10 Keys To Pastoral Ministry

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187 Responses

  1. RiBo says:

    Wow. Good to hear this from Steve. Well done.

    Steve can be a change-agent in CC. Good to see him step up.

  2. Michael says:

    This is what is now being taught to prospective pastors in this region of CC. It is not exhaustive as a book could be written on each point.
    It is, however, one of the best foundational documents I’ve ever seen.
    I appreciate Steve teaching it and allowing us to share it.

  3. I am confused (not a new thing) but this must be a list of stuff that is outside of pastoral ministry. Perhaps this is unique for pastor led churches, I don’t know, but I cannot imagine in my church body that the top 3 things to consider and have a pastor deliver to confirm he has a proper pastoral ministry are accountability – child protection – and compensation

    None of these have anything to do with pastoral ministry – how about caring for souls – teaching the flock – inviting a community – the proper administration of the sacraments???

    I think this is titled wrongly

  4. Michael says:

    MLD,

    You would…

  5. Michael says:

    Maybe “pastoral accountability” ?
    Would that suit you better?

  6. Andrew says:

    Got to agree with MLD on that.

  7. Bob Sweat says:

    Steve,

    What you shared is like a breath of fresh air! Someone needs to take the stick away from MLD. 😉

  8. covered says:

    Good article. I just wish that this was the model for the majority of CC’s but we know it isn’t. I would like to add that the longer I am a pastor, the more I realize that me being accessible whenever there is a need seems to speak louder than many messages on Sunday.

    I’m not sure I understand the need for discussing compensation the way it was laid out. Has there been an issue with CC pastor’s needing to ask for more money to take care of normal emergencies? As a business owner before being called to the pastorate, I expected people to experience issues needing financial help and there was not a problem asking or giving. As a pastor, if my car breaks, no one would think twice about helping to fix it. To me, this is how people take care of one another in the church. Maybe I missed something?

  9. Michael – excuse my part of the conversation. If all you are looking for are a bunch of “great Job!” or “atta boys” – well what can I say.

    I love pastor Steve … ask him.

    I just don’t know if “how to handle the book deal” is really a seminary level class.

  10. Alan Hawkins says:

    Thank you Steve, written with the wisdom of a veteran pastor, and the careful eye of a man who has lived outside the confines of church ministry. You are always thorough, thoughtful and insightful. I always respect your ability to assess and describe things. I always admire your keen eye into matters. These are really helpful admonitions.

  11. Michael says:

    covered,

    That’s a good question…I’ll let Steve answer later if he chooses, but my guess is that it would be a case by case, situational matter.

  12. RiBo says:

    It is a vital part of “ministry”. Ministry in a pastor-led church construct incorporates all those things Steve laid out.

    I didn’t take Steve’s list to be exhaustive, but rather a list that puts emphasis on many of the areas CC has neglected in the past that have born “bad” fruit instead of “good” fruit.

    As Bob Sweat said, it’s a breath of fresh air, heck it’s a hurricane of fresh air from this side of the CC stuff that has born bad fruit in spades.

  13. Michael says:

    MLD,

    These are guidelines that some of us have hoped to see standardized in CC and other independent organizations for years.
    To see them in print, on the PHXP no less…is about as encouraging as it gets.
    They may not resonate with a confessional Lutheran…but they will save much grief outside that tradition for many.

  14. Michael,
    OK – if you think those are the 10 Keys to Pastoral Ministry — then fine.

  15. Francisco says:

    Good article on subjects that are difficult for many of us to address. I was blessed by our brother Steve’s website regarding accountability procedures. I must admit I’ve never seen transparency like this at the local church level. A model to follow. Thanks Steve.

    This week has taught me that if we are not transparent with our secret sins before the Lord, our sins will inevitably be made transparent before the world. This has been a humbling week for me personally.
    Francisco

  16. Michael says:

    MLD,

    They are not THE 10 keys and only someone who loves to create problems would go there.
    Articles need titles…and that’s what I came up with this morning.
    Steve didn’t choose it.
    I’ve been asked for something similar all week and I am thrilled that we are able to present this content.
    I’m not thrilled that someone would purposefully choose to obfuscate both the intent and content.

  17. Michael says:

    Francisco,

    Thank you, my friend.

  18. Michael,
    I knew Steve didn’t write the title – my original comment was that I thought it was mistitled.

    Read carefully – “I think this is titled wrongly”

    I have not taken issue with a single point in the article – your imagination did that.

  19. Andy says:

    “a seminary level class”

    This is what causes some people to call it “cemetery”. Myself being one of those people. Just arrogant to assume that their “seminary” calls all the shots, when in reality, they call none of the shots but for themselves. Which they have the right to, just as I have the right to reject all of the seminaries.

  20. erunner says:

    I think this is both excellent for ministry students and for the public in general. Since I’ve been around here I always looked at the CC story as one of steps being taken and this a major one in my estimation. I also appreciate RiBo’s comments.

  21. Jim says:

    Really good. The procedure doc on the website is refreshing.

    Well done!

  22. Andy,
    “Which they have the right to, just as I have the right to reject all of the seminaries.”

    I’m with you – we need more untrained pastors out there. 😉

  23. Kevin H says:

    Well done, Steve!

  24. EricL says:

    An excellent article and I’m glad it’s being taught to future ministry leaders. Getting policies in writing can be so helpful.

    I used to design employee handbooks for small businesses around the country and I had the chance to do a handful of church staff handbooks too. I’m no longer doing that type of consulting (changes in fed regs- long story), but I have published some sample policies on one of my websites, GenuineHR.

    Anyone interested can take a look and use whatever might help them in drafting their own written policies:

    http://genuinehr.com/sample-forms/church-office-policies/

    Once again, great info from Steve Wright. Thank you for sharing it.

  25. a pastor says:

    Great content.

    MLD, in the title’s defense, it did not say: “THE 10 keys…”, nor “The 10 MOST IMPORTANT keys…”

    It’s just 10 keys, and from my perspective, they are well stated and important for many pastors to understand. I would add a couple that I find valuable:

    Don’t be afraid of personal transparency: The body will be healthier and better adjusted if they realize you struggle and fail too. (But don’t make excuses or you’re teaching them to excuse their own behavior. Instead, admit to being fallible, and highlight how God has been glorified, even after your failures.)

    Never view them as congregants/members; view them as family and as the people Jesus died for: It’ll make it easier for you to die for them too. (Figuratively, mostly– i.e. die to selfish ambitions.) Also, it’s harder to see family leave than it is to let a church growth number go. Church growth members can be easily replaced; family can’t.

    Again… Great points. I’d love to get to know you better Steve.

  26. Andy says:

    MLD wrote: “I’m with you – we need more untrained pastors out there”

    I thank the Lord for the “untrained” pastors that don’t need to sit at the feet of dead bones in the grave, but instead, sit with the living Word of God by His Holy Spirit.

  27. Perhaps my confusion is based on this. Do CC and / or other independent not have employee handbooks and written job descriptions? Except for maybe#9 & 10 wouldn’t all of this be found there?

    These are not by laws issues (I keep hearing demands that people insert these in their by laws) but they are actually Human Resource issues and would go in the handbook and job descriptions..

    IMHO

  28. Bob Sweat says:

    I trilled at what I learned from “dead bones”.

