Announcement

Collapse

Ecclesiology 201 Guidelines

Discussion on matters of general mainstream Christian churches. What are the differences between Catholics and protestants? How has the charismatic movement affected the church? Are Southern baptists different from fundamentalist baptists? It is also for discussions about the nature of the church.

This forum is primarily for Christians to discuss matters of Christian doctrine, and is not the area for debate between atheists (or those opposing orthodox Christianity) and theists. Inquiring atheists (or sincere seekers/doubters/unorthodox) seeking only Christian participation and having demonstrated a manner that does not seek to undermine the orthodox Christian faith of others are also welcome, but must seek Moderator permission first. When defining “Christian” for purposes of this section, we mean persons holding to the core essentials of the historic Christian faith such as the Trinity, the Creatorship of God, the virgin birth, the bodily resurrection of Christ, the atonement, the future bodily return of Christ, the future bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust, and the final judgment. Persons not holding to these core doctrines are welcome to participate in the Comparative Religions section without restriction, in Theology 201 as regards to the nature of God and salvation with limited restrictions, and in Christology for issues surrounding the person of Christ and the Trinity. Atheists are welcome to discuss and debate these issues in the Apologetics 301 forum without such restrictions. Additionally, there may be some topics that within the Moderator's discretion fall so outside the bounds of mainstream orthodox doctrine that may be more appropriately placed within Comparative Religions 101.

Forum Rules: Here
See more
See less

Those DARN Lutherans!

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Those DARN Lutherans!

    KG's thread in this forum made me think, and it's 4 AM and I'm wide awake, so I thought I'd share this for what it's worth....

    As many of you know, I'm currently Pastoring a Church that was on the brim of collapse. A previous Pastor had managed to grow the Church from a membership of about 250 to about 17 individuals. Long story short, the Pastor had taken over from a Pastor who had retired after 34 years at that Church. The membership was mostly senior adult, and the "new guy" came in and drastically changed EVERYTHING, trying to make the Church into the "Praise and Worship" format - no hymns, no pulpit, no jacket and tie --- all the stuff that "Traditional" Churches expect.

    ANYWAY, the Church is rebounding, and we're already back up to 80 or so in worship, but that's not the point.

    MEANWHILE, across town, a group of Lutherans had formed a new Lutheran Church out of their disgust for their current Church's march toward liberalism. I don't know a whole lot about the various Lutheran Synods, but suffice it to say that THIS group believed the Bible was the Word of God, and it was time to "get back to basics".

    They began meeting in a building at the County Fairgrounds, and were about 200 or so individuals, seeking God's leadership.

    Maybe you see where this is going.... MY Church (just before I got there) had a very nice Church plant (building and grounds) with an auditorium that seats nearly 300 people, but was pretty much EMPTY on Sunday Mornings. THEIR group was crowded into a "just big enough" room at the Fairgrounds, and they were wanting to grow.

    One of our members was friends with one of their members through a common workplace, and they got to talking. Next thing you know, the two Churches are in discussions about how to share our facility, keeping our own identities, and the Lutherans basically "paying rent". They would "have Church" from 9 AM to 10:xx, and we would "have Church" from 10:45 to whenever.

    Amazingly enough, it's WORKING!!!! The Lutheran Pastor and I have become good friends, and I'm learning a lot more about Luther than I ever imagined. I'm also learning about cooperation. The Lutherans are VERY appreciative of our willingness to share our building, and have been VERY helpful, for example, on Church Work Days, turning out in force to help replace light bulbs, fix plumbing problems, repair broken windows or door knobs, and general "fixup" things.

    This has been going on for nearly two years now, and continues to work well. They don't pretend to be Baptist, and we don't pretend to be Lutheran, and we work together on projects where we can. We had a joint Christmas Eve Service, with the Lutheran Pastor and myself presiding.

    One of the benefits, of course, was that our Church, which was spending MORE than it was taking in each month, got some "breathing room" with the Lutherans helping pay expenses. Since October of last year, our Church has finally begun spending LESS than we take in each month, even WITHOUT the Lutheran's "rent" money. They have purchased some land, and will be building a building over the next few years, but they don't have to be in any hurry, because they have a nice temporary home with us.

    Our folks are getting to know them, and they're getting to know us, and we often do fellowship meals together.

    The Lutheran Pastor and I meet on a regular basis to discuss any potential problems so we can "nip them in the bud", and everything continues to go well. For example, as our Baptist congregation continues to grow, PARKING has become somewhat of a problem. They get there first, and take up most of the parking closest to the building, so our senior adults and "less able bodied folks" have to park pretty far from the entrances. When I brought this up as a concern, the Lutherans began an "education campaign" in their congregation asking their younger and more able bodied congregants to consider parking farther from the building, making those "closer" spots available to our older folks.

    One of the things the Lutherans have compromised (quite willingly) on was Communion wine. Our deacons were adamant that no alcohol be on the property at any time, and the Lutherans found some non-alcoholic wine to use in Communion.

