The Believer's Magazine
by Craig Cottongim - Our heritage proudly claims to be people of the Book and we always turn to the Bible for guidance in every practice. Having served in a few congregations on both sides of the Mississippi, I’ve noticed oftentimes we share a common practice in our churches -- an American/Democratic process for selecting Elders; not a process we found in the pages of the Sacred Script. ... Continue Reading »
by Craig S. Lair - Recently, a national Pew Research Center study highlighted alarming data as it relates to the transfer of faith among generations. Specifically, across many American churches, our younger generations are rejecting their parent’s version of church at a rate in excess of 40% per generation. This rejection ranges from simple choosing another version of church to a growing segment that rejects faith and religious affiliation entirely. ... Continue Reading »
by Wes Woodell - ... Unlike gift lists found in other places (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Romans 12:6-8), in Ephesians 4:11 Paul specifically calls different types of leaders the "gifts" Christ gave to serve the church. Each role was ordained by Jesus, and specific individuals were created, uniquely gifted, and "given" to fill them. The goal driving this organizational scheme was exceedingly lofty - "so that the body of Christ may be built up" - so here's my question: why does the traditional Church of Christ interpretation of Ephesians 4:11 eliminate one of these roles from the contemporary church equation? ... Continue Reading »
by Kinney Mabry - When it comes to leadership in the Church, it is easy to have certain expectations. We have views of what we think leaders should be. We have people in mind who have affected our lives and then hold others to those same expectations. I have worked and worshiped in churches where standards were so high that burnout, and then turnover, resulted. The individual teachers and leaders who leave are most often those who could have made a great difference in the community because they are the energetic change makers. They don’t fit the mold of previous expectations. The expectations we place on leaders are important, but we need to make sure they are realistic and helpful and relevant. Ask if you would place the same expectations on yourself before you place those standards on others. .... Continue Reading »
Al Maxey - Reflections
Is it a Sin to use Extra-Biblical Texts in our Preaching & Teaching? - Over the years I have had a few people criticize my use of quotes from "secular sources" at the beginning of each issue of Reflections, and also my extensive use of such quotes in many of the articles themselves. As many of you know, I have for years made use of insights from great literary and historical figures, as well as biblical scholars, to help illustrate points I seek to make in my writings (as well as in my preaching and teaching)....
Edward Fudge - GracEmail
(A classic GracEmail) ... A gracEmail subscriber who serves as a spiritual shepherd in his church asks whether the passage 1Timothy 3:4-5 means that he should step down from that role because his teen-age child has, for three years, had a bad attitude and has acted out in disruptive and inappropriate ways. The child's parents have lovingly dealt with the situation as best they knew, and are now about to administer tough love in the form of treatment at a faith-based residential facility. ...
Rubel Shelly - Fax of Life
Centuries ago now, somebody began spreading the false notion that the Christian life is to be understood in terms of two spheres – sacred and secular. Sacred places are church buildings. Sacred events are those such as worship or baptism or weddings. Sacred people are preachers or church officers. The remainder of life was declared secular. So farms, stores, and schools were secular places. Surgery and manufacturing, accounting and teaching, driving and watching TV – all were labeled secular....