  29. Andy says:

    Then enjoy the dead bones, Bob. 😉 The Lord is living and can and does speak today, and uses men that never went to seminary and never studied the dead bones.

  30. “I thank the Lord for the “untrained” pastors”
    Any other profession you grant this to? Your doctor? An airline pilot? Your kid’s teachers?

    You are funny for what you will settle for.

  31. Andy says:

    Any other profession you grant this to?”

    All day, every day.

    “Your doctor?”

    I don’t believe everything my doctor says, just because he has a plaque on the wall. I have found health resources on the internet that cured conditions, that my doctor laughed at.

    “An airline pilot?”

    Like the ones that are drunk or stoned before flying? The degree didn’t help those guys. Besides, operating machinery is not in any way comparable to studying the Word of God with the prompting of the Holy Spirit Who is our Teacher.

    “Your kid’s teachers?”

    The public schools here all teach evolution and abortion. They teach nonsense. My wife is the smartest school teacher I have ever seen. She teaches at home, and our daughter is above and beyond the “trained teachers” students.

  32. a pastor says:

    Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.

    (Acts 4:13 ESV)

  33. Andy – OK, you know it all – go to your untrained pastor.

  34. Bob Sweat says:

    I’ll take my chances with a drunk pilot before I would with someone who has never been trained how to fly a plane. Come on Andy, didn’t you watch the movie Flight? Denzel landed the plane upside down. 😯

  35. a pastor,
    They were apostles – but now that is 2 of you lobbying for less education. This is not good.

  36. Andy says:

    “Andy – OK, you know it all – go to your untrained pastor”

    His “untrained” lessons were used by Jesus to transform my life and relationship in the Lord.

    I laugh at your requirement for a piece of paper:

    2 Corinthians 3:1 Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?

  37. Andy says:

    Bob, as I tried to point out to MLD, the pilot comparison is a silly and off the mark comparison. Learning to operate heavy machinery has nothing to do with learning the Word of God. Just a dumb comparison, and a desperate stretch.

  38. PP Vet says:

    Nobody wants untrained pastors. What a stupid argument.

    The question is, what counts as “trained”? MLD apparently thinks if you have enough academics (or something, not sure what), you are trained.

    God has His own standards. They are better than the LCMS standards.

  39. Francisco says:

    With all due respect, It important that we as undersheherds not become “hirelings” with the all the employee handbook or HR stuff. The “Church” doesn’t need more employees or “yes’ men”behind her pulpits, as much as we need to be surrounded by other godly elders in our local churches. The truth is, ALL of us need to be surrounded by men like Samuels and Nathans at the local church level to hold each other accountable.

    Eph 5:21 This is the key to accountability and unity in the body. Lets not just preach it but live it.

  40. Andy says:

    “God has His own standards. They are better than the LCMS standards”

    I’ll do you one better. The “LCMS” standards are rank heresy.

  41. covered says:

    oh oh….

  42. Andrew says:

    Forgive me for my analysis but the “10 keys to me” sounds like a new and improved “Distinctives”. Is the proposal to replace the out dated distinctives with these new ones? If we make these a requirements for affiliation I wonder what people will be saying 40 years from now. Just a thought…..

  43. a pastor says:

    MLD, I never lobbied for anything. I quoted scripture. It happened to be a scripture that showed God using uneducated fishermen in pretty radical ways because of the power/direction of the Holy Spirit, and because they were recognized to have spent time with Jesus.

    I am not lowering the standard. I am cognizant of the scriptural standards. Perhaps by such a secularized comparison for pastors, you are in more danger of lowered standards?

  44. a pastor says:

    It just got real up in here…

  45. Go back up and read – i made no requirement of training at all – Andy started out saying that “as I have the right to reject all of the seminaries.”

    I had not brought up training nor seminaries prior to that.

  46. erunner says:

    Come on man. This is a positive thing. The untrained eye can see that.

  47. Andy says:

    MLD, it was your #10 that stated that these points will not live up to a “seminary level class”.

    So, you started it 😉

  48. Andy,
    “I’ll do you one better. The “LCMS” standards are rank heresy.”

    Why do you bring up the LCMS – I have not in this conversation. Is that like throwing dirt when you are in a corner?

  49. Andy says:

    Fine, MLD. I will go to my “untrained” pastor as you labeled him. You go to your “mis-trained” pastor as I labeled him 😉

  50. Andy,
    “MLD, it was your #10 that stated that these points will not live up to a “seminary level class”.

    You are blind, that is not what I said at all – I said -on one point
    “I just don’t know if “how to handle the book deal” is really a seminary level class.”

    Look, he gave a talk to pastor candidates or whatever they are called and he is talking to them about the book deal?

  51. a pastor – a question I asked above about CC and independents – perhaps you could answer.

    Do you have an employee handbook and job descriptions? Wouldn’t these issues be discussed there

  52. Andy says:

    MLD, your #10 seemed to be spoken in mocking, as if the “book deal” thing was representative of the whole thing being weak.

    Your concession at #15 seems to confirm that.

  53. Andy says:

    MLD, well Michael at his #17 seemed to make the same interpretation that I did.

  54. Steve Wright says:

    A point of clarification. I was a guest speaker, given one hour to speak on anything I wanted to speak on. This is what I chose.

    If the School is still arranged as it was when I was there in the 90s, the guest speakers are one part of a larger Ministry Practicum class – which included the students’ personal ministry efforts, required hours in the office and prayer room serving the people of the church, any teaching ministries etc. as well as note-taking for the guest speakers. of which I believe there is one per week to end the week on Fridays.

    To contextualize a guest speaker as to whether or not it is a “seminary level” class is to go astray. I heard guest speakers in seminary too.

    Carry on…

  55. Andrew says:

    Do you have an employee handbook and job descriptions? Wouldn’t these issues be discussed there.
    __________________________________________________________________
    MLD, I thought a pastor said he still abides by the “Distinctives”. They seem to lay out the philosophy of ministry for a pastor similarly to how Steve W. did. That is why I asked if these “10 keys” were going to be the new standard.

  56. Steve,
    I wasn’t speaking about seminary – but I must say, I have never heard training before on how to handle the book deal … as if it is assumed.;-)

  57. Andrew – don’t distract from my question by your continual berating of a pastor – I find him quite refreshing myself.

  58. Andy, then my #19 applies to you too.
    Go find someone else to bait.

  59. a pastor says:

    MLD — in the spirit of communication, I’d like to point out that what may be occurring here is the fact that these points were (probably) written for upcoming independent pastors. A common complaint against independents is just that– they’re independent.

    As a Lutheran, it’s probably a foregone conclusion that these things will be in the handbook, and many of them written in the church bylaws. The author was probably putting this stuff out as important to (a) make sure the independent pastor understands (especially as an independent), and (b) make sure it gets into the handbooks/bylaws.

    Blessings…

  60. Andrew says:

    MLD, I said nothing at all to berate a pastor on this thread. He abides by distinctives. That is a philosophy of ministry of CC. Steve W also just layed out a philosophy of ministry. What is the difference?

  61. a pastor says:

    To clarify, MLD… You have the Lutheran denomination to oversee this stuff. Steve is rightly noting that independents need someone to make sure the independent churches also have this oversight/framework. While it is obviously not exhaustive, I see only good in getting these words to independent churches.

