Church & Ministry

"[T]he clown troupe often performed 'dramatic skits' during the morning worship service on the Lord’s Day."

“The above true story is exhibit A of what Michael Horton describes as a ‘greasy familiarity’ with which modern-day Christians approach God.”  Where Circus and Church Meet: A Plea for the Recovery of Sola Scriptura in Worship

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Ministry Conflict of Interest

Reprinted with permission from Baptist Bulletin May/Jun 2013. All rights reserved.

As a church leader, you are asked to counsel a man in your church who is having marital problems. In your first meeting, he tells you he is having an affair that he has no intention of ending. Do you have a duty to disclose this to the other leaders to work toward reconciliation? If his wife is a part of your church, do you also have an obligation to her? Do you have a duty of confidentiality to the counselee? If you didn’t disclose to him that you might be obliged to discuss his disclosure with church leaders, and if no one signed a waiver of confidentiality, you are in the middle of a conflict of interest.

The importance of the broader issue—ministerial ethics—should be obvious: an ethical failure can ruin a ministry. I recently wrote Doing Right while Doing Good with Kenneth Bickel to show how ethics is ultimately about choices. We debate the merits between courses of action because we seek the right choice. When we choose poorly (contrary to Scripture), we have failed. Consequences might include irrelevance, fractured relationships, or even the end of a ministry.

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Book Review - Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley (Part 2)

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Continued from Part 1

Rules of Engagement

Toward the end of the book, Andy Stanley gets into the subject of preaching and engaging people and finally how a church can become “Deep and Wide.”

As in all things, purpose should determine approach. At the end of the day, it’s what we do, not what we purposed to do that defines our lives and reputations…if your stated purpose is at odds with your approach, you will never accomplish what you have purposed to accomplish. So one of the first things a service programming team must do is clarify the purpose of the weekend experience. (Loc. 2207 & Loc. 2215)

Andy talks about what the weekend win is at Northpoint… It’s when an un-churched person liked the service so much that he returns and brings a friend. The purpose of their church is to be a church that un-churched people love to attend, so that defines what their “weekend experience” is all about. I agree with the basic principle in the above quote, but disagree with what Northpoint’s purpose is. I disagree with it because it’s not what the first church did. In fact, they had the opposite effect on the general unchurched population around Jerusalem when Ananias and Sapphira pulled their shenanigan at church:

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