TMP
TMP

August 13th, 2007, 6:35 am #11

Jimmy,

I appreciate your promise to answer my questions when I answer the ones you asked of wordkeeper. I will add, as I begin, that I don't attend Madison and didn't feel that your questions could be answered by me, but, I will answer them regardless.

First, No, I don't think the church will dump the involvement minister when they reach their goal. My answer is based on my belief that churches should always have goals, whether as individuals or as a group. Just because one goal is reached doesn't mean the work is complete. Remember the song, we'll work till Jesus comes!

As far as whether or not the church even has a goal is beyond me as I am not a member of that congregation. However, even though I am not a graduate of some Ivy League school, I can deduct that the church has a goal, hence the hiring of someone to help them meet that goal. I would probably say the stated goal is to get more members, if not all, involved in more of the work of the church.

Second, I don't know who Phil is, have never heard him preach and don't know if I will ever meet him or hear him. Therefore, I guess I get nothing from his sermons, which would definitely imply that I receive nothing with which to work.

Third, again, I am not a member at Madison and can't answer this question. However, let me state that the elders where I worship and serve are great leaders who challenge and provide ample opportunities for us to serve and even equip us for the work. So, yes, my elders to give me something with which to work.

Fourth, I am involved where I worship and serve. As far as wordkeeper, I have not clue.

Fifth, what do I do whenever I see a person in need? I seek to help, realizing that opportunity coupled with ability means I am responsible before God to help the one in need. By that, I realize there are times when I have opportunity to help, but not the ability, unless I know of others who have that ability, which means the best I can do is put them in contact with someone who can help. If I have the ability, but never an opportunity, then I am not held responsible. I am sure you can understand my point.

Sixth, do I think it is right for a person who has a job, is working and supporting his family, contributing to the work of the church, to quite his job and let the church take care of him and his family? I guess the answer to that question depends on what the person quit his job for. If he quit his job to sit on his couch and play video games all day then I would say his doing so would equate him with an infidel, perhaps worse. However, if he quit his secular job to devote his life to the work of the Lord, whether domestic or foreign soil, then a laborer is worth of his hire. In fact, I don't think the apostle Paul had any difficulty with one receiving support for his family while he was performing the work of the Lord. Correct me if I am wrong on that statement.

Seventh, no, I did not know that the top four choices of people in making a living is: 4) through welfare, 2) a paying job at a church, 3) a paying job with the gov't, 1) own your own business. I think that is WHY I asked for your research and a link so that I could view it for myself.

Eighth, yes, I do realize that a great portion of the Lord's money will now be spent on supporting this person and family. And, yes, with benefits it could easily run $200.00 plus per day! Please refer to my initial post and address the comments I made in regards to your question. I eagerly await your insight.

Ninth, I understand that your complaint is that you do not believe the New Testament allows for an involvement minister. Do you think the New Testament allows for a minister? If so, is the only thing you have problems with is the title "Involvement Minister"? Would it make you happy if they just called him "Minister Also" or "Minister Too"?

If you believe the New Testament allows for a minister, do you believe each church to be limited to only one? IF so, what passage would indicate that? And, if there is no limit to the number of ministers a congregation could have, is it necessarily sinful if the elders choose to give one a designatory title to differentiate one from another?

Jimmy, I have answered your questions and now await your promised response. Thank you in advance.
I've been posting on this site on and off for more time that I'd like to admit. I've finally come to the conclusion that no one here is interested in a real discussion. I'd like to see Jimmy answer your questions directly as he said he would. But if this forum holds true to form, he will comment on your answers and not answer your questions, or comment on my post, or not comment at all.

I've never understood why this forum cannot engage in a real debate...i.e. answer the topical questions that are asked of you, and then pose questions for the other person to answer. For instance I've asked on multiple occasions if someone on the conservative side to list one topic which we do not have to come to the same conclusion about and still be brothers...mentioning meat sacrificed to idols as a New Testament example...but this has never been answered.

