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Is my church overstepping or not?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Hawnter, Jan 7, 2004.

  1. j_barner2000

    j_barner2000 Member

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    The prayer meetings and church services and Bible study time are Biblical mandates. just to clarify previous post.
     
  2. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    Some of those things you are talking about are targeted, i.e., not for everyone. I certainly woulnd't expect men at a ladies Bible study or vice versa. I think by "faithfulness" I would mean, "be at the things that have reference to you."
     
  3. j_barner2000

    j_barner2000 Member

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    you know Pastor Larry... (After praying and rereading this thread Asking God to open my mind and heart to what He would have me glean from this board.) I think we were looking at the same coin from other sides. In reading back through your posts, I think the central thought you have is "we need to be doing the central Biblical things and be willing to be accountable to do them." My main point is "we should be doing the things the Bible calls out using the tools God has given us (individually, on a personal basis)." and be accountable for them.

    The perception I got was that the pastor of the origonal poster was adding to the Biblical requirements by making methods (which are not Biblically mandated) required to "prove their worthiness to serve" instead of helping them to develop methods and talents God has given them.

    God bless you Pastor Larry.. I may not always agree with you, but you often make me think and pray about my standpoints. Thank you.
     
  4. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller Active Member
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    [/q]It seems to me that Law is synonymous with the OT Mosaic Law which was unable to give life to enable obedience. The Spirit is the Holy Spirit who gives life which enables obedience. That is what Paul is talking about here. Paul himself set down "rules" of conduct for the church. He was not "Spirit less" or "Law like." Instead, he insisted that obedient living is the norm.

    [qutoe][qb]Give me the Church of Grace any day.
    </font>[/QUOTE]I agree. And I would argue that those issues of service are as Grace filled as any thing else.

    I don't think your verses address this issue. Paul was talking about something else.
    [/QUOTE]

    Well, it certainly does not address this particular church's mandates but it does address the Biblical difference between law and grace.

    There is an assumption within some Churches that if "I do the right things I will grow spiritually"
    While that sounds true on the surface it is a false assumption that can lead to Phariseeism.

    The watchword in many Baptist Churches is "don't just stand there - do something" when it should be "don't just do something - stand there until you get a word from the Lord."
     
  5. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    But I am not convinced it does so in the manner in which you suggest here.

    It can lead to Pharisaism, but it does not not have to. The truth is, if we are to grow spiritually we must do something.

    Timothy 4:7-8 On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; 8 for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

    Clearly, there are things to be done for spiritual growth. The things in themselves, done as performances will not bring that spiritual growth. But spiritual growth will not happen with out it.

    What kind of word should we expect?? It seems to me that God gave us his "word from the Lord" in Scripture. 2 Tim 3:16-17 say that "All Scripture is inspired and profitable ... so that the man of God may be equipped for every good work." 2 Peter 1:3 says that God has given us everything necessary for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and virtue. That knowledge is found in the word.

    That means that everything we need is right in Scripture. We don't need another word from the Lord. The problem with believers is not too little standing and waiting. It is too little standing period. We need people who will discipline themselves for the purpose of godliness because it has eternal profit. His word has given us all we need. We need nothing else.
     
  6. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
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    When I look at a leader. I first look at two things. One is the man and the other is who is following. If there are no followers then he is not a leader. Don't call someone a leader who isn't leading.

    No number of rules will ever make up for someone who is not a leader. Leaders will exemplify the Christian life to others. They are humble examples before God.

    From the list I read I thought to myself I expect much more than that from a leader and so does God. Doing those things does not make a leader. In the church leadership is demonstrated first before calling a person a leader. That list is not necessary for one who is a godly leader. He is already do much more than that. He is imparting his life into another.

    Someone and especially a pastor who is not making disciples is in violation of Mt. 28:19,20. Just because someone stands and preaches each Sunday does not mean he is making disciples. Preaching is no substitute for the real job of making disciples.

    In one church I pastored I told the people that we were getting rid of all the programs except the essential ones. Some were upset and wondering about how the church would grow. After their initial shock they got to work. They met new people and started Bible studies and ministries in the community. What God did was incredible. Within a year we had leaders who were leading. They would ask me questions about how to lead and what to do. Some of the ladies began a comunity outreach to other women. Some evangelistic studies and other discipleship studies were started. A lot of teamwork was involved. When someone wanted to do something they needed to get others to help. When people begin to start praying and asking God for a ministry they mean business.

    Years ago I was asked to be a part of a team. The man leading told us that it would be up to us to pray and ask God for men. Every man on that team began to disciple others. Some of them had never done that before. Those who were more experienced help those who didn't have any.

