by the Contributing Editors of SBC Today
This is a list of recent blog posts which we found interesting. That we found them interesting doesn’t mean we necessarily agree with or endorse the ideas presented in the posts, but that we found them to be intriguing and thought-provoking. (They are listed in no particular order of interest). Please post your comments to discuss any article that strikes your interest. If you have recent blog posts to nominate, please send the link to email@example.com.
I am not a professional counselor, not an adviser of churches or denominations or pastors as such, and not an expert on problem-solving or conflict management. What I am is a retired preacher and a blogger who sometimes gets asked, “What is your take on this? What do you recommend we do about that?”
Out of that experience, and spurred on by the two most recent situations–one by phone last night and the other from an email this morning–here are three “case studies” or problem scenarios that occur with alarming frequency in our churches. And my suggestions on what the leadership should do in handling them.
As always, I do not claim to have the last word on any of this. But if it turns out this is the first word, something that gets readers to thinking deeply and acting courageously, it will have been worth the effort.
A little group of unelected lay leaders is running the church behind the scenes.
In most cases, the new pastor learned of the existence of this cabal only after he had arrived, set up his office, began his ministry, and then decided to try something. He was told there was a small group of people–almost always it’s a group of men–who would have to clear this before he could proceed.
How those few men came to occupy this lofty perch of “The Church’s Board of Directors” is irrelevant. The issue before us is what to do now.
Dr. Thomas Douglas
Parkway Baptist Church
Kansas City, KS
This is the fifth article in the series on the importance of small churches. The previous articles are:
The Introduction (an overview and rationale for the series)
Part 1: Truth (an overview and rationale for the series)
Part 2: Mature Love (the imperative of having a loving fellowship)
Part 3: Unity (the importance of unity)
Part 4: Joy (the importance of joy)
One of the greatest challenges small churches face is fulfilling the Great Commission. Many members struggle from time to time wondering, “How can so few of us make the huge impact on the world that the Great Commission implies?” Can a church with more members make a larger impact on the world than a smaller church? Yes, but when we look at church size as the definitive measure for eternal impact, we fail to qualify our statements. First, a larger church can potentially have a greater impact if they faithfully share the gospel where they live and send missionaries into the world. Being part of a large church does not guarantee the advancement of the gospel into the lost world, nor does it mean more of their members share with people the good news of Christ. Large churches fill too many American cities with huge church complexes where crowds come to hear and trust others to do the work. When James tells us to consider the high position the brother in humble circumstances possesses (1:9), we can apply that to churches that lack the resources and the manpower. Instead of being envious of what large churches can accomplish with greater resources, small churches should praise God because what they cannot match dollar for dollar or even person for person, they can match in faith.
Second, God calls specific churches to reach specific people. Now, I believe God gives more opportunities to churches that are found faithful in sharing the gospel, but the truth remains that Paul believed the churches he planted had an obligation to reach their communities for Christ. He repeatedly calls them to witness (Phil.1:18) and celebrates their evangelistic footprint (Phil.1:5; 1 Thess.6-8). Small churches do not need the size of other churches to make an eternal impact. Instead, they need faith in God to work through them to reach first the community they are in and then the world.