So Jimmy, prove me wrong and answer Chris's questions...and if you are in a generous mood, answer my longstanding question as well.

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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

August 15th, 2007, 11:39 am #12

Jimmy,

I appreciate your promise to answer my questions when I answer the ones you asked of wordkeeper. I will add, as I begin, that I don't attend Madison and didn't feel that your questions could be answered by me, but, I will answer them regardless.

First, No, I don't think the church will dump the involvement minister when they reach their goal. My answer is based on my belief that churches should always have goals, whether as individuals or as a group. Just because one goal is reached doesn't mean the work is complete. Remember the song, we'll work till Jesus comes!

As far as whether or not the church even has a goal is beyond me as I am not a member of that congregation. However, even though I am not a graduate of some Ivy League school, I can deduct that the church has a goal, hence the hiring of someone to help them meet that goal. I would probably say the stated goal is to get more members, if not all, involved in more of the work of the church.

Second, I don't know who Phil is, have never heard him preach and don't know if I will ever meet him or hear him. Therefore, I guess I get nothing from his sermons, which would definitely imply that I receive nothing with which to work.

Third, again, I am not a member at Madison and can't answer this question. However, let me state that the elders where I worship and serve are great leaders who challenge and provide ample opportunities for us to serve and even equip us for the work. So, yes, my elders to give me something with which to work.

Fourth, I am involved where I worship and serve. As far as wordkeeper, I have not clue.

Fifth, what do I do whenever I see a person in need? I seek to help, realizing that opportunity coupled with ability means I am responsible before God to help the one in need. By that, I realize there are times when I have opportunity to help, but not the ability, unless I know of others who have that ability, which means the best I can do is put them in contact with someone who can help. If I have the ability, but never an opportunity, then I am not held responsible. I am sure you can understand my point.

Sixth, do I think it is right for a person who has a job, is working and supporting his family, contributing to the work of the church, to quite his job and let the church take care of him and his family? I guess the answer to that question depends on what the person quit his job for. If he quit his job to sit on his couch and play video games all day then I would say his doing so would equate him with an infidel, perhaps worse. However, if he quit his secular job to devote his life to the work of the Lord, whether domestic or foreign soil, then a laborer is worth of his hire. In fact, I don't think the apostle Paul had any difficulty with one receiving support for his family while he was performing the work of the Lord. Correct me if I am wrong on that statement.

Seventh, no, I did not know that the top four choices of people in making a living is: 4) through welfare, 2) a paying job at a church, 3) a paying job with the gov't, 1) own your own business. I think that is WHY I asked for your research and a link so that I could view it for myself.

Eighth, yes, I do realize that a great portion of the Lord's money will now be spent on supporting this person and family. And, yes, with benefits it could easily run $200.00 plus per day! Please refer to my initial post and address the comments I made in regards to your question. I eagerly await your insight.

Ninth, I understand that your complaint is that you do not believe the New Testament allows for an involvement minister. Do you think the New Testament allows for a minister? If so, is the only thing you have problems with is the title "Involvement Minister"? Would it make you happy if they just called him "Minister Also" or "Minister Too"?

If you believe the New Testament allows for a minister, do you believe each church to be limited to only one? IF so, what passage would indicate that? And, if there is no limit to the number of ministers a congregation could have, is it necessarily sinful if the elders choose to give one a designatory title to differentiate one from another?

Jimmy, I have answered your questions and now await your promised response. Thank you in advance.
<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>Chris,

It’s refreshing to hear you mention, “Remember the song, we'll work till Jesus comes!” That statement answers many questions posed so far in the discussion. How is it determined when and why one should be paid for performing a type of work in the church or when and why one should not be paid for performing a different type of work in the church?

I know this discussion about compensation can go on endlessly when we consider that there are different people involved in performing various tasks—the evangelist, the elders, Bible class teachers, et al.

Compensation!

I liked this old song, and I still do … even though Twila Paris, Michael Smith and others have come this way:

<ol>To the Work!

