March 2018 Issue of Christian Worker (The New Testament Church)

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics you will find:

  • The Church: Planned, Purchased, and Perfected (Tom Wacaster)
  • Identifying the Church (Cody Westbrook)
  • The Nature of the Church (Trent Kennedy)
  • The Organization of the Church (Johnie Scaggs)
  • Images of the Church (Kevin W. Rhodes)
  • Membership (Joseph T. McWhorter)

Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions.

Copyright © 2018 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#christian-worker, #church-leadership, #church-membership, #church-organization, #gods-eternal-purpose, #spiritual-analogies, #the-church-in-the-old-testament

Every living part of the body is important

Every living part of the body is important right down to the big-toe. Don’t think so? Just ask this woman!

Some in the church may feel like they’re not important to the church because they’re not the preacher, or one of the elders or deacons, or the song-leader, or one of the many Bible-class teachers that have touched so many lives – but every member of the church (which is the body of Christ) is important because you never know what kind of an effect you may have on the life of the body.

If you’re a living member of the body of Christ you are important!

When it comes to the life you bring to the body: your attendance at the services matter, your visits matter, your cards of encouragement matter, your financial contributions matter, your Bible-class input matters, your personal example at work and with your own family members matter, your prayers matter, and your evangelistic efforts with family, friends and strangers matter.

No matter how you may feel about your role in the church, if you’re a living member of the body – you matter to God.

If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be?” (1 Corinthians 12:15-19 – NKJV)

#body-of-christ, #church-membership, #membership

Numbers don’t mean a thing

Some people in the religious world find great comfort in being a member of a church that consists of a membership with large numbers either locally or universally.

The thing about such a hope is that it misses the point that can be found in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, the point being: numbers don’t mean a thing.

For example, in 2 Chronicles 18:3-7 you will find that, “…Ahab king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat king of Judah, “Will you go with me against Ramoth Gilead?” And he answered him, “I am as you are, and my people as your people; we will be with you in the war.” Also Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Please inquire for the word of the Lord today.” Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?” So they said, “Go up, for God will deliver it into the king’s hand.” But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not still a prophet of the Lord here, that we may inquire of Him?” So the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is still one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord; but I hate him, because he never prophesies good concerning me, but always evil. He is Micaiah the son of Imla.” And Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say such things!”

Ahab was a man who looked to impress others with the numbers. Four hundred prophets all prophesying the same thing! Large numbers and a seemingly seamless unity across the board! Who wouldn’t be impressed with that? But Jehoshaphat wasn’t satisfied; he wanted more than four hundred voices speaking the same thing – he wanted the truth. And the source? In the shadow of Ahab’s great prophetical mountain there was one man who spoke according to the word of God, and this man’s name was Micaiah. Micaiah, as far as can be told, had no large following, he didn’t preach for a large synagogue, and he didn’t measure his success according to the numbers. Micaiah was a man who looked to impress others with the truth.

Four hundred to one doesn’t sound like very good numbers, but if you go back and look at God’s word you’ll find that God’s people were accustomed to representing the truth against those kind of odds. And this is a truth that remains consistent to this day. That’s why in the grand scheme of things, being a member of God’s 144,000 in Heaven means much more than being a member of a church made up of 144,000,000+ people here upon the Earth because numbers don’t mean a thing when it comes to finding and following the truth that can only be found by seeking the will of God through the word of God (2 Timothy 2:15).

Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

#ahab, #big-numbers, #church-membership, #jehoshaphat, #micaiah, #truth

April 2014 Issue of Christian Worker

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics that you will find:

  • What Church Membership Means (Don Prather)
  • Why I’m Rearing My children WITH Religion (Sam Willcut)
  • Some Do’s and Don’ts for Preachers (Carl B. Garner)
  • Young People and the Guarding of Their Influence (Roger Jackson)
  • Raising the Banner of Error (Kevin Cauley)
  • “What is RIGHT with It?” (Pat McIntosh)
  • “I Do Not Preach on That” (Rob L. Whitacre)
  • An Unnecessary Exercise (Dan Winkler)
  • All of Our Divisions (Don Prather)
  • The Parable of the Hammer

Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.

Copyright © 2014 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#children, #christian-worker, #church-membership, #division-within-the-body-of-christ, #doctrine, #error, #good-influence, #judging-others, #parenting, #pdf, #preaching

Church Membership an Option?

There are a lot of religious people in the world who consider themselves to be something akin to Lone Ranger Christians. By that I mean they believe they can avoid the church all together and still be pleasing to God. To those with that mentality I would ask if they could provide one single example of a person in the Bible (who was a Christian living under the days of the New Covenant) that intentionally avoided gathering with, participating with and identifying with the church who was still pleasing to God in his or her actions.

I completely understand that various personalities and opinions create conflict within the church (think Paul and Barnabas and Mark), but when such happens the church herself is not meant to be the one who bears the brunt of the faults of others. In other words, when two (or more) brothers and sisters in Christ get into a personal spat they should not take it out on the church by withdrawing his or her support on multiple levels. Humility, support, seeking the interest of others and the squashing of one’s ego go a long way in these situations (Philippians 2:1-4; Romans 12:15-18). I also know that more often than not it’s the other person’s fault, but regardless of that matter if one withdraws their own fellowship from the church it’s now their own fault. Even when this is the case the church is encouraged to remember this one who has been overtaken in a fault lest the mentality spreads (Galatians 6:1-4).

The simple fact of the matter is that church membership is not an option to the one who seeks to please God. The blood of Jesus was spilt to purchase the church (Acts 20:28), and Jesus is the Savior of His body which is His church (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:23), and when one reads the scriptures they will see people who sought to be (or who were at least encouraged to be) active members of God’s church by being an active member of the collective body and her activities (1 Corinthians 12:18-20; Hebrews 10:24-25).

One can find many options in life, but church membership is not one of them if one considers his or her salvation to be important.

“…And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:47)

#body-of-christ, #christianity, #church, #church-membership, #solo-christianity

Every Member of the Body Matters

It’s hard to get some people to realize this fact. Some people look down on others, and others have a hard time looking up.

Truth be told it’s easy to show how every member matters – just try stubbing your little and insignificant pinky toe and see what the rest of your body thinks about it!

Believe it or not, the body is affected by every member and every member has an effect on the body. Your influence matters! Our potential is powerful! To be a body we must think of others, and we must not think too highly of ourselves.

Bible class teachers, greeters at the services, card-senders, evangelists, deacons, elders, the one who cleans up after a meal, the one who invites friends and family to worship, the one who smiles on his or her way into the building, those who support widows and orphans, those who listen for an opportunity to serve, those who give others an opportunity to serve, those who do the things that glorify God and no one finds out about it, those whose public works bring glory to God, those who write, those who read and pass it along, those who serve as missionaries, those who support the missionaries and much more – we all matter!

But where the rubber meets the road isn’t whether or not every member matters to God, it’s whether or not this matters to us.

If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be?…Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.” (1 Corinthians 12:15-19, 27)

#church-membership, #importance, #member-of-the-body, #service

How do you answer: how to become a part of the church?

There are a number of ways to approach the question, obviously. But how do you (I don’t ask “would,” since you have probably answered it by now) answer when someone asks, “What do I do to become a part of the church?”

I’m thinking of writing on this for next Sunday, so I’d like to get some perspective. Not that I don’t have one or haven’t answered it before. But it’s no trick question. Always looking to learn more from experienced saints.

Fellows, feel free to make a separate post. Tag it as “church membership,” I guess.

#church-membership, #conversion, #evangelism, #salvation