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.
The question we are often asked in a variety of ways has to do with the role and function of leaders in the body of Christ, the church, and more broadly, in the kingdom. The question usually asked is, “Who are leaders and what are their performance expectations?”
Two interviews with elders Wallace Tinsley of Filbert Presbyterian Church in Filbert, SC; and Bill Leach of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Harrisonburg, VA. These two elders from very different churches share insights and reasonings behind their churches’ approach to training and preparing leaders for the work of the ministry.
God’s people are sheep. They always have been. They have always needed a Shepherd. From the first time Jacob voiced his recognition of this comforting truth in Genesis 48:15 to the repeated imagery in the book of Revelation, we sheep know the security of having a sovereign, heavenly Shepherd.
We teach a great deal by how we communicate. For example, when a student asks an off-topic question with true sincerity and curiosity, how do you deal with it? Do you dismiss the question? Do you tell the student that the question is not important because it has nothing to do with the lesson? Here, your hidden curriculum is how you decide to handle the situation. While we don’t want to get off the topic, we must make sure the students understand that they are important, and their question is important, but at a more appropriate time.