[*]To the work! To the work! We are servants of God,
Let us follow the path that our Master has trod;
With the balm of His counsel our strength to renew,
Let us do with our might what our hands find to do.

[*]To the work! To the work! Let the hungry be fed;
To the fountain of life let the weary be led;
In the cross and its banner our glory shall be,
While we herald the tidings, Salvation is free!

[*]To the work! To the work! There is labor for all,
For the kingdom of darkness and error shall fall;
And the name of Jehovah exalted shall be,
In the loud-swelling chorus, Salvation is free!

CHORUS:

Toiling on, toiling on, toiling on, toiling on;
Let us hope, let us watch, And labor till the Master comes.

[/list]Donnie</font>
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Ken Sublett
Ken Sublett

August 15th, 2007, 5:24 pm #13

Brother Wren,

I don't know if you have heard of my background as I grew up in the churches of Christ for most of my young adult years but after a long journey of searching the scriptures I am now affiliated with the Assemblies of God, a charismatic Christian church. I have never attended the Madison church but I came upon this web site after a coworker told me about the problems that some of you all are having with the changes that have taken place several years ago. So I have never heard this Phil person that you referenced in this thread.

As far as a biblical examble of special ministries I would refer you to Acts 6 where the early church had concern that the service of widows detracted from their primary duty of preaching and teaching the word. What was their solution ? Was it to say 'hey the church only preaches and teaches the gospel message and its tough luck for these old women?' NO ! They appointed seven men full of wisdom and the Holy Spirit to tend to this special ministry of serving the widows. So, yes, there is a biblical example of special ministries. If you read what Jesus had to say about meeting the needs of mankind in Matthew 25 in the parable of the sheep and the goats the needs include: material needs, spiritual needs, emotional needs, medical and health needs, and so on and so forth to include the wide spectrum of fulfilling the commands of Christ to meet the needs of lost souls.

So I do not have a problem of a special ministry of Involvement as long as there is a genuine need for members to have support to be connected to a large congregation.
Just yesterday I passed by the Southeast Christian Church in Louisville where their membership has skyrocketed from just over 3,000 to now 10,165 people who are members of that large church. I have heard (I do not know if it is true since I have never attended there) that Southeast Church has over 20 full time ministers and I would think that they would have at least one person who helps members feel more involved with church work through small groups ministries. Now I have to ask you, Brother Wren, even the most conservative churches of Christ that have 300 or more members employ more than one person to meet the needs of the congregation, do you not think that aside from the titles, that there would be at least one minister who is involved with congregational care ? Even if that person is called Associate Minister or whatever, I would think that whoever that person is would be interested in the well-being of the members of the congregation.

While we are discussing special ministries I have to relate a story of a friend of mine who moved from Lexington, Kentucky to Indianapolis. I helped him move all his belongings and when we arrived at his new house there were five men from a Community Church ready to help us. It seems that these men already knew when my friend would be moving in to his new house and this community church has a special ministry of helping people move into new homes. The minister who organized this group had the title Ministry of Greetings and Helps. And that is not all. One of the women of the congregation brought over some food that evening and she had the title Ministry of Greetings and Pies. Kind of funny but her specialty was baking pies and the title semed to fit her.

So, yes, I believe in special ministries within the church; whether it is counseling (I have even heard of a ministry of sexual health counseling), Christian Education, Evangelism, Involvement, Benevolency, etc. the list goes on and on. Where is the scriptual authority for such ministries ? Acts 6: 1-7.

God Bless you Brother and I hope that you have a good week.
The problem arises from the word CHURCH: The kulos was the Agora or marketplace. As Circe, "she" gave her name to CHURCH which honors god as GAD, the hostile tribe and the "god of fortune."

Jesus cast out the musical minstrels "like dung" because they belonged in the marketplace.
He consigned the piipers, singers and musicians ot the marketplace where they belonged.
He used the word EKKLESIA which by definition EXCLUDES everything but verbal communication.

