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Robbing from the children

January 12 2006 at 12:26 AM
allen coffman  (no login)
from IP address

To those of you at Madison, what is your experience with young adult involvement?

Is this the weakness in the armor?

In my short life, I have seen how much of the "ministry" load is laid on the back of the young adults and young parents of the congregation. It has been a natural progession to stoke this fire even higher in the PDC movement and the C of C at large.

These folks are fired up and excited about the "vision" of the congregation. To keep the work force motivated, we must keep them excited. A dynamic speaker, moving worship experiences and multi-media presentations have to be used to keep the oxen pulling the heavy yoke.

They are so tired from all the work that Bible study would put them to sleep. We must instead use Beth Moore videos or a good book study to keep interest.

The final cost of the bill is sent to the children of the young parents. There is no time train them in ways of righteousness because we have to go design the set of our "over-the-top" VBS.

The final cost of the bill is sent to the spouses of young couples. There is no time to pray together because we got home late from our family life ministry team meeting.

The final cost of the bill is sent to the lost souls that live in our neighborhood. There is no time to have them in our home because we had to go do our regular Tuesday night visition of the members who aren't showing up at the Sunday assembly.

The final cost of the bill is the fellowship and unity of Christ's church. We spend so must energy arguing about OUR WORK, OUR BUILDING, OUR MINISTRY that we have forsaken THE MASTER. We have forsaken the assembly because we no longer MEET TOGETHER.

Is it possible for elderships, through healthy mentoring and spiritual direction, prevent much of our organizational turmoil? By taking greater care of the over-commitment of the young adults and young families could the health of our congregations benefit? Is the lost priority of honest, God-centered relationship across generations in the name of Christ one of the elements of Christian living that we have neglected and so arrived at this end (PDC)?

I think Paul worked hard to prevent what we are experiencing.

1 Thessalonians 1
1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timothy, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.

2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;

3 remembering without ceasing your work of faith and labor of love and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father;

4 knowing, brethren beloved of God, your election,

5 how that our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance; even as ye know what manner of men we showed ourselves toward you for your sake.

6 And ye became imitators of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit;

7 so that ye became an ensample to all that believe in Macedonia and in Achaia.

8 For from you hath sounded forth the word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith to God-ward is gone forth; so that we need not to speak anything.

9 For they themselves report concerning us what manner of entering in we had unto you; and how ye turned unto God from idols, to serve a living and true God,

10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, who delivereth us from the wrath to come.

in Him

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Donnie Cruz
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“… how much of the ministry ‘load’ …”

January 12 2006, 7:56 AM 

Speaking of the “ministry load,” it is one of the highlights of the “church growth” scheme [SCAM]—a.k.a. the PDC or “Purpose Driven Church” Movement. This manual on “numerical” growth in church membership is authored by no other than Rick Warren, “senior pastor” of the 16,000-member Saddleback Community Church in California. As you may or may not know it, this famous “Community Church” founder has amassed so much $$$, etc., from book sales, speaking engagements, seminars, etc., that he “had to” forego his other source of income—his salary. Wow!

Yes, “representatives” from Madison actually visited the Saddleback Community Church to “observe and learn” their special techniques. Of course, we already know “what happened…” [If not, please review the thread.]

Madison’s leadership “needed to” employ [see where and how part of the saints’ collection is expended] … a new and improved “Youth Minister.” [What would be the word or expression in reference to the one who had to be replaced? Is it “fired” or “laid off” or “position eliminated” or “let go”? I think we may have a couple of threads on Tory Tredway, the “former” youth minister.]

I think I still have a copy of the Madison Marcher [church bulletin] which listed all its ministries—an extensive list including “worship ministry.” And since when has “worship” in spirit and in truth become a ministry?

The point is that all the extraneous and contemporaneous ministries are quite a “load.” The real ministry that we’ve known about for ages, EVANGELISM, is lost or is no longer the emphasis.


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Donnie Cruz
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Speaking of the “Chief Youth Minister”

January 13 2006, 8:17 AM 

Update: Because of the “Purpose Driven Church” Cult’s Rick Warren’s wealth, the annual salary he would no longer accept from the Saddleback Community Church in CA was $110,000. In fact, he has “returned” the total amount of $$$ to his church for the entire 25 years of “service” as pastor. His other “purpose-driven” manual, “Purpose Driven Life,” has sold copies in the millions. BTW, there are churches of Christ that use this manual in “Bible” classes, such as Oak Hills Church [formerly “of Christ”].

It’s a chain reaction. Max Lucado’s church uses Rick Warren’s PDL manual. The famous Shadow Mountain Community Church’s (CA) pastor, Dr. David Jeremiah, quotes from Max Lucado’s writings.

. . .


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Ken Sublett
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The KEY to the kingdom!

January 12 2006, 12:20 PM 

You have put your hand on the KEY to Satan's defeat of the REST Jesus died to give us. The laded burden by evil clergy is defined as "spiritual anxiety created by religious rituals." The word REST or the Greek PAUO is one of those 'parable' words Jesus used to POINT to the pagan condition He came to destroy: it is mostly used in the literature meaning; "stop the speaking, stop the singing, stop the instrument playing" and goes on to include "stop the PANIC." NONE of the latter day MINISTRIES could exist without professional BURDEN LADERS loading guilt on people which is the worst kinf of legalism.

