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Church Planting

When we were riding in the car this morning to church we were discussing an upcoming church plant.  There seems to be some bitterness and rumors that have started as a result of the church plant, even though very little has been said about it and absolutely no encouraging others who are members of other churches to join with us.  This is the thought that hit me while we were talking about it:

We could go to any country in the world or even any state in the US to plant a church.  Then we would be supported by the church we are leaving and maybe even supported financially in the process.  However, the moment we plant a church across town or even in an adjacent town we are subject to ridicule and derision, even if the churches are not exact duplicates of each other. 

Why is that?

Is this just an idiosyncrasy of SBC churches or does this happen in other denominations?

If the church is the full body of believers what difference does it make which building and congregation an individual worships and fellowships with? (Assuming that they are valid Bible believing churches.)

Believers do don’t belong to a specific “church” in a spiritual sense, the individual church is just to allow a group of local believers to grow, learn, worship and be guided by others together.



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True Church Conference 2009 – Baptism

An interesting part of the True Church Conference is the fact that each evening there has been a time of testimony and baptism.

Grace Life Church, Jeff Noblit’s church, has their baptismal candidates attend a few classes and review study materials about baptism. Afterwards they are to prepare a testimony to give to the church. Prior to their baptism they then tell their testimony to the church. In the typical church today many people are baptized but the members may never know anything much about them.

Very few church conferences include baptism as a central part of the meeting. But is not it very appropriate to have a conference on repentance focus also on personal testimony and baptism?


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How Does Your Church Treat the Elderly?

Our family has spent a very busy, weekend visiting nursing homes with violin Christmas music and handing out Candy Canes. But it makes you think, what are the churches really doing for the elderly?

Many of those who are still in the churches feel their church has been stolen from them. It isn’t anything like it used to be. The music is too loud. They don’t know the songs anymore. What happened to dressing in your “Sunday Best”? When did play clothes and beach attire become acceptable for church?

What about those who are in the nursing homes and assisted living? What is the church doing for them? They don’t get the same attention as other groups who aren’t in church? Many churches will have bus ministries to pick up children but fewer have bus ministries for the elderly who are unable to drive.

My family gets alot of attention when we visit churches. We have a child in every age group from teen/college to preschoolers. We just lack a baby. So many of the churches are eager to share their ministries with us.

“We have great nurseries.”
“Fabulous children’s programs.”
“Children’s church until grade 5.”
“Rockin’ youth groups.”
“Youth camps.”
“Youth Church.”

Everyone is so eager to “sell” us their ways to be relevant to our family. The only thing is that if they really looked at us they would see that we don’t look like their typical family. The girls are modestly dressed and the boys aren’t in jeans and T-shirts. We also have more than the typical two children. A good “selling” point would be:

“We have family integrated Sunday Schools.”
“Our youth leader is the parents.”
“We aren’t offended by children in the worship service.”
“If you need to step out we have a Cry Room in back so you won’t miss the service.”

Who’s Emerging for the Widows? Thoughts on Missional Partiality

…who’s emerging for the elderly? What about emerging toward the culture of the convalescent home? What about analyzing the windowless worldview of the shut-in? What about making your life and the life of your church relevant to the local widows? What about becoming all things to those with Parkinson’s, artificial hips, cataracts, failed retirement plans, and no family?

Many today are eager to get tattoos and dress hip and overemphasize technology to “relate” to the surrounding culture, to “connect,” and to “open doors.” But if the majority of these people are truly motivated by a compassionate heart, why aren’t any of our youth dressing like the precious elderly folks in the nursing home? Who’s learning to play bridge and chess? Who’s playing vinyl records and eating at the HomeTown Buffet for no other reason than to open doors?

Shame

Shame on you
for proclaiming to the woman
seasoned with white silver hair
“we’re all about young families now”
and letting her miss church
the place where
she first believed
where she prayed at the altar
and repented once for all …

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Does Your Church Perform Infant Baptisms?

Does your church practice paedo-baptism (infant baptisms)? Most Baptist churches insist they don’t, or do they? Did they just change the age from infant to 6-8 years?

Paige Patterson – President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary:

“I do not view [positively] the huge number of child baptisms that Baptists are now guilty of–Baptists are some of the worst paedo-baptizers there are.”

Here is the context of that quote from an interview between Mark Dever and Paige Patterson found in Interview with Paige Patterson from Founder’s Ministries.

Dever: I heard about one church recently, and I don’t know if you know about churches like this or not, in order to encourage baptisms among children the baptistry is shaped like a fire truck and they’ve got confetti cannons that go off whenever a kid is baptized. Do you know about any of this?

Patterson: This is my first time to hear this. This is blasphemous!

Dever: Anyway, it’s a church in America. It’s an evangelical church and they mean to preach the gospel so I want to be real quick to say their intentions are good. That’s going to get kids of course, because they want to come forward, get in the fire truck and make the confetti cannons go off. {If you have not heard of this see Children’s Ministry: Toon Time.}

Patterson: I do not view [positively] the huge number of child baptisms that Baptists are now guilty of–Baptists are some of the worst paedo-baptizers there are.

Dever: I know the average age of baptism has dropped, I think, about 10 years in the last 100 years. When you read biographies from the 19th century, they’re always getting baptized at 17, 18, 19, 20. J. R. Graves was baptized when he was 19. John Gill was that way. John A. Broadus was that way.

Patterson: It’s out of hand in our churches.

Dever: I don’t think we have to say that children can’t be saved, we’re not saying that at all. But the difficulties to us are knowing that they’re saved

Patterson: Because of the difficulties of communication.

See also Childhood Conversion.

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Southern Baptists are Losing 88% of the Next Generation

According to Voddie Baucham, Southern Baptists are losing 88% of the next generation. I’ve watched for years that once a teen graduates or is on their own, they leave the church. Even in our church, we have very few young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 years of age. Research has shown that ex-Baptist are very easily convinced to join cults. Even at the small Reformed Baptist Church we visited last week most of them were from a Southern Baptist background.

This is an interview with Voddie Baucham.




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You might be Southern Baptist if …

You understand that ‘dinner on the grounds’ doesn’t mean actually eating off the ground.

You know to bring food for every occasion.

Birth of a baby is worth a couple of casseroles.

A death in the family is worth a complete meal.

Revival offerings are taken up in Kentucky Fried Chicken buckets.

No one knows the words to the third verse in the hymnal.

Your church has a “committee on committees”.

VBS has a larger budget than the pastor.

Fellowship means to eat together.

You know what ‘sword drills’ means.

You use ‘Roberts Rules of Order’ for business meetings.

You know the pledge to the Christian Flag.

You understand the term ‘right hand of Christian fellowship’.

The most important part of teaching Sunday School is planning the snacks.

No one can agree about when to make announcements.

No one likes it when you don’t have an order of worship.

Your church keeps Krispy Kreme in business.

There are more church members in the Mexican restaurant after church than were in the service.

Everyone vies for the position “Minister of the Thermostat”.

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