Five Things Needed for A Vibrant Future

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1 – Identify gifts in Christians, train specific skills and send to minister.

2 – Get along better with other groups of Christians outside Churches of Christ.

3 – Hold to solid biblical theology – don’t compromise your theology. A watered down theology won’t help us in the long run.

4 – Make disciples who make disciples who plant churches.

5 – Include more voices in the decision making conversations.

What five things do you think are needed?

10 Responses

  1. I like your list, Matt. Here are some other things that come to mind as well (not necessarily in order of importance):

    1. Envision the future God wants for us and live into it with tenacity
    2. Quit taking ourselves so seriously. If we aren’t having fun, who is going to want to spend eternity doing what we are doing?
    3. Embrace conflict as we would a workout…we need disruption to produce growth; the road to Christlikeness is never an easy one
    4. Recognize that the blessing of the Christian life is in the doing and not just the knowing (“Now that you know these things you will be blessed if you DO them.”)
    5. Create a culture of humility and submission

    1. An interesting conflict, “2 – Get along better with other groups of Christians outside Churches of Christ. 3 – Hold to solid biblical theology – don’t compromise your theology. A watered down theology won’t help us in the long run…”
      Often such “get along” adventures end up in watered down theology.

      The increase in female preachers is a good example of such “get along” adventure, or female elders… That, and the encroachment of the “Pastor” and “Clergy” systems are results of “watered down theology,” in the quest to “get along better…”

    2. Not all disagreements are worth dividing over. It is possible for 2 and 3 to conflict but it is not necessary that they do in any given instance. Recognize I am talking about where the two points cohere, not where they go opposite ways. That will be a judgment call and a matter of conscience each of us will handle differently. but to call it a conflict, flat out, just isn’t so.

    3. Having spent a year or nth, studying “our” background, and remembering a remark made during one of the last Soul Winning Workshops by a speaker from the Christian Church (“YOU” have 13,000+ congregations, “WE” have 5,000, but we have about the same number of ‘members,’ I do not have to tell you what causes that difference…” I am fully aware that some things are just not worth dividing over.
      Having spent 2/3 of my life in mission-areas, I am aware of the differences between there and here. I mentioned using wine for the Lord’s Supper during a visit in eastern Tennessee… And woe was me!

  2. 1. An understanding that each of us is responsible for the proclamation of the risen Christ
    2. An understanding that elders are responsible for the spiritual well being of the flock they shepherd, not the professional
    3. An understanding that we do not need professionals (and the ever-increasing financial burden brought by such) to be who we are called to be
    4. An understanding that it is MY job, as a believer, to increase my understanding of Scripture
    5. An understanding that we, as individual believers, are responsible for MAINTAINING unity rather than finding ways to unite.

    1. That is if elders actually do that part of their job. They proclaim themselves to be accountable to each other but are self-perpetuating and often unremovable, not to mention only representing factions. Most sit as a board of trustees and deal with budgeting, building, and personnel matters. The cofC problem is that the elders (trustees) don’t pastor, the preacher was hired only to preach and can be fired for any reason on any day, the congregants expect the preacher to be a pastor and get upset when (s)he isn’t, and the unofficial power structure calls the shots in secret.

  3. 1) Listen to others; they may be able to teach you something.
    2) Keep to the basics; take two or three talents you have and focus on those.
    3) [Leaders] allow others to freely minister with your blessing, not your permission.
    4) Lead by example and reach out, and I mean stretch yourself.
    5) Develop a prayer posture that shows your commitment and devotion to God (in private); Jesus said He will be looking for faith when He returns.

  4. 1) [Leaders] allow others to minister with their blessing, not their permission.
    2) Use your two or three best abilities/gifts, and go to work, leading by example.
    3) Encourage others at all times.
    4) Reach out, and I don’t mean outreach; stretch yourself!
    5) Pray, and develop a habit of devoted, heartfelt prayer. Jesus said He will be looking for faith when He returns, and He connected prayer with faith.

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