Because EKKLESIA is synagogue or school of the Bible, NONE of the rituals of paganism were permitted. That was the meaning of the SABBATH which never meant "a day of worship" but "a day of REST." This literally nailed their feet to a small area on the day when PAGAN'S worshipped: the AGENTS of the gods RESTED while the "worshipers fed, clothed, wined and sexually served" them. In Babylonianism People were created out of mud and the blood of an evil god as LABOR SAVING DEVICES so the gods rested. THAT is what Stepen says "God turned them over to" because of the musical idolatry at Mount Sinai.

For those Prisoners which Christ unleashed from the Temple-state rituals which were pagan or NATIONAL because that is what the ELDERS demanded, God ordained a Holy Convocation on some First days and all seventh days. This word meant to READ or REHEARSE the Word of God. Because people were trained in an oral tradition they carried the Bible around in their SPIRIT or HEARTS. If you look for words like WORSHIP you will RESTORE Babylonianism. However, if you look at words like assembly or gathering Paul used a form of the SYNAGOGUE. Synagogue was SCHOOL OF THE BIBLE and did not have "a praise service" or SLAVE MASTERS to occupy young mothers SURPLUS TIME and SURPLUS cash. That is why Paul's UNIQUE "worship" words mean to GIVE HEED to Christ by giving heed to His Word.

We need to turn on the LIGHT BULB on Romans 14: all of our slave masters insist that it gives THEM liberty to impose anything THEY wish on US and WE have no right to JUDGE THEM for picking OUR pockets and cashing in our insurance policy or selling our car to PROCURE a musical worship minister. Now, they are training Missional Ministers as Located Missionars with Apostles and Prophets. and Design Ministers. In Revelation the word TECHNE or CRAFTSMEN defines "theater builders and stage managers." They were Teknokrats of the Babylon Whore--then and now.

However, in Romans 14 Paul EXCLUDED our lives from DISPUTATION in the assembly which had a LIMITED role as SCHOOL. The synagogue or ekklesia did not make COMMUNE of our private lives under a COMMUNITY CHURCH. Romans 15 continues to CIRCUMSCRIBE the assembly as a SCHOOL OF THE BIBLE. This excludes any pleasuring or arousal pagan rituals and DOES NOT remotely hint of MOBILIZING the young parents with a LIFE OF THEIR OWN into a Works Project Administration. God gave "ministers" and elders to SERVE those people just like ANY humanoid parent works to SUPPORT their children and grandchildren. Those who RIDE TANDEM on the backs of the hard working, honest young families and RITUALIZE and SERMONIZE to LOAD GUILT on them are, in the words of Jesus, SONS OF THE DEVIL. Indeed, they are treated as a separate species whose master wants them to TAKE your eyes off Jesus and put it on them and THEIR Simple Simon, Bible-starved sermonic servings. They even OPENLY BOAST about training Prophets, Chanellers and Facilitators (manipulators) to go out and STEAL your church.

MOST of church history and ALL of the available scholarship understood that perfectly. The Restoration Movement was an ongoing task of peeling dead albatroses off the necks of honest working people.

Sorry about the run-ons (or maybe not) but WE have lost connection with the HEAD and I don't believe anyone can find a large city congregation which has any DNA left from the meaning of SCHOOL OF CHRIST Thomas Campbell tried to restore.

Preach on, brother!

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Re: Robbing from the children

January 14 2006, 6:59 PM 

I am sure my comment will anger many members of the Church, but I hold another group responsible for a PORTION of this delimna. Don't get me wrong, my age group - and younger - are the force behind the need for excitement and entertainment. We are spoiled rotten when it comes to immediate gratification.

I am a full-time working mother of two younger kids...My days are stressful and my nights are extremely busy. I don't usually get to sleep before 1:00 am and there are still things left undone. Weekends are full of catch-up work, school projects, Church,...

That said, I am still constantly pushed by Deacons and Elders to contribute my time to the church by teaching class, helping with VBS, working in the Cry Room, planning the ladies retreat, attending monthly women's groups, driving 30 minutes each way to the church building to drop off my child for some program, helping with meals for the sick, etc. Now don't get me wrong, I don't mind doing ANY of those duties and in fact, enjoy it.

But I have found that I cannot give all my time to the church and give time to my family. I am having to give up family time at almost every turn. If I could stay home, I would. But even then, my children aren't home till the late afternoon - so I would only add an hour. Sunday's I'm trying to make sure my children are behaving while half listening to the sermon - and my kids are good kids. When am I to study with my kids? Homework is every night and gets longer with each passing year. Wednesday's blow homework out the door.

When asked to teach a couple of semesters ago, I kindly explained that I just couldn't fit it in my schedule and needed to take a break for a while. You would have thought I had performed some great sin. These deacon's and elder's wives were shocked! I had a duty to the church! I explained my schedule and they literally dismissed my concerns as selfish and unChristian.

