Modern church

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by jeremiah17, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. jeremiah17

    jeremiah17
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    How are most churches ( or yours) set up as far as authority( decision making)? Where the does money comes from, and compare modern churches to Jesus' ministry
     
  2. rbell

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    Hmm. Although I worry a bit about a question as open-ended as this, I'll bite:

    Authority: Ultimate authority comes from God, as revealed in His Word. In other words, what we do as a church should not contradict the Bible. When the Bible is silent, or only gives us the goal and not specific methodology,then our church is guarded by our constitution, guided by our staff, and gifted by our members. We are fairly staff-directed (especially as we have grown larger). Our ministry leaders--often staff, other times laypeople--are given a good bit of latitude in conducting the ministry they've agreed to oversee. At our church, our deacons are a ministry body, rather than administrative. We do have accountability measures in place for staff so that there is a clear path of accountability.

    Money: Comes from tithes and offerings.

    Compare to Jesus' ministry: We try to do that all the time. Jesus' words and actions as recorded in Scripture is a standard we try and measure ourselves to. But we do understand...
    • He was perfect. We ain't.
    • Not everyone listened to what Jesus had to say. Not everyone will listen to us.
    • Jesus, being the perfect Son of God, struck the perfect balance of speaking the truth, but doing so in love. We strive to do the same...not overlooking sin, but at the same time showing the sinner that God has a wonderful gift available for them.
     
    #2 rbell, Mar 1, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
  3. DQuixote

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    The pastor makes day-to-day decisions not affecting cash flow. He is governed by the deacons, who are governed by the body. Tithes & offerings provide income and outgo.

    I don't think that we can compare a pastor and deacons or a group of elders to Jesus and the way he moved among the people of that era. I think we need to examine the letters written by Paul.
     
  4. jeremiah17

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    5 fold

    what about the 5 fold ministry?
     
  5. rbell

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    :confused:

    Explain further...

    We do have an elderly lady that volunteers monthly and helps fold our newsletters...but they only have three folds in them. :thumbs:
     
  6. jeremiah17

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    1 Cor 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; I guess I'm not sure what this implies or when it ended.
     
  7. FriendofSpurgeon

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    Pretty simple really.

    Money from tithes and offerings.

    Decision-Making from the two offices mentioned in Scripture -- Elders & Deacons.
     
  8. annsni

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    rbell - It sounds like your church and my church are very similar.

    We have 9 pastors - one senior pastor, a senior associate pastor and then 7 other associate pastors. Decisions are made by those in charge of that direct ministry/responsibility. New programs/major changes? They're discussed amongst the pastors and deacons if need be - and decided that way.

    Our finances are VERY carefully taken care of - we have an Administrative Pastor who used to be a CPA and he has a staff of 2 who work with him. He has an audit of all books every year to make sure that everything is kosher - and I know many appreciate that because there's accountability and no worries about the money (I'll have to see in another week or two but I think our budget is about 2 million at this point). Money comes in through tithes and offerings - and money that came in through estates that we've invested. We even paid for our new parking lot a few years ago by selling off the special sand that was under there! I thought that was cool!!

    I think that, if every person on the staff is carefully chosen through Biblical standards, and there is accountability across the board, the church should be able to function well and above-board. Ministry can occur without interferance and people will be blessed.
     
  9. Link

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    Some of the house church people have the most Biblical concept of church roles of any Christians I know of these days.

    Elders are senior men in the congregation appointed by the Spirit of God to be overseers ('bishops') and to pastor the flock of God. Elders must be apt to teach. There is a plurality of elders in a church in scripture. (Church here may refer to church at the city level.) There is no indication of heirarchy among them. Also, they are appointed from within the church, not hired professionals whose only qualifications are going to a special school and claiming to feel called. Elders had to live up to a long list of qualifications, including demonstrating their leadership abilities in their own families.

    Deacons are men appointed to serve if there is a specific need for them.

    Apostles travel around planting new churches often by winning new souls. Some apostles water what has been planted.

    Prophets prophesy and share their revelations with the church.

    Evangelists proclaim the Gospel to unbelievers.

    Pastors and teachers care for the flock and teach them. Scriptures tell overseers/elders of the church to pastor and they must be able to teach. So there is a great deal of overlap between pastor and elder, if they are not completely synonymous.

