What are the essential ingredients for a church?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by michael-acts17:11, May 11, 2011.

  1. michael-acts17:11

    michael-acts17:11
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    What is necessary for a church to be a church. Do we need a senior pastor, deacons, a minimum number of members, a set or minimum schedule of meetings, an official church building, special authority from a founding church, etc? Scripture doesn't seem to give us direct, irrefutable requirements other than "where two or three are gathered together in my name".

    So, what do you believe are the Scripture requirements for a local church? (Not referring to the Body of Christ...different issue)
     
  2. Deacon

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    Faithful believers....

    ANDDDDDD

    ....a bit of grape juice, matzo and a few of those little plastic cups.


    That should do it

    Rob
     
  3. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    A good start is "where two or three are gathered together in My name..."

    Even the Twelve had some organization. They had a treasurer, and they had a Leader.

    The group should eventually declare itself to be an autonomous church, and free itself from any oversight by a sponsoring church, if there is one. That way it can baptize converts and observe the Lord's Supper.

    When feasible, it needs a pastor. And deacon(s) Wouldn't hurt to have a treasurer.

    Each congregation should identify a teacher or teachers.

    And it should identify the spiritual and practical gifts within the congregation.
     
  4. Old Union Brother

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    Tom I think that you just about nailed it! I think it boils down to this: A pastor(we call them moderators), 2 deacons, a clerk to keep records and a treasurer.
     
  5. Joseph M. Smith

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    The classic marks of the church are that it is "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic." As we all know, those essentials are interpreted in different ways in various traditions ... e.g., my wife's cousin is about to be ordained as an Anglican priest, for whom "apostolic" means in the succession of bishops.

    But that is not the core of "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic". Oneness means a unity of purpose and community, a sense of belonging to one another as under Christ. Holiness means a commitment to a style of living that is other than the world's values. Catholicity, or universality, means embracing all of life, all humanity, as its scope of concern. And apostolicity means having a missionary posture.

    After that is clear, polity will emerge to fit the mission.
     
  6. convicted1

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    Any church must be established by God, first and foremost. Too many churches start because someone didn't get their way, and to get their way, they go and "plant" one theirself. I have a hard time seeing one like this getting very far.
     
  7. humblethinker

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    Essential... We're talking essential here, meaning that if an ingredient is not included then it is not/no longer a church.

    Re deacons, I do not think they are an essential ingredient. Was the ekklesia in Jerusalem not a 'church' before they elected Deacons?
     
  8. rbell

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    For a Baptist Church, the three C's...

    -Christ
    -Committees
    -Chicken


    :eek: :D :D
     
  9. michael-acts17:11

    michael-acts17:11
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    Where does Scripture state these as requirements?
     
  10. michael-acts17:11

    michael-acts17:11
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    Remembering that God's truths & commands are eternal & right for all people, in all places, at all times; what elements has He established(with Scripture) which apply to all cultures in all ages?
     
  11. revmwc

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    The Holy Spirit's guidence and presence in the midst. Matthew 18:
    20For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

    Scripturally where two or more are gathered.

    The folks need to be practicing their spiritual gifts so that the church is being edified in Spiritual matters.
     
  12. revmwc

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    One more point we have many "churches" of all denominations that wouldn't qualify as "churches" in God's eyes because the Holy Spirit has left their midst. Cold dead churches that need the fire of the Holy Spirit to rekindle them to Godliness instead of playing church.
     
  13. Tom Butler

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    That's why, in my post, I said "when feasible."

    I do think that a church needs an elder (pastor).
     
  14. humblethinker

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    Ah, thanks for pointing that out. Doh!
     
  15. michael-acts17:11

    michael-acts17:11
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    I think we tend to think more in terms of how it is done according to our culture rather than according to the Word. Here is an example situation to consider.

    I have supported efforts to reach the unreached in anti-Christian countries. This is done through radio, Gospel balloons, smuggled Bibles, etc. Those who believe must meet secretly in very small gatherings; encouraging each other & sharing what they have heard or read.

    When two or three gather together in this fashion, are they a Biblical church & do you believe they have the right to baptize each other & partake in communion? How would the answer affect your view of the church in our culture? My views radically changed after I went on a mission trip to Costa Rica in my early twenties.
     
  16. Alive in Christ

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    At least 2 or 3, or more, gathered in His name, and a pastor.

    Voila!

    A local church has just been added to the universal church.

    Or the kingdom, for those who freak out at the mention of the universal church. :laugh:

    AiC
     
  17. David Lamb

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    Chicken? Not heard that one. Perhaps that's an essential only for an American baptist church. :laugh:
     
  18. Salty

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    No so much for American Baptist - but definitely for Southern Baptist! :smilewinkgrin:

    and may I assume that UK Baptist churches must have "Tea Time?" :saint:

    More seriously though - a pastor is not required - but at least one person would need at least to be a leader.

    And if I may - how about a curve ball? Suppose there are seven ladies meeting - but no men - would we still consider that a church? (and for the sake of argument - they are not have a gossip session -) So, in this case there could not be a pastor - unless you are ABC.

    thoughts?
     
    #18 Salty, May 13, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2011
  19. David Lamb

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    Would that be Kentucky Fried Chicken ("Finger-lickin' good"), or is Kentucky too far north?

    In my experience, UK baptist churches usually serve tea (as in the afternoon meal - tea to drink, and sandwiches, cakes, etc. to eat) at special services such as church anniversary services, usually held on Saturdays, to enable members of other like-minded churches to attend. After the regular services of our church, we serve coffee and biscuits ("cookies" to Americans).

    I don't think that they could technically be a church, but I did hear not long ago of a church which dwindled in number until the only person present at "services" was one lady - no one else at all. She read the bible, sang hymns, and prayed earnestly for many years that the Lord would build that church up again. And praise God, He did! Was it a church when just that one lady sang, read and prayed? No. But it is again now.
     
  20. rbell

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    Daaaviddaviddavid.....my heart breaks for you...

    Would somebody get the nice British fellow some fried chicken?


    (warning: it has been outlawed in 24 countries as being an "addictive substance.") :eek: :D

    Ah yes, we Southern Baptists and chicken have a long-standing affiliation. It's the only bird to be made an honorary Baptist! (Yes, it's done by immersion--usually after an egg/flour dip, and the immersion is in oil...but besides that, it's just like Baptism. :laugh:)
     

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