    Some folks ask, from time to time, why we don't just "merge", and the Lutheran Pastor and I both answer, "because there are some folks WE can minister to that THEY can't, etc....." Meanwhile, we're both preaching Christ crucified, buried and risen again.
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

  • #2
    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
    Some folks ask, from time to time, why we don't just "merge", and the Lutheran Pastor and I both answer, "because there are some folks WE can minister to that THEY can't, etc....." Meanwhile, we're both preaching Christ crucified, buried and risen again.
    you know this part REALLY grabbed my attention and made me think about what's important, and how people are able to hear the message of Christ.
    A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
    George Bernard Shaw

    Comment


    • #3
      cool.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yeah!


        Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

        Comment


        • #5
          That's a good point. Some things are serious stumbling blocks for some things that we might not even think of. Issues like wine in communion, stuff I might not think twice about... could be a very big deal to some people, and we do need to be sensitive to that.
          "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
            That's a good point. Some things are serious stumbling blocks for some things that we might not even think of. Issues like wine in communion, stuff I might not think twice about... could be a very big deal to some people, and we do need to be sensitive to that.
            Even things like the table coverings and a big wooden cross, and candles that they use in their service... I noticed they put these things away EVERY SUNDAY after their Church, so I told them, "hey, we certainly don't object to the cross, and candles are simply a representation of "the light of the world", so...."

            They were VERY appreciative that they don't have to move those things after every Service, and put them back early every Sunday Morning.
            "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

            Comment


            • #7
              The Southern Baptist church I attended for years used to be part of a big "Tent Meeting" very year along with most of the area churches of various traditions. It was a good thing and went on for years. The site we used to set up our tent was lost and the whole thing quit. But believers do seem, strangely, to be able to get along just fine. Almost like we were "brethren."
              Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Jedidiah View Post
                The Southern Baptist church I attended for years used to be part of a big "Tent Meeting" very year along with most of the area churches of various traditions. It was a good thing and went on for years. The site we used to set up our tent was lost and the whole thing quit. But believers do seem, strangely, to be able to get along just fine. Almost like we were "brethren."
                My wife's grandma lived in Runa W Va. They had ONE CHURCH on the side of the mountain, and on the First Sunday of the month, it was Methodist, Second, it was Baptist, Third, whatever... and the FIFTH Sunday of the Month was a hymn singing. Funny thing was, most of the locals went to Church no matter WHICH week it was. (yeah, they used "circuit riding preachers" )
                "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                  ... They have purchased some land, and will be building a building over the next few years, but they don't have to be in any hurry, because they have a nice temporary home with us. ...
                  Glad to hear your congregation is coming back to your services and that the cohabitation with those darn Lutherans has been going so well. Has anyone considered continuing the current situation indefinitely, perhaps with a modest change of name to your church that would identify it appropriately? Would send a good message to other Christians and skeptics. Would save the Lutherans a lot of money and still benefit your group financially. Any surplus money could be used for additional outreach to the poor.
                  βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
                  ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

                  אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by robrecht View Post
                    Glad to hear your congregation is coming back to your services and that the cohabitation with those darn Lutherans has been going so well. Has anyone considered continuing the current situation indefinitely, perhaps with a modest change of name to your church that would identify it appropriately? Would send a good message to other Christians and skeptics. Would save the Lutherans a lot of money and still benefit your group financially. Any surplus money could be used for additional outreach to the poor.
                    Thanks, Rob.... Parking is a problem (albeit a minor one, and manageable) having two congregations being here at the same time. We'd have to work on that, but I think we could.

                    The bigger issue, I think, is that this particular congregation is run more by "committees" (from what I can see) than Pastoral leadership, and they (committees) seem determined to have a new building. I think they are VERY grateful AND GRACIOUS as we share facilities, but they have already purchased the land and engaged civil engineers, planners, etc.
                    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Your church isn't the only one in that situation. Recently, a conservative faction of an Anglican church split from its main church body over doctrinal issues, and they were the ones forced out of the church. A nearby PCA church took them in and they've been sharing the same facility ever since.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                        Next thing you know, the two Churches are in discussions about how to share our facility, keeping our own identities, and the Lutherans basically "paying rent". They would "have Church" from 9 AM to 10:xx, and we would "have Church" from 10:45 to whenever.
                        I was in a PCA church plant that initially rented space from the 7th day Adventists, since they didn't use their building on Sundays. Then we moved in with a Baptist church which had shrunk when their pastor became Reformed. Not only did we participate in maintenance days, but we had a shared Sunday School with them. They had worship, then both churches had Sunday School together, and then we had worship. I team taught the high school class with one of their elders. It worked well for a couple of years, but then our church felt a calling to partner with a mission downtown, so we moved there and provided their worship service on Sunday mornings, so we moved on, on good terms with the Baptists.

                        Robert

                        Comment

                        widgetinstance 221 (Related Threads) skipped due to lack of content & hide_module_if_empty option.
                        Working...
                        X