The Pastor and Missions, Part 5

In The Nick of Time
Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

by Daniel R. Brown

Missionary accountability operates on a number of levels. Missionaries should be accountable to their sending churches, their supporting churches, and their missions agencies. Missions agencies should also be accountable to the sending and supporting churches.

The responsibility to hold missionaries accountable, however, can be neglected, just as it can be over-emphasized. Churches tend to be guilty of the former error, while missions agencies sometimes become guilty of the latter. Often, the neglect of accountability by churches is what leads to an over-emphasis on accountability by some agencies.
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Shepherding the Dysfunctional, Part 1

by Joel Tetreau

Author’s Note: This article is not meant to be viewed as an exhaustive treatment of the topic at hand but merely an introduction to a theme I believe needs further examination. It is my sincere pastoral desire that this article will simply be used to spur further thought and discussion. “Ecclesia reformata et simper reformata!” (“The Church Reformed and Always Reforming!”)

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Church Membership: A Practical Necessity

by Michael Osborne

Anyone who wishes to be married in the United States must first go to his county or municipal offices and request a marriage license. Certain statements are made under oath to obtain the license; a ceremony of some kind takes place; witnesses sign the license. Christians typically have their wedding ceremony at a church building or at least have a Christian osborne_scroll.jpgminister preside over the ceremony. But does any of this paperwork or ceremony really marry them? What marries them in the sight of God is the vows they make to one another to leave all others and to cleave to one another in covenant love for as long as they live. The marriage license and wedding ceremony are both formalities. A marriage license no more effects a marriage than a birth certificate begets or a death certificate kills. The paperwork is a formal record of what has occurred.
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The Pastor and Missions, Part 4

In The Nick of Time
Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

by Daniel R. Brown

Every aspect of church ministry ought to undergo constant review, including the missions budget and the philosophy under which the missions program operates. Changing the missions program can be like touching the “third rail” (the rail that carries the electricity in subways). If adjustments in the missions program are needed, however, a godly pastor has to lead the church in a biblical direction. History, as well as affection and loyalty to existing missionaries and agencies, will cause any wise pastor to move slowly.

A well-written philosophy of missions that includes carefully worded policies will help a church to plan intentionally for the future and guide it through the process of change. It can also provide stability in the face of pressures to take the church’s missions program on tangents. Furthermore, a long-term strategy for the mission budget can help in the selection and support of missionary personnel. Continuity is important because even when pastors change, churches continue to support the same missionaries.
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Why Churches Should Have “Kid Times”

by Aaron Blumer

As a pastor, I’ve been surprised by how often I encounter Christian parents who are disappointed that our church provides “kid times.” Regularly, our church gathers children, separates them from their families, and focuses on their needs. Many see this practice as unbiblical and bad for the family. Are they right?

children_cross.jpgFull Disclosure

I’m prejudiced against this way of thinking. My parents successfully reared all four children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord with the aid of churches that provided kid times, as did their parents before them. Both my mother and my grandmother turned to Christ and believed the gospel during Sunday school.

The idea that ministries like Sunday school, children’s church, and youth groups are recent inventions spawned by the godless thinking of anti-Christian philosophers finds a strongly skeptical audience in some of us. And the idea that these kid times are causing more young people to leave the faith is contrary to everything we’ve personally observed.

But the charge that these methods are unbiblical is the most serious one. Is there any basis in Scripture for separating children from their parents and siblings and teaching them? Should these kid times be a feature of our local church ministries?

Scripture provides at least four reasons for including kid times in the ministry of a local church. Read more about Why Churches Should Have “Kid Times”

The Hope of the Gospel in Youth Discipleship

by Matthew Hoskinson

Note: See his other articles on youth ministry: The Primacy of Parents in Youth Discipleship, The Centrality of God in Youth Discipleship and The Role of the Church in Youth Discipleship.

One needs only to turn to the local Christian radio or TV station to recognize that the church is not preaching a single theme. From the gospel of financial prosperity to the gospel of self-esteem, professing believers—and the world around us—endure a cacophony of Christian-sounding messages that are devoid of any genuine good news precisely because theyhoskinson_teen.jpg lead a person to turn to himself or herself as savior.
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Book Review—House

Reviewed by Adam Blumer

Peretti, Frank and Ted Dekker. House. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2006. 400 pages, Jacketed Hardcover, Trade Paper, or CD-Abridged. $25.99.

house_cover.jpgPurchase: Thomas Nelson | CBD | Amazon

ISBNs: 1595541551 / 9781595541550 (Hardcover); 159554156X / 9781595541567 (Trade Paper); 1595541578 / 9781595541574 (CD-Abridged)

DCN: 813.54 or F PER

LCCN: PS3566 .E691317 H68

Subjects:Christian Fiction, Suspense
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