How Smart Is The Congregation?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by tyndale1946, Feb 20, 2003.

  1. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    First of all let me state right off the bat that I am not a preacher but I have been studying for 35 years. I realize the biggest percentage of ministers and pastor have been to various colleges and have their degrees in theology. Do you preach to people that know very little of the Bible?... I know quite a bit and I would say that so do most of the brethren in our congregation. The preacher better know his Bible when he speaks in our church because the brethren are avid readers and studiers to... And in other churches they should be. I feel many on here who do not don the cloth know their Bible very well. So how smart is the congregation?... And if the trumpet made an uncertain sound would you know it?... I know I would!... Do you just take what the preacher says is truth or are you like those at Berea and search the scriptures daily whether those things be so?... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  2. NateT

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    It depends. If it is someone that I haven't heard before, I'm usualy pay a bit more attention to the detail. That is, I try to examine what he's saying a little bit more than, say, my pastor. However, there have been times that my pastor has spoken on an issue, or said something about a verse, that I didn't agree with (he wasn't preaching heresies though). I try to not just take anything anyone says and say "that's right because he said it."

    However, there have been congregations that I have preached at as a pulpit supply preacher that have made me wonder if the next time I came back, if I preached something that wasn't in the Bible how many would know.

    I think it varies by congregation and I think within 1 congregation it varies as well.
     
  3. TheOliveBranch

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    When the congregation is knowledgable, it keeps the Pastor on his toes. I've come from churches where the Pastor teaches the people, expects them to study and learn, and challenges them to continue learning. The Pastor then has the challenge to stay ahead, always learning and expanding his knowledge. He also holds himself accountable for what he teaches, but wants to know if he is wrong.

    One pastor I was under thought that if the people were new Christians, or knew very little, that he shouldn't get too in-depth, or they may get lost, or loose interest. This was hard for the more knowledgable, because he could get a little boring.

    But I know several Pastors that could teach on all levels, always interesting, always learning.
     
  4. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Not as much as I'd like, hate to say it but women just don't know as much as men in general when it comes to the bible, and don't seem as interested in studying history or theology as much as focusing on the love shown, the women's lives, etc.. Not that that's bad, but I really would like to see people know why they believe what they do and be able to make a decent argument for their cause instead of just knowing what they believe. Especially the women, since we can have so much influence over the men, and in general are receive with more grace among strangers than men are.
    Gina
     
  5. donnA

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    I don't believe women are dumber then men, I know quite a few christian men that I know more about scripture, doctrin and theology then they do.
     
  6. TheOliveBranch

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    I can see what Gina is saying, though. It's not that women are dumber, they just act it [​IMG]

    Kidding! Women do tend to want to know less in the knowledge sense, but not all of them, and not that they have to, either. I prefer knowledge to the usual mush women focus on.
     
  7. Abiyah

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    I think, Gina, that you are in a unique situation,
    to be observing this. It is not true for the
    congregatios in which I have been involved
    and especally not where I go now.

    Our pastors "dumb down" for no one, yet no
    one seems to feel left out. I do know, however,
    that when I first started going, I felt, at times,
    like I was having information overload, but I was
    so grateful for what I could received that it was all
    right.

    Our congregation is very intelligent. If the
    speakers say anything at all tat is questionable,
    they are immediately called upon to justify what
    they said or retract it. I think this is a good
    practice.
     
  8. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua
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    Our congregation is in many ways a "University Church" - drawing from the faculties of several local colleges and universities. I remember one evening when I was teaching a Wednesday-night Bible Study and I realized that I was getting questions that were better suited to a graduate seminar. I counted, and there were 5 people with Ph.D.'s in the room. [​IMG]

    On the other hand, we do have several new Christians in the congregation. As a result, I try to balance my preaching so that it reflects the depth that some of our parishioners are looking for; while also covering the basics for those who need that.

    As for Gina's point, I don't think that biblical and theological knowledge is divided in any way along gender-lines. The women in our congregation are just as well-educated as the men, and read just as avidly (we have several women who either have M.Div.'s or who are M.Div. students).

    Joshua
     
  9. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    Our Pastor screens preachers very carefully before he lets them preach to his congregation. He is a shepherd keeping the wolves away from his flock.

    Everyone carries a Bible to church and we all look up the text references. Pastor always tells us; don't take my word for it...look it up. See for yourself what God has to say!

    That's my kind of preacher! [​IMG]

    Sue
     
  10. Deacon

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    Our chief mission as believers is to reach out to the unsaved. While it’s desirable to have a “smart” congregation, I’d rather have a growing one.
     
  11. Deacon

    Deacon
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    ...Growing not only in numbers but in their spiritual health. [​IMG]
     
  12. Gina B

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    Don't get all excited folks, I didn't say women are dumb, just knowledgable in different areas. [​IMG]
    You might disagree, but I think women are naturally inclined to be interested in the more emotional issues of the bible, men more in the facts and theology.
    Just look at this board. How many women verses men are actively posting in the history and theology sections? There aren't a disproportionate number of women to men on the board, especially not enough to make up for the vast difference on which sex posts more in which sections. Go look.
    Gina
     
  13. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua
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    Gina, I think your sex does not determine whether or not your more interested in the emotional/relational aspects of religion. Someone who tests NF on the Myers-Briggs test is generally very focused on emotions and relationships (ala the feminine stereotype). If I remember correctly, most Christian clergy - male or female - test NF because the skils that make a person relationship oriented are the same ones that draw them into professional ministry.

    Joshua
     
  14. TheOliveBranch

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    So does that make me the "masculine" type?
     
  15. rufus

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    The congregation I pastor is Bible literate and many are very wise. That thrills this old preacher's heart. Glory.

    rufus :D
     
  16. Gina B

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    I'm not getting out of this one, am I? :eek:
    Gina
     
  17. Dr. Bob

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    The proliferation of really top-quality study Bibles (MacArthur, New Geneva, NIV Study Bible, Scofield et al) as well as inexpensive pb editions of Interlinear Greek NT + Lexicon (under $20 for George Ricker Berry's top quality edition) have made my personal intensity of study go up a few notches.

    My congregation is very well educated, but many thought they were doctrinally smart. After almost a year, many have admitted how poorly they had been trained in doctrine.

    Knowing Bible stories does not a mature Christian make. :rolleyes:
     
  18. rlvaughn

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    Don't sweat it, Gina! You're right; they're wrong. [​IMG] Even if they come up with a study that disproves your point, we'll match it with one that does.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Christian41974

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    I think most congregations are a mixed multitude or a mixed hand full maybe. Some just beginning, some been in it awhile and know alot and some been in it awhile and know the basics or very little. I hope I could catch a counterfeit by the grace of God but I could miss it. Also I think preaching should be such that even the common plough boy could understand it.
     
  20. Pete

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    It would probably depend on the congregation?

    But I tell yer what, get up in front of ANY bunch of 10 year olds and you better know your stuff or you'll get eaten alive :eek: :eek: [​IMG]

    Pete
     

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