From the Pastor’s Heart,
Last Sunday, I highlighted the two-winged church that seems to be described in the New Testament. While the New Testament doesn’t have much to say about how the church was structured it does have a lot to say about how it functioned. One thing we do know is that the New Testament church was not structured as a dictatorship where one person or group dictates what everyone is supposed to believe and do. But neither was it structured as a democracy where everyone has equal say in what to believe and do. Instead it was structured as a body of believers living in community that recognizes Jesus Christ as the head and gifted, called delegated authority that is appointed to equip the saints to do the work of ministry according to gifting and calling.
The people gifts Jesus gave to the church are not to simply do the ministry but to equip the saints to do the ministry. Apostles are to equip the saints to lead and be sent out, prophets are to equip the saints to prophesy and exhort, evangelists are to equip the saints to witness and evangelize, pastors are to equip the saints to love and care for each other and teachers are to equip the saints to learn and teach. So, even if there is no definite stated structure for the New Testament church we can assume that in some way it must have facilitated the function that is clearly stated.
The exact structure that Cornerstone has adopted is not the only way it can be done and is certainly not perfect but it is an honest attempt to facilitate the way we see the church functioning in the New Testament, meeting in smaller group settings for one another ministry and accountability, meeting in larger group settings for corporate praise and worship celebration, and meeting one on one with one hand holding the hand of some one who is leading and the other hand holding the hand of someone being led. We didn’t get all that covered in one message but hopefully there will be opportunity for more detail later.
As I announced, next Sunday I want to jump ahead in our Ephesians study to chapter 5:15-21.
This passage sheds light on how we structure our Sunday morning worship celebration. Again, the Bible doesn’t give a direct instruction on how it its to be structured but it does identify what it should include. Again the way Cornerstone does the worship service is not the only way and may not even be the best way but it represents our honest attempt to include the elements of what seems to be Biblically important.
For some of you it may be new information and insight you have never heard before. For others it may be old information and insight you have heard before. But hopefully it will help us all to better understand the why behind what we do.
I tried to make the corrections on the email list. Let me know if there are still problems. If you know of persons in the congregation that don’t have email, please feel free to forward this on to them.
We plan to be in Crozet Saturday and Sunday, July 2-3. We would like to make as many vists as we can. Probably need to allow two hours between appointments. At this point 1:00, 3:00, 5:00, and 7:00 are open on Saturday and 3:00 is open on Sunday. You can reply to this email if you would like to meet with us one of those times. We prefer visiting in your home so we can know where you live but if for some reason that is not suitable we can meet at the church.
One final note. Sunday, July 2 is Call2Fall Sunday when churches all across America will be joining together for special prayer for our country. I propose we join and participate by taking a few minutes in our service to fall on our knees in prayer.