Church & Ministry

Understanding the Purpose of the Church, Part 1

Republished from Baptist Bulletin March/April 2017 with permission. © Regular Baptist Press, all rights reserved.

By Paul R. Jackson

Soon after entering the ministry, I heard a man who had graduated from a modernistic seminary say, “The primary business of the church is to equalize the wealth of the world in the hands of the people.” He may have had good motives, but he had poor theology! He did not find this objective for the church’s ministry in the Book. Even the Lord Jesus said, “For the poor always ye have with you” (John 12:8). Certainly Christians should do all that is possible to comfort and relieve poverty and suffering, but the primary ministry of the church is not social and economic. Wonderful social and economic reactions result from a Biblical ministry, but they are the by-products of lives transformed by divine grace as the church preaches the message of personal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

Probably nothing about the church is more confused in the minds of men than its objective. What is the purpose of the church? Why did the Lord build the church?

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Purpose & Principles of a Local Church, Part 2

Introduced by Pastor Ed Vasicek. Read Part 1.

In the first installment of our “Purpose and Principles of Highland Park Church” document, I explained how the elders (1996) unanimously embraced the views expressed in it, and that this document still represents my viewpoint.

When I tell folks, “I don’t want our church to be like other churches,” they almost always say, “I don’t either.” But we often mean different things by that statement. This document goes a long way toward explaining what I mean.

Last time, we saw that involving a lot of people in our gatherings (body life) was key to our view of a successful church. We look at edification as the template and rubric for our services. This is one of the major, intentional distinctives between our church and most others in our area. While many other churches are putting their “best” in the limelight, we want to develop our people via participation and body life (as we understand the Bible to mandate). We also want people to be attracted to HPC because they see God at work in our people (not just a few), and we want to showcase that reality as much as we can.

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How to Insult Your Pastor Creatively

I have concluded that most church people are positive, encouraging, and supportive. Nonetheless, it generally takes at least ten encouraging things to offset one discouraging thing (this varies a lot with intensity).

The greatest discouragement most pastors face is from within the Kingdom. Jesus warned his disciples that they would have to bear insult because they belong to him (Matthew 5:11). What Jesus did not warn his disciples about is that Christians would insult fellow Christians, and particularly that Christians would insult or demoralize their leaders. I call these offenders the “ungracious ten per cent.”

Most insults are passive-aggressive—insinuation and inference. Here are some common insults—coupled with my subjective rating scale rating intent to insult.

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