Realizing that I had not seen these women teach in nearly 10 years, and knowing they had time on their hands to plan shopping sprees and garage sale hunts each week, I asked if one of them could teach the class instead. Their looks of outrage was pathetic. Both of them began making excuses of how they had "already given of their time when they were young mothers". Of course, I put my foot in my mouth and asked when could I look forward to my "time" being up? Yes, they thought I was being tacky and I was. But, I had made my point.

At a teachers meeting later that year, all the "mothers" asked why they were always expected to fill all the needs of the Church while many of the older women seemed to just boss us around - but not actually contribute anything. It seemed a little backwards to us, as they were the one's with the free time to shop and decorate their homes, etc. Hadn't the scriptures taught that the elder women were to teach the younger ones? What about helping out the younger ones? We accomplished nothing with our question and instead, many of the young families moved away from that congregation, including us. (But because of different issues)

Since that time, I've noted that this seems to be a common theme amongst many of the churches. I'm not saying these women are bad or ugly, just blinded to the real need of the church. They seem to believe that being a christian is a temporary thing. They've paid their price.

Maybe we ALL need to take a look at ourselves and realize that it takes ALL of us to raise a Christian community.


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allen coffman
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follow up

April 5 2007, 10:54 AM 

I thought a long time about the responses to the origional post. Ken that was definately one of your best. I wanted to tell the "rest of the story" as Paul Harvey would say.

I was led to extensively study, meditate, pray and seek counsel on this challenge. One of the most important action points that I was led too was too take a fast from "church activity." I stepped out of a Wed night bible study I had taught for years, small group commitee, leading and hosting a small group, missions commitee, leading an international mission trip each year, children's church rotation, nursery rotation, leading communion devotionals, preaching... My wife took a similar fast.

We are just finishing up the year fast.

The challenges have been difficult. I have had to violently wrestle with many of my control, self-justification, self-dependency, grace and many other sinful areas of my life. What I have found is a patient, loving God who loved me before I started trying to earn His love.

The blessings have been unimaginable.

I want to share one.

I used to feel that we were on some great quest for divine nirvana through church. One day we would finally get it all right. Our doctrine would fall into place. Our worship would be correct and unifying and encouraging. The ministry would be correctly directed and cities would change. We were called to sacrifice everything for building the church because only through our work could the earth be blessed by God.

I have sinced realized, that for most, preaching ministry, ministry programs, church campuses, involvement, children's programs are the 21st century's Tower of Babbling(I made that up for you Ken). I stepped away from the prideful construction.

I realized that Christ's church is doing fine without us. I don't have to fix anything. This does not mean that most churches are not highly efective at leading you away from Christ's church through a man derived body of work with no Head. I, also, had to leave the church we were attending. My chains of clergy domination are released. Their guilt laden grand vision (visual seduction) has been replaced by God's grace-filled mundane faithfulness in those relationship and interactions I encounter everyday. It is difficult because my dear friends still entrapped in the tower of babbling can't hear God's simplicity because of the noise. We have not found a "church home" as most would traditionally define it. I do see God slowly bringing a body of Christians together as we are maturing to where wil not destroy it with our own prideful ambitions and self-reliance. Here is praise to what God is doing in the saints in Chattanooga. May we be faithful in all things. May we live be His grace.


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Jimmy Wren
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Elders are the cause of ALL church problems

April 16 2007, 12:53 PM 

Elders are chosen to 'feed the flock.' Elders change that to 'feed the purse.'

Elders feed the purse of a 'preacher' to feed the assembly.

Elder feed the purse of a 'youth minister' to feed the young'uns.

Elders feed the purse of a 'worship' leader to feed the song service.

Elders feed the purse of a 'specialist' to teach people how to give so they will have the emoney to continue to feed the 'purses'.

When elders learn that they are charged to feed the flock - including the youth - you will see a return to 'Bible study'.

In Christ,
Jimmy †

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Re: Elders are the cause of ALL church problems

April 26 2007, 5:40 PM 

Jimmy- we don't need a return to Bible study. We need a return to God. That's Allen's point, and it's a good one. I agree, programs can be counter to our true purpose. They can also be good, and yes, they do require time and sacrifice.

PPB- I have experienced the attitude of some older people like you described. It is EXTREMELY frustrating! They should be doing the bulk of the leading, teaching, and working, but when many people get to a certain age, they "retire" from Christianity.

Donnie- You said, "The point is that all the extraneous and contemporaneous ministries are quite a “load.” The real ministry that we’ve known about for ages, EVANGELISM, is lost or is no longer the emphasis."

I agree. I was surprised to hear you say that though. I figured that you thought "the real ministry" was talking bad about your church on the internet and fighting the "infiltration" of the non-existent "change agents".

Speaking of "the real ministry...EVANGELISM" that you mentioned, how many people have you led to Christ in the last 5 years?

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Madison Church of Christ was a 60 year old church. At one time it was one of the largest churches in the US, and the largest Church of Christ.

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