The ekklesia has about the same meaning as "synagogue" and we know by direct command and all examples neither "had a praise service." You don't DO that when you assemble to be taught of Christ when the elders as the ONLY Pastor-teachers "teach that which HAS BEEN taught." The words such as SPEAK in these assemblies specificially defines as The OPPOSITE of poetry or music.

When the synagogue reached into other areas it became oppressive: that is why Jesus promised to build His SYNAGOGUE or EKKLESIA. He died to remove the laded burdens which means singing to create spiritual anxiety as well as "a tax not required for war." He outlawed the burden LADERS by defining away all ecclesiastical orders and defining in shepherds or elders. Any shepherd knows that sheep will not feed "besides rushing waters." That pretty well defines away about all "we" do as Circe but not ekklesia.

If you can DEFINE IN any role other than "teaching that which has been taught" you violate scripture and begin to dilute the DRIVEN PURPOSE to teach and call people OUT of the world and not to become LIKE he world.

Now, you might decide that God did not know what He was doing, and ADD the Burden Laders which do NOT lift a finger to REMOVE the burden--like getting a job to minister TO the poor rather than take FROM the poor so an able-bodied man can ride on the poor.

If you DO that then you will know that if "jesus paid it all" and commanded ALMS directly to the poor; and if you grasp that there is no LAW OF GIVING, they you know that you are robbing the poor so the rich can ride.

John Calvin asked: "Why should he plowing oxen starve while the lazy asses be fed?"

Because church is KULOS or circle or circus, it is no longer possible for an honest evangelist with a GO button to be sent out.

Summary:
No ROLES commanded and Paul defines those who collect on the RECEIVING end as robbers.
No FUNDING to support them.
Therefore, you are ADDING the burden Jesus died ot remove.
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Chris
Chris

August 15th, 2007, 5:24 pm #14

<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>Chris,

It’s refreshing to hear you mention, “Remember the song, we'll work till Jesus comes!” That statement answers many questions posed so far in the discussion. How is it determined when and why one should be paid for performing a type of work in the church or when and why one should not be paid for performing a different type of work in the church?

I know this discussion about compensation can go on endlessly when we consider that there are different people involved in performing various tasks—the evangelist, the elders, Bible class teachers, et al.

Compensation!

I liked this old song, and I still do … even though Twila Paris, Michael Smith and others have come this way:

<ol>To the Work!

[*]To the work! To the work! We are servants of God,
Let us follow the path that our Master has trod;
With the balm of His counsel our strength to renew,
Let us do with our might what our hands find to do.

[*]To the work! To the work! Let the hungry be fed;
To the fountain of life let the weary be led;
In the cross and its banner our glory shall be,
While we herald the tidings, Salvation is free!

[*]To the work! To the work! There is labor for all,
For the kingdom of darkness and error shall fall;
And the name of Jehovah exalted shall be,
In the loud-swelling chorus, Salvation is free!

CHORUS:

Toiling on, toiling on, toiling on, toiling on;
Let us hope, let us watch, And labor till the Master comes.

[/list]Donnie</font>
Donnie,

I appreciate your joining this discussion. I will do my best to address your comments, as well as the questions you have asked.

First, as far as how it is determined when and why one should be paid for performing a type of work in the church or when and why one should not be paid for performing a different type of work in the church is concerned, all I can offer you is the statement made by Jesus that the worker is worthy of his support (Matt 10:10), and the laborer is worthy of his wages (Luke 10:7) Also, Paul stated, the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel (1 Cor. 9:14).

I am no Ivy League graduate, but the principle in those passages seems to be that the person who devotes his life to the proclaiming of the gospel can be supported by the gospel. In other words, how we determine when and why one should be paid (supported) for performing a type of work in the church or when and why one should not be paid (supported) for performing a different type of work in the church is by determining whether or not that person has devoted himself to proclaiming the gospel.

If I am incorrect in this matter, please assist me with my understanding.