  62. Steve Wright says:

    2nd point of clarification for Andrew:

    The opening stated (to the students and in this blog article) “They do reflect a personal philosophy of ministry that compliments the broader Calvary philosophies and retain the independence of the local church. They are offered by one with a passion for the Calvary Chapel movement, and a desire to see our churches grow in health and loving, faithful ministry to God’s people in the years to come.”

    Key words…personal philosophy, compliments broader Calvary philosophies, retain the independence of the local church

  63. RiBo says:

    E, this is all I’ve ever wanted out of CC…acknowledgment of previous problems and a focus on teaching a better way to address those problems that are much more common than previously realized by some in CC and problems that are very consistent in terms of you hear one bad CC story…and it resembles all the other ones to a large degree.

    Guys like Steve can make a difference (and are making a difference) when they publicly address these issues and when they teach them to others in their Movement/Association.

    I can’t say one bad thing about this…it’s excellent and good to see. I hope Steve is encouraged and continues to do what he can with his voice in his Movement/Association to make a difference.

    Again, well done Steve. It has not gone unnoticed and is very encouraging to see it.

  64. a pastor says:

    Andrew, I could http://jetpack.wordpress.com/jetpack-comment/?blogid=39592265&postid=17205&comment_registration=0&require_name_email=1&stc_enabled=1&stb_enabled=1&show_avatars=1&avatar_default=gravatar_default&greeting=Leave+a+Reply&greeting_reply=Leave+a+Reply+to+%25s&color_scheme=light&lang=en-US&jetpack_version=2.9.3&sig=310821d8d3bedb6db928e804af83f963e95cc217#comment-form-load-service:Facebooknot imagine CC doing away with the distinctives to replace them with Steve’s.

    I abide scriptural ministry. I am neither defined, nor constrained by the distinctives. In the other thread, I mentioned the distinctives in passing to state that the servant-leader is defined as of utmost importance. I see no damage in serving as a servant leader.

  65. a pastor says:

    Not sure what happened there… It was meant to read:

    “Andrew, I could not imagine CC doing away with the distinctives to replace them with Steve’s.”

  66. Andrew says:

    Thanks Steve. I know its your personal philosophy now but it seems you would like to teach and get these accepted by the other independent CC churches. My question is would you like to make these mandatory in some sort of written or oral affiliation agreement with churches you are in fellowship with? similarly to how that was with the Distinctives?

  67. a pastor, thank you
    But does your church, as an independent CC have an employee handbook and written job descriptions?

    Just because we are Lutheran does not mean that our church opens with this stuff. We write our own constitution and by laws (these fall under my responsibility as the congregation Vice President) – In the past 2 years I headed a committee to review our by laws and presented changes to the congregation. Last year I rewrote the job description of our pastor and our Minister of Finance and Administration. Currently I and my committee are rewriting the job description for out Youth minister as we will be incorporating him into a Family ministry.

    Next, I will work with our HR person to review the employee handbook.

  68. Andrew says:

    I am neither defined, nor constrained by the distinctives
    __________________________________________________________________

    Wonderful, But to retain the CC name and dove logo do you feel that you need to uphold the distinctives to some degree? I mean if some Joe wants to open up shop under the name CC but blasts the distinctives would you have problem with that?

  69. RiBo says:

    Is there still and Affiliation Agreement? Do you still have to apply to be an official Calvary Chapel or can anyone use the name and logo w/o permission? What does it take to get that official permission?

  70. a pastor says:

    We do have handbooks and job descriptions that contain much of what was included above. Some of the pastor-pertinent information is defined in the by-laws.

  71. Michael says:

    RiBo,

    the affiliation process is a bone of contention and division at this point.
    It is supposed to be under the auspices of the regionals at this point, but that’s not always the case.
    This is one of those areas that will vary and will someday need to be clearly defined.

  72. RiBo says:

    I just want to see the changes made, I just want to see an emphasis on the issues that I think contribute to all the stories of bad stuff I’ve been inundated with for 5 years now (and Michael much longer).

    Again, I realize all Groups have the same issues and that emphasis won’t fix all ills…but it does help and it shows the pastorate cares and gives a dang…and you hit what you aim at in general. If you don’t aim in a direction, you’ll never come close to hitting it.

    Steve’s aim on these issues…if they become the aim of more CC’s…will make a difference and will help restore some honor to the CC System.

  73. Andy says:

    MLD wrote: “Go find someone else to bait”

    An ironic statement coming from you. 😉

  74. Michael says:

    Here’s what I don’t want to be missed.
    In an autonomous organization like CC or most Baptists, this kind of teaching taking place at the grass roots level is critical.
    In my mind, this is a huge step forward…

  75. Andy says:

    From Steve’s #6: “To use them for partisan political rants, self-indulgent personal stories or complaints, or mocking of others for an easy laugh or amen from the majority is a dishonor to the office”

    Agreed.

    What about those that use the pulpit for stand-up comedy? I remember a recent pastor’s conference where two CC pastors would crack a joke every third sentence. And of course the audience laughed every time. A total distraction and a total waste of time. I walked out on both.

  76. RiBo says:

    Michael said, ” this kind of teaching taking place at the grass roots level is critical.”

    Agreed. If enough Steve’s in the CC system stand up on these issues…it will make a big dent…and it could lead to whatever Association rises from the post-Chuck post-Coy era to have some structural changes on emphasis as well.

  77. Andrew says:

    Andy I clearly remember the pastors conference with GL and Bob Coy cracking jokes not that long ago. It is still imprinted in my memory.

  78. Andy says:

    Andrew since you are naming names, I guess I will too. The two pastors I’m referring to were Ken Graves and Bob Coy. I just couldn’t take it anymore.

  79. Andrew says:

    I was referring to the one with Greg Laurie that was recorded a couple of years ago. I think Broderson was the third guy taking questions.

  80. Andy says:

    Ah well the one I was at, was a little over a years ago now, in Florida.

  81. Andrew says:

    I think these comedy routines are pretty routine in these conferences.

  82. DavidM says:

    Wow. “You started it.” “No, YOU started it.” Brilliant, meaningful conversation. But I digress.

    I thought there were some good points included in the article.

    The most disturbing thing to me was the comment by the man with 40 or so years experience in CC, that Calvary chapel “is not just the best thing, it is the only thing out there.” It is that sort of thinking that reveals an attitude of superiority, a self-congratulatory pat on the back for “really teaching the word”, while denigrating pretty much any person or group that may dare to think, teach, or exegete differently. I’ve been with CC for over 40 years, continue to be, and yet more than ever, love learning from men and women of God well outside of the tired, old CC arsenal.

  83. Andy says:

    It might be common at the conferences, yes. But I suspect these same guys do the same things on the average Sunday morning. I know Bob Coy does. I had mentioned that people that I met that sat under him for years, were more illiterate about the Bible than any I had met in a (supposed) Calvary Chapel background.

  84. Andrew says:

    it could lead to whatever Association rises from the post-Chuck post-Coy era to have some structural changes on emphasis as well.
    _____________________________________________________________________

    We’ll see. I think instead of trying to re-invent the wheel, what is left of this post Chuck post Coy era should probably just get re-integrated and absorbed into well established denominations where the foundation is strong.

