Taking Our Responsibilities Seriously.

January 8, 2022 Preacher: Gareth Franks Series: Elder-Led Congregationalism

Topic: The Church Scripture: Matthew 16:13–19

On the 22 January, the members of NLC are going to vote on changing our current form of church governance. NLC has always had a high view of scripture, and we have allowed the scriptures to conform us and our thinking to become more like Christ. And the elders are convinced by scripture that we can do better. We are convinced that our current form of church governance is not the most biblically accurate approach we could take. And for this reason…because we want to be more biblical…we believe that this change will honour God and serve the church better.

At the moment we have what we call an Elder-Led Church model of governance. We want to change it to an Elder-Led Congregational Church model. This change is not a huge change for us, in fact by definition NLC is mostly Congregational already.

Here is the definition:  Elder-led Congregationalism is that:

the entire church body has the final authority under God’s Word in matters of doctrine (and by implication, choosing leaders) and discipline (and by implication, choosing members).

In our current model, elders decide whom to receive or remove from membership, which has led many church members to think, “The elders will handle that. They’re the spiritually mature ones”, which has produced a spiritual passivity in the congregation.

The structure of congregationalism calls church members to be responsible for one another, which in turn requires that we all grow in spiritual maturity. 

Two important truths we can learn from our passage this morning:

  • 1.The Church has the Authority to Proclaim and Defend the Gospel.  (v.17-19)
  • 2. The Church Belongs to Christ. (v.18)

Christ promised to build His Church and His promise will not fail. When we commit ourselves to His church, we’re committed to the only cause that will triumph. 

As we read in Rev. 11:15,The kingdom of the world [will] become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”

William Carey once said; ““I'm not afraid of failure; I'm afraid of succeeding at things that don't matter [to Christ].”

The church matters folks! The church is at the centre of God’s eternal plan for this world. I urge you to take responsibility for New Life Church, and to take your responsibility seriously! Commit yourself to the church to help it become all that God wants it to be, for His glory and for your joy! The church represents Jesus Christ here on earth. Let’s represent! Let’s succeed at what matters to Christ! 

Please click on the links below for more teaching and information:

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