Christian Education. The answer: everything the church does is Christian Education! Unless we clearly understand this principle true discipleship will not happen. With this understanding we can begin to comprehend what Paul meant when he said the job of the pastor (and note he really says pastor/teacher) is NOT to do the work of the ministry, but to EQUIP the members of his church to do it.