  85. Andy, – “An ironic statement coming from you.”

    You misspelled iconic 🙂

  86. Andy says:

    We have to stop now, MLD. Because DavidM thinks we are being serious. I guess stand up comedy doesn’t work on blogs, either 😉

  87. a pastor says:

    DavidM: My skin crawled at that comment too.

  88. Andy says:

    “My skin crawled at that comment too”

    Actually that comment didn’t bother me. The man really felt that CC was the only place he could find that was following Scripture. I know the feeling, I’ve felt like that many times.

    I don’t personally see why it is wrong to feel that way, and I don’t feel it is wrong. There is one truth, and a million lies. I’m not saying to major in the minors, but, there are plenty of groups out there that get the majors wrong, too.

    I don’t believe that CC has it all right, by the way. I’m just saying that I understand why he felt the way he did.

  89. Andrew says:

    Saying plenty of groups got the majors wrong is completely different than saying only one group has got the majors right. That my friend is cultish!

  90. Andy says:

    Where did I say that only one group has the majors right? I don’t believe that any group anywhere is uniform enough to even make that statement, anyway.

    The Bible has it all right. 100% Am I “cultish” for saying that?

  91. Andrew says:

    Andy, the comment that didn’t bother you was this:

    “Calvary chapel “is not just the best thing, it is the only thing out there.””

    Now, are you saying it bothers you now? I’m confused.

  92. a pastor says:

    Andy: I believe in CC, obviously. I believe there are a lot of people getting it wrong. I see it every day. That is a far cry from saying CC is the only thing out there. It’s incredibly hypocritical for CC to get so bent about being stereotyped if we’re walking around with such gross stereotyping within the movement. Every CC pastor needs to be purposeful in exemplifying the unity of the global church before our congregations.

    We don’t have and accept and condone the wrong. But we also can’t act like we’re all that’s on offer for Bible-believing churches.

    I went to visit a friend a couple of months ago. While down there, we attended an Acts 29 church plant. I disagreed with the church’s Calvinist theology. They made a couple of worship decisions I wouldn’t have. But they honored Jesus and taught the Bible (if not exactly how I would have). I made a point to tell the pastor how much I enjoyed worshiping with them, and tried to encourage him in his ministry. (When he found out I was a CC pastor, he made a face, just for a second, like I had tracked poop in on his carpet– true story. lol)

    I came back to our church the following Sunday and told the body what a great church it was. We prayed for that church and the churches of our city before we went into our service.

    I want our folks to respect the church– not just ours.

    Maybe if more churches knew that CC pastors have a heart for their church, fewer pastors will make poop-faces when they meet us. 🙂

  93. Andy says:

    “Now, are you saying it bothers you now? I’m confused”

    It doesn’t bother me.

    Let’s say he believes very unwavering doctrinal positions on the nature of justification, sanctification, eschatology, and other very important issues. And he went from a legalistic works-based church, to a circus entertainment church, to a semi-universalistic church, and then finally to Calvary Chapel. It was only at Calvary Chapel, that he found the unwavering doctrinal positions that he wanted.

    And he can’t visit every church on earth. He has to go with his own experience. So from his experience, he would say, “Calvary Chapel is the only thing out there”.

  94. Andy says:

    a pastor wrote: “I went to visit a friend a couple of months ago. While down there, we attended an Acts 29 church plant. I disagreed with the church’s Calvinist theology. They made a couple of worship decisions I wouldn’t have. But they honored Jesus and taught the Bible”

    Well the calvinistic theology is a total deal-breaker for me. So I wouldn’t have been able at all to make the endorsement of the place that you did.

    So again, I understand where he was coming from.

  95. Andrew says:

    Andy, I thought this guy was one of the pastors at the conference. If so, he has no business being in the pulpit if he thinks only CC has any of the majors right.

  96. Andy says:

    Andrew, we are heavily expanding on the very little information that Steve gave us. I mentioned majors and minors. Steve didn’t. There is no reason to believe that this guy thought that only CC had the majors right. I was just trying to make the point that, I understand the general position where he is coming from.

    And you have it backwards about who belongs in the pulpit, in my opinion. In my opinion, the guy that doesn’t belong in the pulpit, is the one that will go for anything.

  97. Andrew says:

    Andy, so no one belongs in the pulpit? I mean is there any group that you know of that has everything you need that you can trust the guy?

  98. Andy says:

    Andrew, the Bible says that there are true teachers, and false teachers. I can only use my reading of the Bible as the Holy Spirit leads me, to know which is which.

    There is no establishment outside the Bible, that can do that for me. To say there is, you would end up in Rome.

  99. Andrew says:

    Ok, Andy, so are you a church of one? Do you attend any church and fellowship with any group at all?

  100. a pastor says:

    I never said I would attend there, Andy. But for all of CC’s “make the main thing the main thing” philosophy, some CCs get pretty smug about what the main thing actually is.

    I don’t agree with calvinists, but you know what? As I read scripture, I can at least understand why they believe what they believe. Great theologians before you and I have argued it, and they’ll be arguing it after we’re gone.

    He gave a great, Biblical sermon with very practical truths per living the Christian life. I don’t have to endorse Calvinism to support and love the church. I’ll draw lines with core, heretical views. I’ll disagree disagreeably on other things. If it’s not heretical, they are my brothers and sisters. Unity does not mean uniformity.

  101. Andy says:

    “some CCs get pretty smug about what the main thing actually is”

    I don’t believe that it is right or fair to say that a person is smug for holding strict doctrinal lines.

    That sounds more like postmodernism than the Bible.

  102. a pastor says:

    One can hold strict doctrinal views without being smug about it. “We’re the only thing out there” is different than saying, “I believe Christ died for all humanity.” And that’s not even considering the fact that CC isn’t the only fellowship of churches that hold the general doctrinal views that we do.

  103. I hold to strict doctrinal lines. And I do it out of respect to others. I don’t want them to think that I water down what I believe to stay on their good side.

    I have said this before, when I go with my friends to a CC and it is communion night, I pass the plate, so as to not offend what they are doing as it is different than what I do.

  104. Andrew says:

    Andy, holding strict doctrinal lines is something I applaud. I actually think we should baptize babies and I adhere to that. However, it doesn’t stop me from fellowshiping with those that only baptize believing adults. I recognize we have differences but to me I consider this one inter-mural.

  105. Andy says:

    a pastor, but again there is more to it than “Jesus died for us”. Many believers care about much more than just that, when they seek a church.

    You brought up Acts 29. Isn’t Driscoll kind of an important figure in that? He was the one that said that people that believe in the end times doctrine of CC are “nutty Kaczynskis”.

    That to me sounds smug. It isn’t smug to say that I believe the church where I attend, has got it right when compared to the Bible.

  106. a pastor says:

    For that matter, Andy, saying “I believe you’re wrong about atonement” is different than saying, “You’re a horrible church, there’s no way God could work through you, and there’s no way people could grow in Jesus at your church.”

  107. Andy says:

    a pastor, Jesus and the apostles were much more rough than the average American churchgoer, when it came to doctrine.

    American churchgoers have the “nicer than Jesus” syndrome.

  108. Andrew says:

    I like to get angry at the same things Jesus got angry at. I probably go over board though. Turning over tables just doesn’t seem enough for me.

