Identifying the Ripening Issues in the Church of Christ

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One of Ronald Heiftetz’s principles of leadership in his book Leadership Without Easy Answers is to direct attention to ripening issues over distractions. These are issues that can make our break an organization or industry and must be identified and addressed in order to adapt with what is coming down the pipe. To ignore them can be fatal. I have been thinking about this in connection with the Gulfcoast Getaway 2008 as it relates to the future of Churches of Christ. I laid out five things that were brought up repeatedly at the Getaway and they included:

1 – Dissatisfaction among college age students with the worship at local congregations.
2 – Pornography addiction
3 – Instrumental music
4 – a la carte Christianity
5 – An alienated older generation of church goers as the young people start taking leadership positions

In many ways this list is a pretty good reflection of the ripening issues that we are facing and that if ignored or not handled properly will have some disastrous results. We cannot ignore these things. We cannot think they will just go away. If we want to be respectful to our young people we have to begin addressing these things publicly. Doing so will show a good faith effort to our young people that we hear them, love them, and are willing to work with them. It will also give them a healthy example of how Christian leaders really lead. If there is one thing a young person can smell out it is a leader who doesn’t care to lead.

What will keep us from addressing these things? Being uncomfortable, fear, thinking we have too many other important things to do to get to those things, arrogance, to name a few. I am going to finish out posts on the other three items and enter into a dialogue here of how to best address these things as a church.

0 Responses

  1. I hope that we as leader will understand that God did not give us as Paul mentions, “a spirit of timidy but of POWER!” I pray that we as ministers will address issues that need to be addressed such as pornography, internet pronography, other sins boldly and yet graciously with the Spirit that will move people towards repentance and a deeper relationship with the Almighty. l pray that as leaders we will be strengthened and encouraged in the faith to know how deep, long, high, wide, is the love of Christ during the difficult times of ministry. I hope that we will know that God is for us and with us on our journeys. I hope we will be empowered by His Spirit. I pray that the “Church of Christ” will be more in tune with the Holy Spirit in the future and start talking and using all the gifts that God has given the church for edification and ministry that God may be glorified.

    Thank you so much Matt for informing us on this great conference that you went to brother. It sounds like it was wonderful. God bless you and may you strengthened as you use this knowledge that you have taken from these godly men.

  2. Danny Corbitt is reading from a very old scrip: it probably began in earnest with O.E.Payne’s use of the word PSALLO. Tom Burgess took up the gauntlet but poor Tom, all of the plucking harp strings had to do with seducting a younger “minister of the Gods.” Paul speaks of them hoping their “knife would slip.”

    The problem is that being a New Testament Chruch we missed out on Bible 101 in the Old Testament.

    The EVIL thread under the Civil-Military-Clergy complex the Spirit of christ identified as robbers and parasites.

    And the Spiritual thread which began with the synagogue or Church in the wilderness. The holy convocation was INCLUSIVE of Rest, reading and rehearsing or discussing the Word of God. This never changed and continued under the ekklesia or in Paul’s terms the synagogue. That was a school of the bible–only.

    I have looked at Danny’s stuff but it is warmed over lifting of proof texts out of a lexicon and fatally ignores the context. For now, I have tried to go back and lay some foundation which PREVENTS ever using any of the curse of the sacrificial system as out PATTERNISM for what the bible and the Campbells called A School of Christ–only. To the witness stand, singing as an ACT was imposed in the year 373 and split the East from the West churches.

    This is rough but if you don’t want to get run over by those trying to do a hostile takeover of happy Churches of Christ sowing discord in the interest of UNITY you really need to take a deep breath and begin with Genesis where the serpent was a singing and harp playing prostitute. You can end in Revelation 17 where the Mother of harlots uses the same lusted after fruits Amos warns about as speakers, singers and instrument players John called sorcerers.

    The minimal success the NACC has had in creating unity by forcing churches to split ove music and build on the ashes proves that only a few have been or will be seduced. However, it is a good time to look at the Bible’s universal use of the instrument to MARK those who refuse to hear God’s Word and not take the “Lexicon Lifters” as serious students. It seems that most of them have a Christian Church background but now pretend to be ENLIGHTENED members of the Church of Christ. It is assuredly proof of strong delusions and lying wonders which means THE PERFORMING arts.

    You get your wish: we ARE living in something of Biblical Proportions and this may be the last test of whether you will sing and dance while the Dionysiacs pipe.

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