Church & Ministry

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.

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FAQ on Baptist Church Councils

In The Nick of Timeby Daniel R. Brown and Kevin T. Bauder.

What Is a Church Council?

A church council is a representative body of pastors and messengers, invited from fellowshipping churches, called by a particular congregation to advise it on matters of organization, ordination, or resolution of disputes.

Who Calls a Church Council?

Only a local church can call a council. It then invites pastors and messengers from churches of like faith and order. Typically, each church is asked to send a pastor and two brothers, but this is usually regarded as a suggested number. Individuals may be invited, but this should be the exception rather than the rule. All of the pastors and messengers gather at the stated time and place.

How Is a Council Organized?

The council organizes itself. Sometimes the inviting church will supply a temporary chairman and clerk, but most times the council itself will elect the temporary chairman and clerk. Once this is done, the temporary clerk will call the roll of invited pastors and messengers. A motion will be entertained to seat the council, and the members of the council will vote. Once seated, the members of the council will elect a permanent chairman and clerk. At this point, the council can proceed with its business.

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Brethren, We Need Each Other

In The Nick of Timeby Daniel R. Brown

Baptist churches prize the independence and autonomy of their local churches. They wear the doctrine of independence as the king wears his regal robe. Independence does not apply only to unaffiliated Baptist churches. Baptist churches that fellowship with associations, conferences, and conventions may lose some degree of their self-determination because of complications over property, missions, and the like; but even they insist on being independent.

Baptists have no pope, diocese, or synod. Baptist independence involves refusing ecclesiastical interference as well as political interference. Separation of church and state as a Baptist distinctive primarily reflects the need for the church to be free from state interference rather than vice versa.

This independence works both for and against Baptists. Filling pastoral vacancies and helping struggling churches are two areas in which independence creates difficulty. Independent Baptists do not always have the best track record when it comes to working with each other. The lack of perspective for the greater Body of Christ can cause us to have such a narrow focus that all we can see is our own ministry. A narrow focus upon our own ministry can lead either to a feeling of incompetence (inferiority complex) or to a feeling of arrogance (superiority complex).

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Marketing Gimmick or Means of Grace? Part 4

More on the Blessings of Small Groups

Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

by Ryan McCammack

Previously in my articles on this topic, I have talked about the why and the how of small groups at Calvary Baptist Church in Joliet, Illinois. In this article, I will seek to address what has happened at our church as a result of this ministry. As a springboard into this topic, let’s briefly look at a passage of Scripture:

paper_chain.jpgSee to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness (Heb. 3:12-1, NIV).

This passage teaches us, among other things, that we are prone to unbelief and rebellion against God because of the deceitfulness of our own sinful hearts. If you have been a believer for any length of time, you have no doubt seen this principle in action. Sin is consistently and actively waging its campaign of deceit in your own life.

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Book Review—Same Lake, Different Boat

Hubach, O. Stephanie, and Joni Tada. Same Lake, Different Boat: Coming Alongside People Touched by Disability. Phillipsburg, NH: P&R Publishing, 2006. Paperback, 234 pages. $14.99

(Review copy courtesy of P&R Publishing)
Hubach_Same LakePurchase: P&R; CBD;WTS Bookstore; Amazon

Notes & Glossary

ISBNs: 1596380519 / 9781596380516

LCCN: BV4460.H83

DCN: 261.8’324

Subject: Disabilities; Church & Ministry

Listen to a interview with the author on the “Joni and Friends” radio program. Look for the “Stephanie Hubach interview” program dated September 7, 2006.

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Marketing Gimmick or Means of Grace? Part 3

Read Part 1 and Part 2

More on the Blessings of Small Groups

Welcome once again to the continuing saga of small-group ministry at Calvary Baptist Church (Joliet, IL). In my previous offerings on this topic, I addressed the motivating factors that led us to begin this type of ministry as well as some of the small_groups.jpglogistical issues that running this type of program brings about.

The general consensus of the feedback that I received from both articles boiled down to essentially one question—“What does it look like?” Certainly, I do not claim to be an expert on all things small groups; however, the Lord has used this ministry in our local assembly, and if our experience can in any way serve other members of the body of Christ, then I will gladly relate what we have learned. So without any further ado, let me explain what you would see on a typical Wednesday evening at Calvary. (Isn’t this exciting? All two of you who are reading this post can stop holding your breath now)

Before I get into specifics, however, let me lay out a couple of foundational principles that I try to consistently emphasize to those in our church who participate in small groups.

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Book Review (2 of 2)—Simple Church

Editor’s Note: Two men requested to review this particular book for SI. Because this book has been the topic of a fair amount of discussion in Christian circles since its appearance last June, I was glad to have two independent perspectives. This is the second of two reviews of Simple Church. —Jason Button, Book Review Editor

Simple Church: Returning to God’s Process for Making Disciples by Thom S. Rainer and Eric Geiger (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2006), 257 pp. $19.99/hardcover.

simple_church2.jpgPurchase: B&H, CBD, Amazon


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