  109. a pastor says:

    Andy:

    “You brought up Acts 29. Isn’t Driscoll kind of an important figure in that? He was the one that said that people that believe in the end times doctrine of CC are “nutty Kaczynskis”.”

    That may explain the poop face. lol

    Yes. It does sound smug. Driscoll also curses from the pulpit. I won’t do that either. I don’t see in the Bible, “Two wrongs make a right.”

    “That to me sounds smug. It isn’t smug to say that I believe the church where I attend, has got it right when compared to the Bible.”

    No. It isn’t smug to say that. It is smug to say, “CC is the only thing on offer.”

    MLD:

    I hold to very strict doctrinal lines. I’m a very opinionated guy, and (as you can probably see to an extent here), I will defend my opinions. But I believe there are core and peripheral issues. I don’t want to divide on peripheral issues.

    If you guys will only fellowship with me if I have perfect theological understanding, then I’ve already lost. Because I won’t have it until I get to heaven. And even if I did have perfect theology now, you wouldn’t know it. 🙂

  110. Andrew says:

    And that’s not even considering the fact that CC isn’t the only fellowship of churches that hold the general doctrinal views that we do.
    ______________________________________________________________________

    a pastor, obviously with this in mind, I’m not sure why there needs to be a separate fellowship for CC then. I don’t understand this at all. Unless there is distinctives and not necessarily “The Distinctives” what is the point of having your own group if there is another group that have the general doctrinal views you have?

  111. a pastor says:

    Andy:

    “a pastor, Jesus and the apostles were much more rough than the average American churchgoer, when it came to doctrine.

    American churchgoers have the “nicer than Jesus” syndrome.”

    Can you give examples? They seemed to have their problem with legalistic, self-righteous religious people and people who wanted to argue for argument’s sake.

    Paul told Titus not to get caught up in foolish controversies and stupid arguments that don’t produce much. He told Timothy to warn the church against quarreling which will ruin anyone who even listens to it. He chastised the Corinthian church for division and warned against devouring one another. James said that our quarrels and arguments come from the fleshly things within us.

    Again… I’m pretty opinionated and don’t mind having the hard discussions on core issues, but I choose not to devour my brothers and sisters on peripheral issues.

  112. a pastor,
    “but I choose not to devour my brothers and sisters on peripheral issues.”

    Who chooses which are core and which are peripheral?

  113. a pastor says:

    Andrew:

    Instead of leading me along with these questions about the distinctives, could we just save some time and have you make whatever point you feel is important? Is the point that there doesn’t need to be a CC any more?

    Obviously, I won’t agree with that. I said that we are not the only group that has the same “overall” doctrinal positions. But we have a specific model of ministry and combination of distinctive ways of doing ministry within our doctrinal beliefs.

    And CC provides a wonderful fellowship. It shouldn’t be mandated that any church that believes like us be absorbed into CC. Nor should other churches within that doctrinal stance be stripped the opportunity of such fellowship.

    If a church wants to be a CC and supports what we stand for. Cool. If you support what we stand for and don’t want to associate. OK. Join. Don’t join. But that doesn’t mean CC should be disbanded. I’m not sure I follow your logic if that’s really the point you want to make.

  114. DavidM says:

    a pastor, I appreciate what you said in your #94. When I have visited churches in other countries on other continents, most of the people there wouldn’t know a CC if they fell over one. CC’s are just not on the ecclesiastical landscape in many of the areas I have visited. But I have heard some of the best preaching and teaching I have ever heard in some of these places. It causes me to recognize that CC’s really are just barely a blip globally. So, seeing the relative “smallness” of the CC group, for me there is no reason to be smug or somehow feel that we’re a cut above the rest. If CC is my sole church experience, as it once was many years ago, I can see why someone would say that “it is the only thing out there” or even the “best” thing out there. But as I have developed a broader perspective, that there is a large, global body of Christ, it is no longer an “us” and “them” mentality as it pertains to churches and church groups, but for me it is more of a “we” thinking, being grateful for my association and work with CC and at the same time, being grateful for all the people and groups honoring Christ and preaching the gospel.

  115. a pastor says:

    MLD:

    “Who chooses which are core and which are peripheral?”

    The Bible.

  116. “Baptism saves”

    “This is my Body – This is my Blood”

    Core or peripheral?

  117. Q says:

    Good job Steve!

    I wish this was the norm. Iv’e seen the opposite in large and small CC’s.

    Maybe you could also write something like 10 Keys to Solving Issues When Things Go Bad Between a Congregant and Leadership.

  118. Andrew says:

    Instead of leading me along with these questions about the distinctives, could we just save some time and have you make whatever point you feel is important? Is the point that there doesn’t need to be a CC any more?
    ______________________________________________________________________

    a pastor, Obviously I am bothering you asking questions. In the spirit of trying to be a peace maker, I will cease. Just as a side though, not really any of my questions were answered. At least none of the hard ones. I understand this entire CC movement is in a state of flux. I will pray for you guys. My questions are not to stir dissension but to get you guys to think. Too often, when ever I have asked the tough questions, I have been looked at as the trouble maker for simply asking. If that is the case, I apologize but for your good and the good of CC I would suggest that you take the time to answer and understand the deep concerns many of us have. Q, had some good points at the end of the previous thread on the New Simonists. I suggest you revisit it and think about the ramifications. Thanks for listening.

  119. Ixtlan says:

    Rev. Wright,
    This is a well thought out document that not only serves as a guide for independent churches, but gives cause to consider what areas of ministry the church is best suited for, and what areas where they may be bettered served to defer to professionals in their field.

  120. a pastor says:

    MLD:

    “Baptism saves”

    Core.

    Gal. 1:8-9
    Ephesians 2:8-9
    1 Cor. 15:1-4

    “This is my Body – This is my Blood”

    Peripheral. Nothing in scripture says that we are to separate based on our interpretation of what happens to the elements when we ingest them. I would view this as a matter of conscience, which Paul says the spiritual will honor our brethren who are weak on matters of conscience. He also says to abstain from stupid arguments. IMHO, it’s a stupid argument that profits nothing. If I feel I’m right, I’ll be spiritual and honor those I feel are weaker by not arguing about it.

  121. a pastor – do you baptize babies since baptism saves?

    “… our interpretation of what happens to the elements when we ingest them.”
    Why interpretation? – Jesus said directly what it is.

  122. a pastor says:

    Andrew:

    I’m not trying to be vague. I thought I answered many of your question, perhaps even all. May I give you a bit of humble advice? People don’t generally like feeling as though they are being fed an endless series of leading questions. If you want true dialogue, then just state the issues you have and let the person respond to them. Leading questions are generally a debating tactic that are trying to lead someone into a trap– thus the name. My dealings with you so far have felt like you won’t be satisfied and nothing is ever enough for you.

    I’m not trying to be rude. I’m trying to show respect by being frank. If you want to dialog, then I am all for it. But I will not do so to fulfill an agenda. If you have points to make, and genuine concerns– then make them, state them, and I’ll do my best to speak to them at whatever level I can. But I’m not interested in being led around with leading questions.

    You’ll also need to remember what I’ve already said so far while I’ve been here. I deal with our region, and haven’t dealt on the national/global level with CC. I know how my region works, and after news today, I may not even be up to date on that.