Second, I enjoy that old song as well. I don’t know who Twila Paris or Michael Smith are, therefore, your comment about them coming this way means nothing to me. Perhaps you can enlighten me in this area too.

Donnie, I am not totally clear as to the exact point you were trying to make. But, I still seek understanding as to how you, especially Jimmy Wren, determine what is an acceptable amount to spend for one soul to come to know and accept Jesus?

I have answered the comments and question addressed to me. I still await the promised response of Jimmy Wren.
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Ken
Ken

August 16th, 2007, 2:37 pm #15

I noticed in a June issue of the Madison Marcher that Tom Haddon joined the Madison church team as the involvement minister. I suppose that to mean that Tom now will be paid to be involved with the assembly.

The Madison church could be consider large in size by some standards. It tends to follow that some may attend Madison because they like larger size churches.

It would also seem that Tom has been given a rather unusual assignment. His job is not to bring people together but rather to break them apart, i.e. take a large number of people and break them up into small groups.

The Marcher reports Tom as saying: “I would love to see every member involved in a small group, and I would love to see every member discover a ministry they have a passion for."

Why attend 'big' only to be put into 'small'? And why bring on more division in an already divided church? They already have two worship services that are total opposed to each other!

Lest ye think me to be critical of one church, this could be said of a few other churches.

While we may disagree with one another on the church 'management' of breaking down the whole into 'bits n pieces' we must look to our Bible as the guide given to man as to how an assembly is to function.

A general study of the New Testament will prove that some elders today continue to add 'offices' to the church that were not created by the Holy Spirit.

Tis a sad day indeed when a church has to pay a man to try to get the members involved! Of course they could be paying Tom to try to get him invlolved. Maybe Tom is a slacker. Then again maybe Tom will take this assignment at no church to the church.

Tom was quoted: “When we discover those, the family of God becomes more alive —more meaningful. It becomes a place where we want to be..."

If it becomes a place where Tom wants to be, (I assume he does not want to be there as it is), maybe Tom will not charge God's people but do it out of love for the church.

If Tom recieves no money for this meager task of creating division in a congregation it would still be wrong for the 'ministry of involvement' is not a part of the Church of Christ. Check your Bible!

In Christ,
Jimmy
Mt 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Mt 10:7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Mt 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
Mt 10:9 Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses ,
Mt 10:10 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves:
  • for the workman is worthy of his meat.
The script was a "pouch for food." Not only did they eat whatever was set before them, in this command they have no hoarding.

If one would not feed them and listen they could find another one.

They could not carry any money with them: no change of clothes or shoes.
And no STAVE which was a "badge of authority" which coerced people to give.
The workman [figuratively of a teacher] is worthy of his FOOD.

<font color=red>Rhabos A. rod, wand, Hom. (v. infr.), etc.; lighter than the baktêria or walking-stick, (but = baktêria, Ev.Matt.10.10, al.). --Special uses: 1. magic wand, as that of Circe, later by minstrels. 6.wand borne by the rhapsôidos.</font>

<font color=blue>"Every Jew was expected to pay a tax to the Temple each year.

"...The prophet Zechariah...after describing the festival of Tabernacles in his fourteenth chapter, closed his prophetic work by stating that when the Lord returned to inaugurate the kingdom of God and to reclaim his Temple:" - John Shelby Spong, Liberating the Gospels, p. 234</font>
<font color=red>"There shall no longer be traders in the house of the Lord of hosts in that day." - Zechariah 14:21</font>

1 Corinthians 1 shows that things like podiums and "collectors of shekels" will NOT exist.

http://www.piney.com/1.Corinthians.1.html

The traders which CANNOT exist in an ekklesia was the Cananites. These were the chalcol in the Pagan-like temple:

<font color=blue>"From (the Ugaritic text) come references to a class of Temple personnel designated by the term serim, who exercised functions similar to those of the Hebrew singers during the monarchy and later times. Some of the servants of David who were designated in 1 Kings 4:31 by (a) term meaning 'aboriginal' or 'native sons,' and who possessed Canaanite names such as Heman, Chalcol, and Darda, were engaged in various forms of musical activity. As such they were described by the phrase 'sons of Mahol,' a Hebrew term closely related to (the Greek), used of a semi-circular area in which the Greek chorus danced, and meaning 'members of the orchestral guild.' A further reflection of this musical interest became apparent when Megiddo was excavated and the treasure room of the royal palace was uncovered. From this area was recovered a plaque inlaid with ivory, depicting a royal personage seated on a throne. He was drinking from a small bowl, and was being entertained by a court musician who stood before him plucking the strings of a lyre." (Harrison, R. K., Introduction to the Old Testament, Eerdmans, p. 335, see p. 411).</font>

<font color=purple>1 Cor 9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.</font>

This word does not mean PASTOR but those who "go into all the world" and preach the gospel. Going to Rome to preach also included wanting to go on to Spain.

<font color=purple>Kataggello (g2605) kat-ang-gel'-lo; from 2596 and the base of 32; to proclaim, promulgate: - declare, preach, shew, speak of, teach.
  • Aggelos (g32) ang'-el-os; from aggello, [prob. der. from 71; comp. 34] (to bring tidings); a messenger; esp. an "angel"; by impl. a pastor: - angel, messenger

    Ago (g71) ag'-o; a prim. verb; prop. to lead; by impl. to bring, drive, (reflex.) go, (spec.) pass (time), or (fig.) induce: - be, bring (forth), carry, (let) go, keep, lead away, be open.

    Agele (g34) ag-el'-ay; from 71 [comp. 32]; a drove: - herd.
AND I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God 1Co.2:1</font>

By definition no modern "located missionary" (says shelly) would be paid OTHER than being more excellent than the members of the "body" and that "spiritual superiority" defines the role of a Pharisee or Hypocrite--a performer.

Secondly, all massive sowing of discord is produced by preachers who "usurp" the authority of the body.

Thirdly, if you HIRE anyone you should understand that THERE IS NO LAW OF GIVING. So, he is probably going to have to be a career lier to keep on taking FROM the widows.

Fourthly, everyone KNOWS that something is wacko and the preacher is probably going to be booted out like a bad date when they turn on the lights.

Fifthly, as the Alpha Male he is going to have to jump on his Cadillac without wheels and chew a tin can any time anyone hints that they know something. That is going to utterly DESTROY the body life and the DRIVEN PURPOSE to "train others for the ministry."
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Ray
Ray

August 17th, 2007, 5:27 am #16

Hi wordkeeper. Word, I will agree with you that some 'weak' people, may feel some kind of special empowerment by the special attention of an 'involvement minister.' There are people who work out with a 'special trainer' for a while. But they 'dump' the trainer as soon as they reach their goal.

Do you suppose this church will dump the 'involvement minister' when they reach their goal? Does the church even have a goal?

Back to your comment about it being a good 'thing'. I would ask the questions: Do you not get anything out of Phil's sermons? Do his sermons not give you anything to work with?

Do your elders give you anything to work with?

Why are you not involved with the work of the church already?

Wordkeeper, what do you do when you see a person in need? Do you attempt to help or pass on by? If you offer help then you have done the work that God called you to do.

Do you think it is right for a person who has a job, is working and supporting his family, contributing to the work of the church, to quite his job and let the church take care of him and his family?

Did you know that the top four choices of people in making a living is: 4) through welfare, 2) a paying job at a church, 3) a paying job with the gov't, 1) own your own business. These are the top four.

Do you realize that a great portion ot the Lord's money will now be spent on supporting this person and family? With benefits it could easily run $200.00 plus per day!

But that's another problem with the 'buddy' system in the Madison church.

My complaint is that the New Testament does not allow for an 'involvement minister.' If so would you please point me to the passage.

