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The Office of 'Pastor'

In almost every institutional church in Christianity there is a person called a "pastor" (some prefer the term "shepherd"). For the most part, the entire congregation ultimately looks to this person for leadership and guidance. In many instances he is the final authority on all matters. Many local assemblies have a whole staff of 'pastors'.

Inadvertently, this person is placed on the same level of authority as Jesus; .... - see more on this subject at  http://www.shamar.org/articles/pastors.htm

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Church Without Clergy
by Christian Smith
Article copied exactly as printed from source:
http://anewecclesia.homestead.com/files/ChurchWithoutClergy.htm

The clergy is a highly overrated institution. Indeed, reports on the value and necessity of clergy have been greatly exaggerated. Many Christians assume, for example, that the most important thing in choosing a church is its minister, that a church cannot function effectively without a priest or pastor, that the first thing one must do in starting a church is to hire a minister to lead it, that Sunday morning should be judged by its sermon, and that the preeminent way to serve God is to go to seminary to be trained for Christian service........

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DO WE LOOK FOR ANOTHER?

by Chip Brogden

http://www.watchman.net/articles/another.html

“Now when John heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, and said unto [Jesus], ‘Are you the One that should come, or do we look for another?’” (Matthew 11:2,3).

The essence of the question is this: everything we are, everything we have, and everything we believe is based upon Jesus being the One; but Jesus has disappointed us, not so much by what He has done, but by what He has failed to do.  We expected His Kingdom to be thus and so, we expected Him to be thus and so, and nothing is as we expected it would be. 
Now we can continue believing in this One Who frustrates us so,  this One Who seems to be moving so slowly, or we can look for another, someone who can be depended upon, someone who makes sense, someone who always answers us according to our own thoughts, desires, needs, and schedule.  
Will you allow us to make You into what we want you to be, or do we look for another?...........................there is more......
 
To look at the whole article click on this link:
http://www.watchman.net/articles/another.html

Blue Beating Heart

Good For Us
by Chip Brogden
 
The Greek word for "church" is "ekklesia", which means "called out ones" and came to mean the assembly (or local expression) of those who had been called out and set apart. This assembling together is not something we do on our own. It is the work of the Lord. We are not the Church because we gather ourselves together into a meeting or a group. Anyone can organize themselves into a meeting for whatever purpose they wish. But we are being assembled by the Lord Himself into a spiritual temple, a House of Living Stones. Jesus is building His Church, and Jesus is assembling His people. Our meetings are external and visible, but this assembly of Living Stones is internal, invisible, spiritual and eternal. I pray that God will deliver us from "meetings" and show us His Son. Then we will see that we have already been assembled together into the Church that He is building upon the revelation of Himself.

We cannot build the Church, for Jesus is building it. Similarly, we cannot assemble ourselves together; the Lord has to do that as well. I am not saying we cannot have a meeting, but I am saying that a meeting is not what makes us the Church. There are many such meetings we can host or attend, but that does not make us the Church. People frequently ask me if I know where they can go to find fellowship. After examining them at length I determine that what they are really looking for is a meeting. Well, meetings are everywhere. You do not need me for that. I am afraid that I cannot recommend "meetings", I can only recommend ............
 
 
Want to know what is recommended? 
Want to find out more that is contained in this article?
 
Click on this link to go to the article:
 

Eye Glasses, Spinning

15 Theses Towards a Reformation of Church

by Wolfgang Simson



God is changing the Church, and that, in turn, will change the world. Millions of Christians around the world are aware of an imminent reformation of global proportions. They say, in effect: "Church as we know it is preventing Church as God wants it." A growing number of them are surprisingly hearing God say the very same things. There is a collective new awareness of age-old revelations, a corporate spiritual echo. In the following "15 Theses" I will summarize a part of this, and I am convinced that it reflects a part of what the Spirit of God is saying to the Church today. For some, it might be the proverbial fist-sized cloud on Elijah's sky. Others already feel the pouring rain.

1. Church is a Way of Life, not a series of religious meetings.

 
4. From Church-Houses to house-churches
 
6. No church is led by a Pastor alone
 
15. The Church comes home
 
---Want to read more about this article? Go here: 
 
 

Fountain Pen, Writing

The Last Snack

The Last Snack
By Steve Atkerson & Eric Svendsen

This article by Steve Atkerson and Eric Svendsen of the New Testament Restoration Foundation (www.ntrf.org) should challenge some basic ideas about what goes on in our meetings!