    I pastor my church. I deal with our regional folks when the need arises. But at the end of the day and week, I pastor my church. I tend to our flock. I love our flock. I feed our flock. I visit hospitals and counsel families and clean toilets and prepare sermons. With the responsibilities I have in my little sphere of influence, I don’t get too caught up in much else.

    I may not be the best person to ask how a pastor I’ve never met is getting affiliated with CC this week.

    Blessings…

  123. a pastor says:

    MLD:

    “a pastor – do you baptize babies since baptism saves?”

    I don’t believe that baptism saves. Just the opposite. I do not baptize babies.

    “… our interpretation of what happens to the elements when we ingest them.”
    Why interpretation? – Jesus said directly what it is.”

    Interpretation means seeking to ascertain the meaning of what is said, no? For instance, if He was being literal, He would have either said, “In just a few seconds, this *will be* my body and blood”, or He actually believed that at that very moment the bread and wine was literally His body and blood. But the author who told the story said it was bread and wine. So, it wasn’t literally body and blood.

    Again… Interpretation– trying to understand, not just what He said, but what He meant by what He said.

    And again… You’re free to believe whatever you want.

  124. Q says:

    Steve Wright,

    “Maybe you could also write something like 10 Keys to Solving Issues When Things Go Bad Between a Congregant and Leadership”

    Maybe #10 could be the Recourse Process.

    I really do hope you will consider this.

  125. Neo says:

    This is a fine article. Very thorough and well articulated.

    MLD. Have you read Roosevelt’s quote on “the arena”. If not, I’d suggest you google it. 🙂

  126. Neo says:

    Check: needs a ? .

  127. About the baptism, when I asked “Baptism saves?”, you said core – so I thought you believed baptism saves. But what you meant was baptism NOT saving is a core belief.

    “You’re free to believe whatever you want.” I don’t think you can believe what you want and be a Christian. But, then I guess that’s what I believe. 🙂

  128. a pastor says:

    MLD: I just meant that would be a core issue. Not that I agreed with that statement on the issue.

    I agree, one can not believe anything they want and still be saved– on some issues. Perhaps I should have worded more specifically. :)MLD: I just meant that would be a core issue. Not that I agreed with that statement on the issue.

    I agree, one can not believe anything they want and still be saved– on some issues. Perhaps I should have worded more specifically. 🙂

  129. So let me ask this… CCs are usually pretty conservative in their view of the Bible.

    When the Bible says “Baptism saves”, why do you interpret that to mean “Baptism does not save.”?

    When Jesus says “This is my body” why do you interpret that to mean “This is not my body.”?

  130. dusty says:

    “The pastor should not expect the church to take care of him when he no longer can work, just because he failed to prepare for the future.”

    he my not expect it too, but as a member of the church and an elderly person it IS the duty of the church to care for this person.

  131. a pastor says:

    Conservative views does not mean unrestrained literalists. Hermeneutics.

    I’ve discussed the elements. Feel free to show me the verses that say baptism saves.

  132. I am not a literalist as you use the term. I do take things literally when they are stated as such. I consider myself as a serious’ist’

  133. Andy says:

    a pastor wrote: “Can you give examples? They seemed to have their problem with legalistic, self-righteous religious people and people who wanted to argue for argument’s sake”

    This is a total mischaracterization on your part.

    Jesus did have a problem with them, but not for the reason you said. And they were religious, but again not for the reason you said.

    They were false teachers with false doctrine. That was the problem that Jesus had with them. And that is why they were religious.

    It is righteous to love true doctrine. It is not righteous to downplay doctrine.

  134. Andrew says:

    May I give you a bit of humble advice? People don’t generally like feeling as though they are being fed an endless series of leading questions. If you want true dialogue, then just state the issues you have and let the person respond to them. Leading questions are generally a debating tactic that are trying to lead someone into a trap– thus the name. My dealings with you so far have felt like you won’t be satisfied and nothing is ever enough for you.
    _______________________________________________________________________

    Ok, I’ll try to take your humble advice. If I may give you some myself. People don’t generally like playing a shell game when it comes to very serious matters. The kind of answers I have received from you are on par with the way a politician carries themselves. My dealings with you so far feel like I won’t ever get a straight answer. My concern really is with how the congregant can get a fair hearing in a CC and Q has articulated that better than I ever could.

  135. a pastor says:

    So, MLD, can I ask for some clarification? Are you asking specifically whether baptism saves or whether you have to be baptized to be save? From a certain perspective, I guess I can see that there may be a difference in the statements.

    Peter said that baptism saves you ***as an appeal to God***. Is it the baptism or the appeal to God? Is it the act that has earned you something, or the appeal of faith to receive a free gift?

    Paul said we are saved by grace (unmerited favor; receiving what you do not deserve) through faith– specifically that it is not of yourself lest anyone should boast. Galatians is a book dedicated to salvation by grace alone through faith alone, and not allowing anyone to add works to your salvation.

    So, if baptism is your appeal to God– the expression of your faith– then strictly speaking James could say that your salvation came through your baptism.

    So, there is a difference between saying “baptism saves”, and “you have to be baptized to be saved”. It’s like saying “penicillin saves” is different than saying “you have to get a shot in the butt” to be saved. Well, the first is true, but you may not get the penicillin through a shot in the butt. I either case, the penicillin was what saved you.

  136. Dusty says:

    “The pastor should not expect the church to take care of him when he no longer can work, just because he failed to prepare for the future.”

    I’m sorry but this seems like a callus/ heartless thing to say and believe. Even our non-Christian government takes care of our elderly former leaders. how much more should the children of God be doing?

  137. Very good distinction … but I said Baptism Saves.
    I believe God uses physical means as his method to save people.

    The point is, if baptism does save why would someone refuse to baptize babies?
    For clarification baptism is the water mixed with God’s word.

  138. a pastor says:

    Andrew:

    “Ok, I’ll try to take your humble advice. If I may give you some myself. People don’t generally like playing a shell game when it comes to very serious matters. The kind of answers I have received from you are on par with the way a politician carries themselves. My dealings with you so far feel like I won’t ever get a straight answer. My concern really is with how the congregant can get a fair hearing in a CC and Q has articulated that better than I ever could.”

    This is a very unfair representation of my posts here. After the “shell game” accusation was made in the other thread, I responded by re-listing, in point by point format, exactly what my answers were, and showing how they were neither vague, misleading, nor contradictory. In that post and the ones that led up to it, I described in detail exactly what recourse the congregation has. Don’t like the answers? Sorry. But that does not mean that they were vague, misleading or contradictory.

    I pray that you find healing for the wounds you’ve received. I didn’t do it. I’m not here to be the whipping boy for everyone else’s action.

    Good evening and God bless you.

  139. a pastor says:

    MLD:

    “The point is, if baptism does save why would someone refuse to baptize babies?”

    If baptism is an appeal to God, then how could a baby who can’t ask for the baptism, make an appeal to God?

    I appreciate that you accepted and recognized the distinction. I was utterly terrified of more “shell game” accusations. 🙂

  140. Michael says:

    Dusty,

    The issue there is that some in the now retiring generation opted out of Social Security for one reason or another and now expect small churches to pay two pastors and cover medical costs as well.
    That’s simply not possible for most small churches.

  141. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    I think a pastor has been very forthcoming and honest.
    He is to be commended, not slandered.

