With all the negativity flying around out there I challenge you to go to social media and list the positive contributions you see in Churches of Christ to the world and to Christianity as a whole.
Here are some of mine:
1 – Our mission. A zeal to take the gospel to the nations. We are not alone or unique in this but I appreciate our sacrificial giving to fund missions to other nations. We don’t keep it to ourselves. We are a giving bunch because we believe in spreading the gospel to the lost.
2 – An appreciation for the Word of God. If anyone took sola scriptura seriously, it was us! I deeply appreciate our love of the word and hope we never lose it.
3 – Weekly communion. I cannot imagine taking communion quarterly or never. We got this one right and have been doing so for a very long time.
4 – Our emphasis on baptism. Jesus was clear. Peter was clear. Paul was clear. We are right to emphasize the importance and place of baptism in the Christian response and as part of the ongoing work of God in the world.
5 – An emphasis on lay-leadership. We don’t do the lead pastor model. I believe we have professionalized too many things but we haven’t professionalized our eldership. That comes with challenges but by and large I appreciate our governance.
6 – Our singing. I don’t think instruments send anyone to hell. I can no longer make a biblical case against instruments. However, I appreciate the participatory element of our singing. So many instrumental services are highly non-participatory by the people in the pew and that is a shame.
7 – Our people. It is easy to get caught up on the stinkers but by and large they may be loud but they are few and far between. There are some really loving people in our midst. They go under the radar. They do acts of love and benevolence without making a big deal out of it. I am indebted to hundreds, probably thousands, of these people! They taught me Jesus. They taught me scripture. We have amazing people!
8 – Our simplicity. We are pretty much a what you see is what you get bunch. That doesn’t mean everything is simple. I am just speaking generally.
9 – Our loyalty. We have some loyal people at a time where loyalty may be at an all time low. They put up with a lot. They stick with it through a lot. They have convictions and won’t waiver and much of that is to be commended.
10 – Our message. New Testament Christianity. It’s why I am here…maybe you feel the same way.
What would make your list? Don’t just post it in the comments. Post it on social media and let’s talk about some of the good things that we contribute to the world.
#5 – CofC have had a “lead pastor model” for well over a hundred years..!! This has happened by default and the general inability for most elders, to understand & accurately execute their God-given responsibility as shepherds.. The ‘bottleneck’ remains at the top of the bottle, and all the denial one might muster will not make it vanish…
It depends on how you are using the terminology. If you mean one elder acting as lead pastor then yes. If you mean that falling on the preacher, that has not been my experience. We can talk about it more but first I want to clarify what you mean.
There are some very generous people in the pews who will help out someone in need. Now, that need has to be one of the traditional needs like new baby, sick elderly person, death of parent, etc.