Church and State: The Problem

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2024/07/Church-and-State-The-Problem.mp3 by Jeffrey W. Hamilton Text: I Peter 2:13-17   I.         It is easy to forget that the relationship between church and state that we have today did not exist when Christ entered the world             A.        Most societies in the past were held together by a common religious loyalty             B.        The Babylonians expected everyone in their country to…

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Why Are Elders Missing in So Many Churches?

by Roger D. Campbell We read about “the elders of the church” in the New Testament (James 5:14). In the Bible, “the elders of the church” refers to those brothers who serve as the overseers of a local flock of God (Acts 20:17, 28). They also are identified as shepherds or pastors (Ephesians 4:11) and…

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Do you think committees are necessary when there are no elders or deacons?

Question: Hi! Thanks for the enlightening content on your site. I read the answer you gave to a question that was about creating committees to carry out tasks for a congregation. You said it was wrong because when the need arose in the early church, deacons were appointed and elders also have their roles. How…

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The Beginning of Apostasy

by Andy Sochor via Unmasking Sophistry, January-March 2023 As we noticed in “Early Persecution,” the early Christians openly faced severe persecution for the cause of Christ. While many abandoned their faith in order to avoid these persecutions, there were others who remained faithful even to the point of death. Because of this, the enemies of…

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Is Sincerity Enough?

by Jefferson David Tant A popular idea among many people when questioned about their religious beliefs is that sincerity is the final judge of what is right and wrong. So long as a person believes in Christ, whatever his practices or beliefs may be in regard to that faith, so long as he is sincere,…

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Do churches have boards of directors?

Question: My congregation is considering closing and dispersing due to a continued decrease in attendance and the inability to draw new members or visitors. Now I hear we have to have approval from our “board of directors”? Does each church of Christ have a board of directors? Thank you very much for your help. Answer:…

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My preacher oversees several congregations. What do I do?

Question: God bless you for your detailed explanation of congregational cooperation. However, I’m still confused. My preacher is an overseer of many local congregations in our community. He appoints the preachers of such congregations, takes their offerings, sets up their church buildings, and makes decisions and policies for them. Unfortunately, we don’t have elders in…

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The Legacy of Campbell’s Error

by Steve Dewhirst Sentry Magazine, December 2000 Alexander Campbell Alexander Campbell (1788-1866) was a remarkable man, but he was just a man, subject to error even as the rest. for all of his great learning, teaching, and writing over many years, he was profoundly wrong in his understanding of one vital aspect of the New…

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God’s Distribution Plan

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Gods-Distribution-Plan.mp3 Text: I Corinthians 1:18-31   I.         God promised a kingdom that would never fall             A.        Daniel 7:13-14 – One that would never be destroyed             B.        Not so with human kingdoms                         1.         Every empire of the past has collapsed at some point                         2.         It has been noted that democracies tend not to last more than 200 years or so                         3.         People…

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Identifying a New Testament Church

by Steve Dewhirst Sentry Magazine, December 2002 Traditionally, we gospel preachers have spoken of “identifying the New Testament church” in an effort to distinguish it from the sects roundabout. But in so doing, we have sometimes obscured the true nature of the body of Christ. We begin to preach about the church Jesus said He…

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To Equip the Saints for Service

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton The Organization of the Church The Apostles Prophets What Are Elders Responsible For? Servants of the Church The Purpose of Preaching What Is Teaching?

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Who is in charge, the preacher or the elders?

Question: Hi Jeff, I’m forced to ask this question: between the ministers and the elders, who is in charge of a local congregation? Where that I am, there is a serious power tussle between the two. The ministers say, since they teach the men to become elders and also ordain them as elders, they are…

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What Is Teaching?

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/What-Is-Teaching.mp3 Text: Hebrews 5:6-6:3   I.         Teaching is a duty within the church             A.        Ephesians 4:11 – Listed with apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors.             B.        Acts 13:1 – Antioch had prophets and teachers             C.        I Corinthians 12:28-29 – Listed among apostles and prophets.             D.        Romans 12:6-8 – Teaching is a gift to be exercised to our best ability             E.        Paul performed…

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Who selects elders?

Question: We are stuck in the selection of elders for our church, Only one brother qualifies to be an elder. In the absence of a church eldership, who does the selecting of a faithful brother to lead the church? Please help. We very urgently need the answer. Answer: The design of the local church is…

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The Sponsoring Church Arrangement: What Was the Issue?

by Bill Hall I can’t say enough about the encouragement it is to me to see your continued interest in this effort that we’re putting forth.  Your willingness to come and study with us — it means so much to me.  When this was planned, I thought we could educate those who come as to…

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Is it biblical to have a board of trustees?

Question: Is it biblical to have a board of trustees? Answer: Governments exist by the authority of God (Romans 13:1-2). So long as the demands of a government do not violate the laws of God, there is every reason for Christians to be obedient to the government under which they exist. When a congregation owns…

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Can a woman serve as a church’s secretary or treasurer?

Question: Is it right to make a Christian sister the church secretary? Can a sister also act as the treasurer? Answer: First off, you will not find a position of secretary or treasurer mentioned in the New Testament. The closest you will get to a treasurer is that Judas used to keep the money box…

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Is a church secretary or treasurer a permanent position?

Question: I want to know whether a church secretary, treasurer, etc. once appointed or chosen to that post is permanent, or they can be rotated on a tenure basis. Answer: There is no such office in the church as a secretary or treasurer. Duties, such as these, are usually filled by deacons. If there is…

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The Church in Crisis

by Edward O. Bragwell, Sr. I have a sermon titled “Crises in the Jerusalem Church” that I preach from time to time. It is based on notes that I took on a sermon I heard brother Clinton Hamilton preach many years ago. It points to several crises faced by the first congregation of Christians ever.…

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What Are Elders Responsible For?