  142. “I appreciate that you accepted and recognized the distinction. I was utterly terrified of more “shell game” accusations.”

    From me? I hope not – I ask straight forward questions.

  143. Dusty says:

    Michael, I understand, but i don’t like it. 🙁

  144. Andrew says:

    a pastor,

    This isn’t a debate tactic to ask how a congregant is protected in CC. This is a simple question and I’ll ask it now that you had some time to think about this. If there is an abusive pastor, how is the congregant protected in the CC system? We know the potential to abuse is there. You said that yourself. My question is if there is anything at all in the CC system that would guard against this abuse. If there is none, than you can just state that but you have alluded to some kind of appeal process but I have no idea what you are talking about. This is a very serious question and issue.

  145. a pastor says:

    Not from you. It was an effort to add levity and cut through some of the tension elsewhere in this thread. 🙂

    I’ve actually really enjoyed our conversations and thank you for them.

  146. Dusty says:

    Andrew and A pastor, I think you both are mis-reading what the other is saying…from here I see good back and forth….until now….

  147. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    I know you hate dealing with this reality, but it’s going to depend on where you are and who is involved.
    Some regions will deal with things well…some not so well.
    There simply isn’t a monolithic CC system anymore.

  148. a pastor says:

    Andrew:

    “This isn’t a debate tactic to ask how a congregant is protected in CC.”

    Those weren’t the questions I was speaking to.

    “This is a simple question and I’ll ask it now that you had some time to think about this.”

    I didn’t need time to think about it. I answered it repeatedly in the thread last night, in real time.

    “If there is an abusive pastor, how is the congregant protected in the CC system? We know the potential to abuse is there. You said that yourself. My question is if there is anything at all in the CC system that would guard against this abuse.”

    The church board is there. The area CCs are there. The regional leadership is there. But again, it will probably depend on the setup of the individual church board, and it may depend on the regional CC leadership. Let me once again be quite clear. I am not playing a shell game. I am stating that I only have personal experience with my board, our area CCs and my region’s leadership. Period. Your mileage may vary.

    If you will tell me the region your former CC is in, I will try to track down the contact information for CC regional leadership there. That is a genuine offer with no guarantee of the mileage it will get you.

  149. Michael says:

    Dusty,

    I understand your heart …it would be good if we could help everyone in need.

  150. Dusty says:

    what is a shell game?

    Andrew, I am sorry you are in pain. I have been wounded as well at the hands of a CC pastor and his followers. Maybe A pastor can help.

  151. a pastor says:

    Andrew: I’d like to add though…

    I don’t know too many CCs or CC leadership that will step in and act if it’s something like, “I asked them to turn the music down on Sunday morning and they refused”, or “They stopped having Wed night services and went to small groups”, or “He really shouldn’t wear sandals on Sunday mornings and someone should make him wear shoes.”

    They will not step in and dictate ministry vision, style or procedural stuff. I;m not saying that was your issue.

  152. Dusty says:

    It sure would be good to help everyone in need, Michael, I wish God had given me the resources…..oh the people I would help…..sigh…..just a dream and a prayer….

  153. a pastor says:

    Dusty, a “shell game” is the street game with three shells and a ball. They move the shells around so you don’t know where the ball is. In a discussion, it is when a person is purposely vague so that they can make misleading and contradictory statements without being noticed doing it– usually in an effort to appeal to masses without having substance.

  154. Andrew says:

    Thanks a pastor for you willingness to help.

    Unless the website for CCA has outdated information, I think I can track down the leadership in any region.

    I do have one more question for you though. And I don’t mean to be a jerk in asking but I don’t know how to find out who is on the board of a particular church. You would think it would be an easy thing to ask and I have tried but literally got no answer. I assumed the board just consisted of the elders in the local church. But I found out there were other board members that I never heard of that were on the board and I don’t even know who they are. Is there anyway to find out who the board members are in a CC church? You would think this kind of information would be clearly listed on the web site or bulletin but obviously that is not the case.

  155. a pastor,
    I thought that it was faith that brought us to God and that faith came to us from hearing God’s word. Are you really sure that infants cannot communicate with God – that God’s word is ineffective on them?

    An infant fully trusts his mother, just watch as she feeds … we do not understand how that can be as from the outside it looks like the infant does not know anything. When Jesus said to bring the children to him, he used a word that includes infants. When Jesus tells us to have faith, how does he describe that faith? As a Child.

    Well why would Jesus tell us to emulate a non existent faith? Also, what do you do with the presence of the holy spirit in John the Baptist in his mothers womb?

  156. Dusty says:

    Thanks A pastor, I’ve seen plenty ‘shell games’ here on pp…..I think MLD likes them when he is in a playful mood.

  157. Steve Wright says:

    Dusty, I was limited in how much detail I could go into. All of those ideas could be greatly expanded upon, and likely clarified if there is confusion.

    My premise in much of the article is for the pastor to not expect special treatment than the rest of the Body of Christ already has. Like the Scripture says, it is not right that others are burdened so that the one can be at ease.

    Yes, the church has a duty to make sure our elderly are not starving, are not freezing due to lack of heat and so forth. To help with a life-sustaining prescription. And that duty is not determined by how well they may have handled their finances – we don’t let someone die just because they were careless. And so, by all means, the pastor is grouped and should be treated like everyone else if such a situation arose.

    No church however thinks it has a duty to provide a 5 to six figure annual income to everyone in the church who reaches retirement age – nor could any church accomplish such a goal even if they thought this was a duty.

    The pastor has tremendous influence, especially in churches like CC. The pastor and Board could establish a retirement account, but the law says all employees must participate. Likewise health benefits and so forth. But almost all pastors know the financial realities of their church as most churches are not rich. So such programs are not started. Pastors also have to pay 15% payroll taxes and so a lot of times pastors opt out of the tax-supported social safety net so they can take home more money. Yet, in such churches, if there is no money for such programs, where is the money expected to come from when the pastor steps down and someone new has to be hired? Not to mention the many assistants that might have served faithfully for 20-30 years there too. Are they not worthy just because they are not “Senior”

    I hope that clarifies what I meant in the original comment.

    Blessings.

  158. a pastor says:

    Andrew:

    As a non-profit organization, I’m almost positive the board of the church has to be registered with the state (not sure if that’s just our state, but I think it’s all states). You can check and see if that is public information with your state.

  159. a pastor says:

    MLD:

    There were a lot of “what ifs” in there. Every baptism I see in scripture is asked for. It is a conscious thing.

    But I don’t see infant baptism as core issue to separate over. It’s a matter of conscience. I still call you ‘brother’.

  160. Andrew says:

    a pastor

    I am not sure they are non-profit organization. They may be a for-profit organization. Have you heard of any CCs that are set up that way cause this one seemed different to me from others I have been to?

  161. a pastor says:

    Andrew, if they sent you donation reports for tax deductions, they are not-profit.

  162. Andrew says:

    Well I did get that but that was before they had their own building and when they moved into a corporate business complex. I stopped giving at that point but did hear that they had a performance meeting at the end of year so now I am not sure. Could they be both?

  163. Hey, today was fun.
    Steve good article
    a pastor, thanks for letting me get into your head a bit
    Andy / Andrew = are you sure your not the same guy 🙂
    Michael – even though we spar, thanks for the blog and your work.