    For someone to not take on a ministry withour church council approval is nonsense. I want to see men and women do ministry without church approval. I don't need church council approval to do what God has already called me to do.

    The real question we should be asking ourselves is who's living for Jesus Christ because of our life?
     
  7. Larry in Tennessee

    Larry in Tennessee New Member

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    Pastor Larry, I agree with everything you have said here, but I have one question which nobody has addressed here. The original poster was concerned with his pastor requiring ministry leaders to sign a written agreement to abide by these conditions.In your opinion, Would the act of a pastor requiring a written agreement, regardless of what is being asked, be in violation of Scripture (according to James 5:12)?
     
  8. Precepts

    Precepts New Member

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    Just me personally, (I don't mean to keep butting in), and I don't say this boastfully, I wouldn't have any problem signing such an agreement, as long as if and when I fail to meet the rigid requirements I am shown brotherly love and mercy, along with a chance to repent.

    The reason I say this is I can see where such an agreement would provoke dedication, but the outcome would prove the intention when the contrary action is dealt with according to Scriptural guidelines, not saying the agreement is totally unscriptural.

    I believe it's more a matter of "willingness" to sign, than actual signing. Maybe this pastor should clarify, I haven't seen where the clarity of the matter has been given, just alot of opinion shown forth and the beginning of questioning.

    James 5:12 could be applied, but then any contractual aggreement would be in violation, that would get back to the old timer's way of "his word is as good as gold".

    I enjoy the discussion, and will restrain myself from future interuptions.
     
  9. Hawnter

    Hawnter New Member

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    Thanks to all who've responded. You've helped me tremendously. I'll be talking to my pastor soon.
    There's one thing I'm starting to have concerns about. It deals with Romans 14. I don't want to cause my brother to stumble and I'm concerned that my starting this topic might do so??? This discussion has been very helpful to me personally, but I don't want to be the cause of creating doubts in others minds who agree with this specific leadership agreement. I'm thinking of those who might be directly involved. My question was selfishly coming from a personal standpoint of wondering if I should go elsewhere or not, but I could see how someone could view it as stirring up trouble for my pastor and church. I wouldn't want to hurt any of them, even if I don't agree with their methods. I apologize for publically posting. I've never posted on a message board before and should have prayerfully thought it through.
     
  10. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
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    Just approach him in person when nobody else is around. I have seen a pastor completely change his practice because of something I discussed with him.

    But when you approach him make your comments your own and not someone else's.
     
  11. Jonathan

    Jonathan Member
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    Well run businesses do implement a system of expectations for employees and those in leadership. And the best managers in these businesses focus on seeing that each employee and leader in his/her charge achieve fulfillment in specific roles (a fulfilled employee is a happy, loyal, productive, ready to sacrifice for the team employee, etc...).

    I applaud any church that is willing to implement such a system for leadership. However, the example described in this thread does not mirror a well run business. Rather, it mirrors a poorly run and ineffective dictatorship.

    The biblical standard is that believers will be involved in spiritual disciplines because of the promise of reward for maturing in them...not because of the threat of having a title removed from us. Threats are necessary when organizational leadership becomes unable to concentrate on the rewards and when maintaining the organization (rather than growing the organization) becomes the goal. This lack of creativity on the part of the leadership exposes a lack of real and recent experience with the fragrant aroma of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, in many of our churches, this is quite descriptive of the leadership.

    My advice is to find a church where the leadership has an ongoing experience with the God whose "lovingkindness is better than life".
     
  12. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
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    Well run businesses do implement a system of expectations for employees and those in leadership. And the best managers in these businesses focus on seeing that each employee and leader in his/her charge achieve fulfillment in specific roles (a fulfilled employee is a happy, loyal, productive, ready to sacrifice for the team employee, etc...).

    I applaud any church that is willing to implement such a system for leadership. However, the example described in this thread does not mirror a well run business. Rather, it mirrors a poorly run and ineffective dictatorship.

    The biblical standard is that believers will be involved in spiritual disciplines because of the promise of reward for maturing in them...not because of the threat of having a title removed from us. Threats are necessary when organizational leadership becomes unable to concentrate on the rewards and when maintaining the organization (rather than growing the organization) becomes the goal. This lack of creativity on the part of the leadership exposes a lack of real and recent experience with the fragrant aroma of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, in many of our churches, this is quite descriptive of the leadership.

    My advice is to find a church where the leadership has an ongoing experience with the God whose "lovingkindness is better than life".
    </font>[/QUOTE]Jesus said to make disciples. How many church leaders including pastors are actively making disciples?