    Some things we do not see in scripture are things like dividing up the church leadership into a senior pastor, assistant pastor, associate pastor, etc. We also don't see boards known as 'deacon boards' electing pastors.
     
  10. rbell

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    We don't see associate ministers prohibited in Scripture, either.

    Actually, "dividing up the leadership" as you call it, is Biblical. See Jethro's instructions to an overburdened Moses. Of course, since we are all still under the senior pastor's authority, I don't agree that we're "dividing up" as much as delegating responsibility.

    I also don't know of any baptist church that has a "deacon board" that actually elects a pastor (though it wouldn't surprise me if one or two existed).
     
  11. go2church

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    Money comes from the folks and the decisions come from the folks, as pastor I carry out what the folks want to do. We are a Baptist church, the final say is with the people, one member - one vote!

    The neat thing is I get to preach every Sunday and share with the folks what I believe the Holy Spirit is leading us a church to do and what we should be doing individually - it's pretty simple really.
     
  12. dan e.

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    hmmmm....that sounds like why there are many churches with HUGE problems. the people that give the most feel they are entitled to have more say in things. church is treated as their personal business.

    when will people get it? some will probably never get it.
     
  13. go2church

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    hmmmm...you missed the one member one vote portion of the post

    I would say that more churches have been harmed by pastors who think they are God's gift to leadership and DICTATE what can and cannot happen in the church.
     
  14. amity

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    Direct vote of the entire membership. This must be unanimous on certain issues which are spelled out in the individual church rules of decorum. The deacons run the errands and have responsibility for certain things, but have little/no authority as deacons. The pastor preaches but also has little authority.

    Money comes from whoever feels moved to give it! We don't have collection plate. You have to make a deliberate effort to give.

    I think this is about right scripturally.
     
    #14 amity, Mar 7, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2007
  15. Dustin

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    The church I attend is ruled by elders. These elders, in turn, answer to the Louisiana Presbytary.

    The Bible is the ultimate rule of faith and practice.

    Our creeds, confessions, catechisms lay out what it is we believe as a denomination (PCA). These are tested and proved by Scripture.

    I read through the Wesminster Confession, the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, the Canons of Dort and the Ancient Creeds (Apostles creed, Nicene, etc...) and have found nothing in them that is unbiblical.

    So issues such as Church discipline, electing elders, worship, the Sacraments and the like are dealt with by the confessions, but only as Scripture allows.

    In other words, we wouldn't hold to these confessions if they contradicted Scripture. So the elders have to go through the Bible, the confessions, and most definatly prayer for wisdom when facing a big issue.

    There's also the Three Forms of Unity and the London Baptist Confession of 1689.

    Don't wanna ramble too much.

    Soli Deo Gloria,
    Dustin

    P.S. We don't do alter calls. We have a collection plate passed around. Sometimes we sing Psalms. The Lord's Supper is given every week, and we have a nice fellowship meal after the sermon is over. There's a lot of good cooks at our church. :thumbs:
     
    #15 Dustin, Mar 7, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2007
  16. Dustin

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    Baptists have a congregational type rule. Lutherans have the same. Presbys and Reformed have elder authority. The Anglicans and Methodists have more of a hierarchy thing going. Same with Roman Catholics.
     
  17. Jack Matthews

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    We're Baptist, but not congregational in authority. We believe the Bible sets forth that elders should govern the church, so we have elders who are formed into various divisions related to church governance. We have a stewardship and finance division, a facilities and property division, an evangelism and outreach division, a ministry division, a discipleship division and a worship division. The elders meet once a month, first in their division grouping and then in a general session.

    We do bring recommendations to the church for a "vote" of sorts, but that is mainly to determine whether or not we have consensus and unity in the body. We do not operate on "majority rule" but by consensus. For example, a renovation proposal for one of our educational buildings was recently made in order to add a K-6th grade school ministry to our existing pre-school. The gym and a wrap-around educational building will be reconfigured and upgraded to include classroom space for as many as 300 students. Two recommendations were made, one from the facilities and property division, one from the ministry division. The finance division approved the costs and appropriation of the funds. The whole package was presented to the church. If it received less than a 95% vote, we would have not moved forward.

    Our deacons are a service ministry.

    Our finances come from tithes and offerings. We also have income from various community groups and organizations who use our building during the week which is designated to the facility operations fund.
     

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