Biblical Principles do work, principles I learned as a youth still are good. Biblical Philosophy will work. John MacArthur’s point: Doing God’s Work in the God’s Way will produce God’s Purposes.
Ways in which to implement those principle varied over the years. And I believe you can take these principles and work within the belief system you have. As an example, the Purpose-Driven Church principles in general are very good. A church should be motivated by Biblical principles. You don’t have to agree with every point, but you can adapt them to your church.
Traditional principles vs. biblical principles often conflict. When you attempt to set up Biblical principles in a traditional church, there will be a parting of the ways. Often there is a period of disagreement and often people get upset with change. Where there is yieldedness to those principles there will be a healthy church. Sometimes personality does get in the way of success. Sometimes my own personality was a problem, and occasionally the principles get in the way of success.
I have this unique way of agitating the established format of the church’s traditional methods of doing church. An unhealthy church sometimes needs a shot in the arm. They need a new diet for operation. They often need a new mind set of Biblical thought. And this is always offensive. For an example: "We stopped having Sunday School two years ago, because we couldn’t get anyone to come," a former teacher said. When I suggested the reason that happened, they were offended.
Often the church body is more protective of traditional methods, and they do not desire to change them, even at the expense of failure. Some people are willing to let the church completely die before they would think of having a drum set in the church or allow another Bible translation.
- For example
I really loved the work I did in two Southern Baptist Churches, to work within the Southern Baptist model. I enjoyed the effort to get all parties working together. What hurt me was the few people who were really against anything I was doing. The Southern Baptist model is good, it’s the implementing of those principles that is the difficulty. I worked out a plan that I believed would bring all the groups together, and I believe would have. But there was an element within the church body that was set on defeating the plan. The leadership was tired and some quit the church and others didn’t want to buck the older people. Then when I left, they left. Those churches had a history of discontent. The problems of the church were there years before I came and were there after I left. Since 1929 one church has been established, and today of the recorded 489 members, only fifty come.
The Biblical pattern of leadership for the church is the Elders, and the church is to follow that leadership. Often there is poor eldership leadership and poor church membership understanding of the purpose of the church. Fundamental Baptist Churches like congregational rule. They want to vote and have a voice in every decision the church leadership is going to make.
Fundamentalists, Evangelicals, Southern Baptists, Independents, Bible Churches, Reformed Churches all have some of the same problems. . Some are healthy churches and some are dying a slow death.
I have been a part of the World Baptist Fellowship - Arlington Texas. GARB - Ohio and Kansas, Southern Baptist - Kentucky, Non-Denominational - Ohio. All these churches have people that are about the same, good people. It’s usually not the label, it’s the traditional mind set and its leadership.
I have been rather unsystematic here in this article I know. I am trying to get a handle on this subject. I’ve jumped from thought to thought, sorry. My point is to figure out the purpose of forty years of ministry. The purpose has been within the providence of God. If God has been glorified, and up lifted and the Gospel has been rightly presented, then the real purpose has been accomplished.
I truly today, am satisfied with the last forty years of ministry. Should I be?
I keep saying, my choices of churches were believed to be right, but the end results were frequently viewed as not right. (Why would I have gone to Second Baptist; why would I have left FBC; why would I have wanted to go to Calvary?) Unless all this has been under the providence or foresight of a sovereign Lord. I really am glad the Lord allowed us to go to each place we went. I learned valuable lessons in each place..
But, to be honest, I would like to do God’s will better, learn more, and do a better work for the Lord.
I am satisfied if I can sum up all this ministry as all within the control of the Lord.
P.S. The subject of his posting was "How Are We To View The Past In The Light Of The Future?
In other word, looking back what would I do different? First, I can’t go back. Secondly, I couldn’t change the pass anyway. Thirdly, God took us at the point we were in and used us for His glory. Fourth, Yes I would do some things differently in light of better understanding of church ministry. Fifty, I would continue to preach the same style, Expositional teaching.