In Christ,
Jimmy
Jimmy,
I haven't been on this site for a while (it don't do a lot to build me up). I don't know who you are, how you make your living, etc. You are right, we don't have an example of a special title (envolvement minister). I don't know if you have a title or not but it seems clear what you do. You criticize any and everyone who is trying to do anything. Perhaps you justify yourself because you don't have a title and don't get paid for it. I would hope there was no church that would pay you for such activities.
Anyone who would take pay should give a good days work in turn for it. If not he or she is dishonest whether they work for a church or on a construction site building houses.
I made up my mind many years ago that I had the responsibility to share the gospel as best I understood it with others. I did not depend on the church to support me, if they gave me something or nothing would not stop me. For some thirty years the church did pay me a small amount. In 1991 all that stopped and since that time I have continued to teach and preach as I have opportunity. For the last ten years I have taught two lessons each Sunday for mostly some older people which no one else seems to be eager to do. I receive no pay and want none.
I know a lot of people who through the years have spent hours upon hours and received no compensation for it. Yes, I have known those who did more than the preachers who got paid.
All of that don't prove or disprove anything. Each one will stand or fall before his MASTER. I AM NOT THE JUDGE.......
MY TWO CENTS WORTH..............
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

August 23rd, 2007, 4:30 am #17

I noticed in a June issue of the Madison Marcher that Tom Haddon joined the Madison church team as the involvement minister. I suppose that to mean that Tom now will be paid to be involved with the assembly.

The Madison church could be consider large in size by some standards. It tends to follow that some may attend Madison because they like larger size churches.

It would also seem that Tom has been given a rather unusual assignment. His job is not to bring people together but rather to break them apart, i.e. take a large number of people and break them up into small groups.

The Marcher reports Tom as saying: “I would love to see every member involved in a small group, and I would love to see every member discover a ministry they have a passion for."

Why attend 'big' only to be put into 'small'? And why bring on more division in an already divided church? They already have two worship services that are total opposed to each other!

Lest ye think me to be critical of one church, this could be said of a few other churches.

While we may disagree with one another on the church 'management' of breaking down the whole into 'bits n pieces' we must look to our Bible as the guide given to man as to how an assembly is to function.

A general study of the New Testament will prove that some elders today continue to add 'offices' to the church that were not created by the Holy Spirit.

Tis a sad day indeed when a church has to pay a man to try to get the members involved! Of course they could be paying Tom to try to get him invlolved. Maybe Tom is a slacker. Then again maybe Tom will take this assignment at no church to the church.

Tom was quoted: “When we discover those, the family of God becomes more alive —more meaningful. It becomes a place where we want to be..."

If it becomes a place where Tom wants to be, (I assume he does not want to be there as it is), maybe Tom will not charge God's people but do it out of love for the church.

If Tom recieves no money for this meager task of creating division in a congregation it would still be wrong for the 'ministry of involvement' is not a part of the Church of Christ. Check your Bible!

In Christ,
Jimmy
<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>I have gleaned from various responses to Jimmy Wren’s initial and subsequent posts that the main thrust of his message is undoubtedly misunderstood, which is concerning this—the eldership of a/any congregation proposing to a church member with a promising future in his professional field to “QUIT” his job and offering him, instead, full “EMPLOYMENT” at _________ Church of Christ, Inc.

As Ken Sublett has very well put it, some “mega” congregations are plagued with some kind of financially-induced spiritual disorder referred to as “STAFF INFECTION.”

One question that comes to mind is—why can’t a church member who is very successful in his professional endeavor be allowed to continue with that success in his field and still be able to “minister to” whom and where his services are needed?

Please do not misunderstand me. I am not speaking of anyone whose ministry is that of an evangelist that has no other means of financial support for him and his family, since he does not work “for the government” or is not on “welfare or is not “self-employed,” etc.