  164. Dusty says:

    Steve, thanks for your clarification. I do hope you know I was not suggesting 6 figure incomes for the elderly.

    are the 20-30 assistants collecting a wage? That does not seem like such a small church to me.

  165. Steve Wright says:

    Not 20-30 assistants. A couple of assistants who may have served there (on staff) for 20-30 years.

    Same sacrifice, same commitment, far less glory and fellowship

    Seems to me anything the ‘Senior’ is worthy of, they would be too….I’m guessing you agree 🙂

  166. Dusty says:

    I served in many churches for many hours adn many years-from asst to pastor, to asst to pastor wife, to AWANA leader, to homeschool director, to sunday school curriculum leader…. with no compensation….did not want one nor expect one….I worked outside the church as well as putting in over 40hours weeks in church….

  167. Dusty says:

    as well as volunteering in Detroit on Saturdays to feed and cloth the poor….

  168. Dusty says:

    lol misread that one (20-30 assistants) lol sorry about that 😳

  169. a pastor says:

    MLD — Always a peasure.

    Andrew — Not sure you can be both. From a corporation perspective, you’re either for-profit or non-profit (I think there may be a not-for-profit that isn’t quite non-profit). I would say they are non-profit. Check to see if they are registered as a corp with your state. The board will be listed if it’s public information.

  170. a pastor says:

    Andrew:

    “…cause this one seemed different to me from others I have been to?”

    From what you seem to have experienced, I sure hope so.:)

  171. a pastor says:

    Dusty:

    “I served in many churches for many hours adn many years-from asst to pastor, to asst to pastor wife, to AWANA leader, to homeschool director, to sunday school curriculum leader…. with no compensation….did not want one nor expect one….I worked outside the church as well as putting in over 40hours weeks in church….”

    ________________________

    Wanna join our church?

    Just kidding.

    Kudos and God bless you. You’ll never know what a blessing you were to your pastor and your church. You may think you know. But you don’t. 🙂

  172. covered says:

    a pastor, I think I know you. How far are you from the Gulf Coast?

  173. a pastor says:

    covered, if you’re asking that question, you don’t know me. 🙂

    You in LA Gulf Coast? I know some of those guys in passing. I seem to remember you’ve been hurt by CC? Hope it wasn’t one of them.

  174. Andrew says:

    Andrew — Not sure you can be both. From a corporation perspective, you’re either for-profit or non-profit (I think there may be a not-for-profit that isn’t quite non-profit). I would say they are non-profit. Check to see if they are registered as a corp with your state. The board will be listed if it’s public information.
    _______________________________________________________________________
    I did try. I even spent $100 to access a database. I couldn’t find it. Oh well. To be honest, I really shouldn’t have to do this kind of investigation. The board members should be clearly listed on their website as well as how they are registered and set up. This should not be hidden or hard to find. That is more my point. I apologize if I a bit harsh on here. I don’t want to accuse you personally. My issue is with the CC system. You have defended it here and this is why I asked about how a congregant is protected against abusive pastor in the system. In your response the first thing you mention is the board. This is a bit circular though. In the CC system historically the pastor had the right to fire the board. I find it odd that somehow the board can protect the congregant. Apparently the board fired the pastor in CCFL which is quite strange to me but not really sure how that went down. Hopefully that info will come out. Anyhow, these are my concerns.

  175. a pastor says:

    Andrew, I understand your frustrations and can understand why you would interpret my responses that way considering your situation. I have defended pastor-led churches because I believe they are Biblical and because of my personal experience. Please also consider that I said that they will only work as well as the leaders are Godly. At the end of the day, it will be that way in any structure. That’s why there are repeated listings of qualifications, the command that a church be purposeful and careful about who it ordains, and heavy inference through its personal commands to congregants that they be discerning when it comes to who they sit under.

    Grace and peace to you brother.

  176. Andrew,
    “The board members should be clearly listed on their website as well as how they are registered and set up.”

    I think you have gone nuts. I just checked my church web page – we don’t list our board member (of which I am one) and we don’t list our registered status with the IRS.

    First, there is no requirement that a church have a web page and 2nd there is nothing that requires a certain amount of information.

    Does your church list all that info on their web page? Shouldn’t they? What are they hiding?

  177. Andrew says:

    I think you have gone nuts. I just checked my church web page – we don’t list our board member (of which I am one) and we don’t list our registered status with the IRS.
    ______________________________________________________________________
    MLD, you are in a mainline denomination with membership and aren’t considered independent. Big difference! But would you refuse to answer a brother who asked who was on the board?

  178. a pastor says:

    Andrew:

    ” In your response the first thing you mention is the board. This is a bit circular though. In the CC system historically the pastor had the right to fire the board. I find it odd that somehow the board can protect the congregant. Apparently the board fired the pastor in CCFL which is quite strange to me but not really sure how that went down. Hopefully that info will come out. Anyhow, these are my concerns.”

    I’m not sure how boards and bylaws are set up in every other CC. I only know the ones I have insight into– most especially our own. It takes a board vote to remove even a single board member. It takes a Biblical disqualification to fire the pastor, but the power is there. It sounds as though CCFL has the same or similar structure in place, which is good.

  179. Andrew,
    Most people don’t know how the LCMS is structured. We are an independent church, we own our own property and we hire our own pastors.

    We have chosen to affiliate with the LCMS and in doing so, we both place ourselves under obligation to each other. To be LCMS, we agree to hire pastors who have come through the denominational seminaries and we join together for mission and publishing ventures.

    But if we decided tomorrow to leave the LCMS we could.

    Not much different than CCs 😉

    ** no I would not hesitate to name our board members – but they should be know since the church populace voted us in.*** 🙂

  180. Andrew says:

    Not much different than CCs 😉
    __________________________________________________________________

    Your funny! You rant and rave yesterday about independents now you calling yourself one. You know as well and I do that the individual congregant is also affiliated with LCMS and not just the senior pastor. So even if your local board decides to leave LCMS, the individuals are still part of LCMS. Is this correct?

  181. Andrew says:

    MLD, the other big difference is you use the pronoun “We”. In CC it is “I”. The senior pastor is the only one affiliated. Which brings up interesting question with CCFL. How is that church affiliated with the organization now Bob is gone?

  182. “You know as well and I do that the individual congregant is also affiliated with LCMS and not just the senior pastor. ”

    Not quite. I am Lutheran by theology and I am a member of my local church. I actually have no direct tie or membership in the synod LCMS. If i did anything, I would be sent by my local church as it’s representative to the, let’s say the LCMS convention.

    The pastors and the school teachers are actual rostered members of the LCMS.

    How is that for a surprise.

    But we do lose some of independence on a voluntary basis due to our affiliation – we do voluntarily put ourselves under authority of the district and the synod – and the district President is the spiritual head of our pastor.

  183. Andrew says:

    Well, I would hope the LCMS would be gracious enough to absorb an individual back into some congregation if his existing one defected. Do you know of any case where that would not be honored?

  184. Andrew, people transfer their memberships all the time … if they move, don’t like the church etc.

    When people move into our area and want to transfer membership, we run them through a 3 week class so they get to know us, who we are and how we do things – and we get to know them. We then bring them in as members.

    Part of transfering membership is speaking with the departing church.

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