Suppose my wife and I invited you over to our home for supper. What would you think if the only items we served you were a single shot-glass of juice and a tiny fraction of a soda cracker? Would you really consider that a supper? Would it even qualify as a snack? Might you feel disappointed or even deceived?

“Supper” is generally understood to refer to a full meal - enough food to satisfy the appetite. A portion of food that is less than a meal is typically seen as a snack. Considering the way most churches observe the Lord’s Supper (with a sip of juice and a cracker remnant), why is it called a supper? Would it not be better to name it what it honestly has become? To many believers, the Lord’s Supper is not a “supper” at all. It is the Lord’s Appetizer or perhaps the Lord’s Hors D’oeuvres! Did our Lord really intend to launch a memorial snack?

---Want to read more about this article? Go here:

Eye Glasses, Spinning

JESUS, THE REVOLUTIONARY

 By Frank Viola

Jesus Christ is not only the Savior, the Messiah, the Prophet, the Priest, and the King. He is also the Revolutionary. Yet few Christians know Him as such. Doubtlessly, some of my readers have struggled with this thought while reading this book: "Why do you have to be so negative about the modern church, Frank!? Jesus is not a critical person. It is so unlike our Lord to talk about what is wrong with the church. Let us focus on the positive and ignore the negative!"

Such high volume sentiments express complete unfamiliarity with Christ as revolutionary teacher; radical prophet; provocative preacher; controversialist; iconoclast; and the implacable opponent of the religious establishment.

---Want to read more about this article? Go here:

 http://ptmin.org/revolutionary.htm


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Why I Don’t Go to Church Anymore!

Life in the Relational Church VI

By Wayne Jacobsen

Dear Fellow-believer,

I know the way I relate to the church is a bit unconventional and some even call it dangerous. Believe me, I understand that concern because I used to think that way myself and even taught others to as well.

If you are happy with the status quo of organized religion today, you may not like what you read here. My purpose is not to convince you to see this incredible church the same way I do, but to  answer your questions as openly and honestly as I can. Even if we don't end up agreeing, hopefully you will understand that our differences need not estrange us as members of Christ's body.

:Where do you go to church? Are you just trying to avoid the question? But don't we need regular fellowship? Shouldn't we be committed to a local fellowship? So are traditional congregations wrong? So should I stop going to church, too? But don't our children need church activities? Aren't you giving people an excuse to sit home and do nothing? Where can I find that kind of fellowship?

---Want to read more about this article? Go here:

http://www.lifestream.org/LSBL.May01.html
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Quill, Writing with Ink Well

 

God's View of a Woman


This article is based on a message the author delivered to a newly planted church in Santiago, Chile on December 31, 2001. Note: The Chilean culture tends to have a very low view of women.

After tonight’s message, if this tape gets out of this room and someone hears it in your country, I will definitely be declared a heretic. I may even be in danger of my life. Further, after tonight’s message, some of the men in this room may not want me to come back. The women, however, will want me to move here!

---Want to read more about this article? Go here:

http://ptmin.org/view.htm

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Was Paul Such A Boring Preacher
That Someone Almost Died?

by Barry Steinman - 02/24/2002

Article copied exactly as printed from source:
http://www.koinonianet.net/article1006.html


Did Eutychus fall out of the window due to boredom, or the lateness of the hour? Was Paul preaching or was the fellowship dialoguing?

Acts 20:7-12 (NIV):


This passage indicates a problem we have in approaching the scriptures. We understand what we read thru colored glasses. Everything we perceive is tainted by our current cultural mindset. Here we thought we were reading a passage accurately describing Sunday morning church, just as we practice it today. But in actuality, it was describing something much different.

---Want to read more about this article? Go here:

http://prayershack.freeservers.com/article_eutychus.html

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Holding church at home helps some Christians connect

Smaller groups shun megachurches, discuss gospel on their own

November 6, 2004

Ed and Rene Tornberg say they don't need a building with steeples to encounter God and grow in their Christian faith. All they need are friends.

Church convenes at their South Salem home each Sunday at 5:30 p.m.

There are no pastors, no choirs and no missals. An average home church meeting usually includes a simple meal, Bible study and discussion.

House churches are not just an American phenomenon. They also can be found in England and Australia and are most popular in countries like China and Vietnam, where many groups meet secretly because of religious persecution.

Critics of house churches say the groups are dangerous because they could lead to discrepancies and misinterpretations of the Bible, since many of those participating in house churches have no official training in theology.

---Want to read more about this article? Go here:

http://159.54.226.83/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041106/NEWS/411060312/100


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