What is the difference between someone who is involved in the “meals-on-wheels” program and someone who is designated the position of “involvement minister”? I would suppose that those whose function is the former are not compensated for their voluntary services, whereas the “involvement minister” [who is, BTW, not a paid evangelist] has been “offered” to shift from his employment with a business firm to being a fully-paid church “staff member”?

What have some of the local “mega” congregations gotten into these days? There’s the DRAMA ministry. Wow! (Some Pentecostal Churches have DANCING ministry.) There’s the “rhythmic clapping” ministry, I might add [just kidding … but there some churches that practice this].

Here’s a reminder once again—one of my favorite songs:

<ol>To the Work!

[*]To the work! To the work! We are servants of God,
Let us follow the path that our Master has trod;
With the balm of His counsel our strength to renew,
Let us do with our might what our hands find to do.

[*]To the work! To the work! Let the hungry be fed;
To the fountain of life let the weary be led;
In the cross and its banner our glory shall be,
While we herald the tidings, Salvation is free!

[*]To the work! To the work! There is labor for all,
For the kingdom of darkness and error shall fall;
And the name of Jehovah exalted shall be,
In the loud-swelling chorus, Salvation is free!

CHORUS:

Toiling on, toiling on, toiling on, toiling on;
Let us hope, let us watch, And labor till the Master comes.

[/list]Donnie</font>
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Tom Brite
Tom Brite

August 23rd, 2007, 12:36 pm #18

Donnie, you have struck a chord here with me and one that should be pointed out to the readers. I am personally aware of a "mega-church" that has made it in the financial interests of many in it's own elderhship to "go along" with the suggestions and recommendations for change by it's staff members. This would include employment of the elders themselves with the "mega-church" or the spouses of the elders. All tied financially into the congregation.

Now this makes it very difficult for these people to question or object to the suggestions and recommendations of staff for change. "Oh No! If I don't go along with this, my wife might loose her job." It was a long, slow process but the light went off a couple of years ago, and as Ken say, the frog was already boiled.
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Ken Sublett
Ken Sublett

August 24th, 2007, 9:16 pm #19

Donnie also likes to identify them as frog boilers: in Revelation they are called Quack Spirits or Marsh Leapers. It comes as no surprise after reading history that the MULTITUDES get more aroused as the temperature rises.

If you remember, the Madison initial fall from grace involved an "Eldership in Exile" with their own Bible class, prayer circle and web page for which you needed a KEY to enter. This consisted, as I remember your or other's comments, of about 200 "members" used as a Power Point into the head of the "leaders."

If the Musicator was really exiled, was the shift from being a minister (supporter) to a staffer (riding on the backs of the other workers) REALLY a bribe using other people's money? That was my thought when you first noted that the Purpose Driven Culter was on the payroll.

Sometimes, as with the Calvinist David Lawrence at LU, when it is not possible to remove someone you give them a safe place to rest. That would neuterize the old tomcat.

I believe that it is a fact that in the Bible and all of the literature, music is more the MARK of a fall than a CAUSE. Beginning the boiling process seems to have been handled well by Max Lucado even if he had to "mislead" by promising that the instruments would always be soft strings in an "extra" room. The process begins by turning the Word into "fiction" and getting rich in the process. That is when God sends strong delusions and you really do begin to believe your own lies: God wants them to be content with their beyond-redemption choice.
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Jimmy Wren
Jimmy Wren

August 31st, 2007, 6:20 pm #20

Thank you Donnie, Ken and Tom for clearing up the waters that I may have mudded.

To see what congregations are really facing just do a 'google' on church jobs.

A church should not be in the business of encouraging members to quit their paying jobs. Maybe we need to do a study on this.

One can look to a youth sports league and find men and women that handle up to 10,000 players (cf. Plano, TX soccer). That is far more people then most churches! These men and women in charge set up tournaments, work concessions, work the crowds, parking, paying bills, do scheduling, take care of the fields and what do they get out of it? NOT MONEY!

People don't expect money working for youth sports leagues because they are not conditioned to expect it. Why should one expect pay for attending church?

In Christ,
Jimmy
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