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/WhatAreEldersResponsibleFor.mp3 Text: Ezekiel 34:1-10   I.         Oversee the Church – I Peter 5:2             A.        Shepherding the flock – This is where the term “pastor” comes from                         1.         They see to it that the church is taught, so all can grow – Ephesians 4:11-16                         2.         But sheep have a tendency to stray – I Peter 2:25                                     a.         Because people forget to…

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Is it scriptural for a church to use committees to make decisions for the church?

Question: Good day brother, I’m a member of the church of Christ. Is it scriptural for congregations of the Lord’s church to have committees? I mean committees like evangelism committee, building committee, edification committee, visitation committee, benevolence committee, counseling, and disciplinary committee, etc. Thanks in anticipation. Answer: In the Bible, churches did not handle problems…

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Corruption in Church Organization

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/0020/01/CorruptionInChurchOrganization.mp3 by Jeffrey W. Hamilton Text: Acts 20:17-35   I.         Equality of members (first century)             A.        The early church was marked by the equality of its members – Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11             B.        As Jesus prayed, the desire was for all Christians to be one – John 17:20-21             C.        There were different duties, but the people were seen as…

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The Organization of the Church

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/OrganizationOfTheChurch.mp3 Text: Hebrews 8:1-5   I.         We give God glory when we teach His doctrine and execute it accordingly – I Peter 4:11             A.        Thus we are to follow the pattern set for us – Philippians 3:17             B.        Warnings abound not to change the message – Galatians 1:6-10             C.        Any change would give glory to man and no longer…

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Does the New Testament Authorize Deaconesses?

by Carrol R. Sutton via Guardian of Truth, November 16, 1989 The question under consideration in this study is one about which scholars are divided. Some do not hesitate to say that deaconesses are authorized in the New Testament. Others say that it is questionable and still others suggest that there is no authority in the…

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Helpers

by Jefferson David Tant “And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues” (I Corinthians 12:28) Perhaps you have noticed that people are different — different in personalities, appearance, talents. Evidently, God designed us that way, and Paul acknowledged this…

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Can a woman be the educational leader in a church?

Question: Hello, I am so thankful for this site and often visit it when I’m looking for a better understanding of things. I was born and raised in a church of Christ and know nothing else. I have been blessed to have the opportunity to visit many congregations throughout the brotherhood. Recently, my membership changed…

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Can a non-Christian lead the congregation?

Question: I’m in charge of scheduling the worship leaders for a small church of Christ. Recently I was approached by an unsaved regular attendee, who wished to participate in leading our body in different aspects of our Sunday morning worship service — prayer, reading, communion, etc.  I approached our elders for guidance, as it just…

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Elders Who Rule Well

Elders Who Rule Well – Part 1Elders Who Rule Well – Part 2 Text: I Timothy 5:17-21   I.         Consider an imaginary congregation             A.        At the beginning, there was much work to be done. The challenges of the demands required many sacrifices.             B.        The members joined in planning and the work. As each was aware of what went…

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The Rule of Elders

The Rule of Elders – Part 1The Rule of Elders – Part 2 Reading: Matthew 20:20-28   I.         Consider an imaginary congregation             A.        It is a fair-sized group with an abundance of men, but few are actively involved in the work of the church.             B.        There are two active and very visible elders.                         1.         They exclusively teach the adult…

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How can discipline be done when there is only one faithful man?

Question: Hello, I am a part-time minister of a small congregation of Christians made up mostly of female members. The few male members have dwindled down to three in number due to members relocating and deaths. Currently, the two other male members are unable to take part in the worship services due to certain aspects…

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Did I hurt the reputation of my ex-boyfriend?

Question: Over five years ago, I met a man who became my boyfriend. He was a deacon in his church.  He brought me to his church and there I attended. He has a history of being involved in multiple relationships before being converted to Christ many years ago.  He has been divorced and has grown children from…

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Is it scriptural for a congregation to have men in their twenties as treasurers?

Question: Hi there, Our congregation has just appointed two men in their mid-twenties as our treasurers. Is this scriptural? I always thought it should be older men. Our congregation also doesn’t have elders or deacons. Answer: Typically the physical needs of a congregation are handled by deacons, but the congregation where you are doesn’t have…

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Is it right for a church to have a paid minister of music?

Question: Hello, I am a member of a Church of Christ that currently doesn’t have elders. The congregation is “run” by the minister and a few hand-picked men who basically say yes to whatever the minister wants to do. This has bothered me since this minister arrived at our congregation several years back, but now…

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Is a church without elders not following the Scriptures?

Question: There are three churches of Christ in my town. I have attended all three. There is one, smaller than the other churches, that has had no elders or deacons for about 15 years. My wife likes to go there. However, when I ask about the need for elders and deacons, I hear from some…

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Should announcements come before or after worship?

Question: Can announcement be done before the Lord’s Supper, preaching, praying, singing, or done at the end of service? (Matthew 6:33). God’s business first, then the church’s business last? Please I need help! Thank you. Answer: When God does not make a rule, it is not proper to make one for Him. The order of…

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What should be done if a visiting speaker starts teaching falsely?

Question: If an elder at a congregation puts a visiting speaker in the pulpit who has no business being there, and you have a lot of visitors in the audience, what should the preacher do or say about that? I might add that the elder’s knowledge is nowhere close to where it should be to…

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