    If the average person in the average church would make one disciple on the average of one every ten years the church would double in ten years. But the fact is that the chruch is not growing at an average of doubling in ten years. No discipes equals disobedience. Anyone who is or has been a pastor knows that the majority do not make disciples. They do not even know how. Anyone who just preaches evangelism is clearly showing that they are not making disciples and doesn't know how. Show me one case where Jesus ever taught just to do evangelism. He taught to make disciples. Wehn one gets away what does the shepherd do? he goes after the sheep. But so many are content to rack up numbers of converts. But the real measurement is disciples who reproduce themselves in others who make disciples. That is what 2 Timothy 2:2 is about.
     
  13. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    Not at all. Signing an agreement is a "yes" or a "no." It verifies that the parties have understood what is involved. There is no room for "I didn't know I was supposed to do that." I think this is an a-biblical matter. AGain, while I would differ with some of teh particulars, it is a good leadership to communicate expectations clearly and have methods of evaluation. To me, that is all this is.
     
  14. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    I disagree completely. Scripture itself uses "threats" (if that is what you want to call this). You are focused on the "You will lose your position." Why not focus on the "This is what will help you become a better minister." That is what it will do ... These are things that better equip you to do what God has called you to do. How would you like a medical doctor who skipped 2 out of every 3 classes??? That would be detrimental. When a soul doctor skips two out of three classes, should we not be concerned??? I think we should be.

    Threat vs. expectation are all in the perspective. I don't share yours [​IMG] ...

    Again, I disagree. Every company sets expectations for its employees and a part of that, whether stated or unstated, is that if you are not helping us, we don't have a place for you. Why carry dead weight? Why carry people who are not helping you reach your goal??
     
  15. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    Everytime the pastor steps into the pulpit, he is making disciples.

    Discipleship starts with evangelism. The command to make disciples includes the command to evangelize.
     
  16. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
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  17. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    It is not a myth at all. At the heart of discipleship is teachign what God says. If a pastor is not teachign what God says, then he needs to resign. What I have said is absolutely true. And it is probably not all that the pastor does. I know it is not all that I do in disciple-making. I have noticed in your posts on this subject in other places, you seem to have somethign stuck in your craw about pastors. I wish you would get over it.

    I don't disagree about taking people along and teaching them; that is what discipleship is. Pastors are probably more involved in that than you think. And it is good that you learned from the one who led you to Christ. That is the way it should happen. It is what i teach here.

    It was a joy last week after Sunday morning church to see two of the men here stay for an hour to help a man who walked in with some spiritual problems. I listened from behind a door rather than jumping in because I wanted to give them the chance to put to practice what I have been teaching.

    Or perhaps that people are simply disobedient. There are people here who have never led anyone to Christ and have not discipled them. That is not because I have failed to teach and try to disciple them. That is because they are disobedient.

    Which is why I said it "begins" with it.

    And I repeat, everytime a pastor steps into the pulpit, he is making disciples. That better be the focus of his teaching. But you can't force people to follow. They make choices about their own obedience.
     
  18. aefting

    aefting New Member

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    Along these lines, Charles Bridges says,

    God put people such as pastors and teachers into local assemblies to build the members up unto the stature of the fulness of Christ (Eph. 4:11ff).

    Andy
     
  19. clayjar

    clayjar New Member

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    At what point does the pastor remove someone from ministry? It seems to me that once you have this contract in place, there will have to be a system down the road to discipline, reprimand, or remove someone from service. A person may have extenuating circumstances that justify why he can't fulfill portions of the contract, but who dictates what's valid and what isn't? What makes a church come to this? and what's next? Will the elite group try to weed out members that don't quite fit in, or are not committed enough, or just cannot find the time? Jesus is for all people, but evidently church ministry is only for a select few.
     
  20. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    It depends on the situation. I don't think you can draw a hard and fast line. But you can't draw anyline at all if people don't know what is expected. You might ask someone to step down because of clear lifestyle problems, i.e., living in open sin. You might ask someone to step down because of testimony issues, or faithfulness issues. You might ask someone to step down because of health issues. You simply cannot draw a hard and fast line on this.

    I did ask someone to step down for health issues, making it clear that the position required someone who could be there more faithfully and that when this person was able to return to consistency, they would be welcome back into the position.

    And that is one of the purposes of it. If you make clear what is expected, then you have a standard by which to measure. Otherwise, you can be accused of "you just don't like me." This way, you can say, "You are not doing what you agreed to do."

     
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