INTRODUCING MAJOR THEOLOGIANS:
From the Apostolic Fathers to the Twentieth
By Michael Reeves
IVP. 335 pages. £14.99
ISBN 978 1 783 592 722
Historical theology is a valuable tool for deepening and enriching our understanding of the Christian faith.
While our theology must be based on Scripture as our supreme authority and should also be conversant with the thinking and cultural context of today’s world, we would be foolish to ignore what previous generations have taught. Faithful theology must be deeply informed by the church’s tradition. This is not traditionalism, although that is a constant danger, but rather the way of wisdom as we learn from the best that has been left to us by our forefathers.
However, there is bad and good historical theology. Bad historical theology cherry-picks the bits from the past that we like and that confirm what we think rather than reading the older theologians in their historical context. Sadly there is far too much of that kind of historical theology among evangelicals... (to read more click here)
Kenneth Brownell, senior minister, East London Tabernacle
This article was first published in the February 2016 issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, articles or reviews, visit our website or subscribe to en for regular updates.
Out now in the December issue of Evangelicals Now…
December issue cover
• Spiritual hunger in Egypt
• Churches in Greece bring hope to refugees
• From gay rights supporter to paster in USA
The December issue is out now! Read it online or enjoy the printed paper with your morning cuppa!
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Ian Buchanan recommends that we now need to think in terms of intergenerational ministry
I’ve been thinking about 20th-century church growth logic.
I graduated from seminary in the 20th century. The church growth strategy that had been implanted in my imagination was similar to most other ministers from the 20th century: ‘When you’re leading a church, focus the congregation on the future of the church, the youth.’
Logically, the first agenda item for a new minister became the employment of a youth minister. And the logic seemed sound back then. After all, for most of human history young people have outnumbered older people. They were the largest market segment.
The Boston Matrix
In the 20th century the Boston Matrix was one of the business tools that some church leaders found helpful as they grew their churches. This matrix allows you to divide ‘your markets’ and your subsequent ‘product offerings’ into four distinct segments.
The two really important segments for churches were the ‘STARS’ where new growth, new products and the future lies and then there are the ‘CASH COWS’. This unfortunate use of a bovine image allows you to identify your ‘established markets’, ones that can be ‘milked’ in order to feed the more exciting outreach into the future, into those ‘STARS’.
I don’t know how widespread the use of the Boston Matrix became but I noticed that it clarified what many churches were doing instinctively. The church needed to focus on the youth and get the older folk (read: people in the second half of life) to give their all to ensure that young people came, stayed and brought in their parents. The future of the church was young people in families, or so we were told.
Two Americans, the editor of The Journal of Youth Ministry, Thomas Bergler and Professor of Youth and Family Ministry, Andrew Root, have helped 21st century churches to see the unhealthy trajectory of this strategy as it worked.…(to read more click here)
John Delius provides a possible checklist to scare the daylights out of those in the pulpit
If you are a preacher, the following is a checklist you may find helpful.
It is not intended to be used by the whole congregation, but to be given to a friend to check out some of the nuts and bolts of your preaching.
☺ Hearers are blessed.
😦 Hearers are bored.
@ A helpful story or illustration*.
…(to read more click here)
John Delius is a university teacher, who on retirement, with his wife spent several years as a Christian worker in an East Asian country
But remember there can be no good preaching without prayer. Acts 6.4 ‘We will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the Word.’
This article was first published in the June issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, articles or reviews, visit us online or subscribe to en for monthly updates.
Church leaders conferring at 2014 FIEC Leaders’ Conference
Pastors must go to conferences.
Pastors need days away from the pressures of ministry in the churches they lead. We need each other, new scenery, good friends, encouragement, r&r, and the whole host of other things which conferences give us. Residential conferences in the course of ministry are a gift from heaven to the church’s leaders.
Not all church leaders can get away, of course. Bi-vocational ministries, home-life demands and other factors mean that leaders sometimes just cannot get away. These men deserve our extra support. They should be the exception, though. Most pastors should be getting away.
We must stop seeing conferences as… (to read more click here)
Pastor Anonymous is in full-time pastoral ministry somewhere in the UK.
This article was first published in the December 2014 issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, visit us online or subscribe to en for monthly updates.