9Marks Churches

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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Tim Bonney » Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:31 am

Do the Sovereign Grace churches have a strong authoritarian pastoral leadership?

I have a theory that churches where the pastor is allowed to be, and theologically expected to be, an authoritarian leader are more susceptible to problems of abuse.
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby William Thornton » Sun Oct 12, 2014 11:19 am

Yep. Not necessarily a single authoritarian figure. Sometimes a plurality of elders.
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Tim Bonney » Sun Oct 12, 2014 4:14 pm

William Thornton wrote:Yep. Not necessarily a single authoritarian figure. Sometimes a plurality of elders.


Agreed.
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Sandy » Sun Oct 12, 2014 5:08 pm

My wife and I worshipped at Capitol Hill Baptist Church this morning. It was not any different than many other Baptist churches these days that have revitalized and approach ministry in a different way than they did back in the '70's.
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Tim Bonney » Sun Oct 12, 2014 5:21 pm

Sandy wrote:My wife and I worshipped at Capitol Hill Baptist Church this morning. It was not any different than many other Baptist churches these days that have revitalized and approach ministry in a different way than they did back in the '70's.


I don't know that you'd tell much from a single worship service about how most churches run or what they believe in any great detail. You could walk into my church and if we didn't have a baptism or communion it could pass for many an ABC, Presbyterian, or UCC church in worship style.
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Sandy » Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:37 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:
Sandy wrote:My wife and I worshipped at Capitol Hill Baptist Church this morning. It was not any different than many other Baptist churches these days that have revitalized and approach ministry in a different way than they did back in the '70's.


I don't know that you'd tell much from a single worship service about how most churches run or what they believe in any great detail. You could walk into my church and if we didn't have a baptism or communion it could pass for many an ABC, Presbyterian, or UCC church in worship style.


Oh, I agree, as far as distinguishing what they believe, or how they operate on a regular basis. There wasn't a lot in this particular church that was observable as far as that goes. However, in this day and age, it is unusual to walk into a very traditional-looking church building, and into an established congregation that's been around for a long time, and discover a congregation that completely fills the seats, is made up of people mostly in their 30's, and that has a vibrant relevancy that's more than just doing the things you always do in church on Sunday. There was a purpose and a flow to the worship that wasn't rushed, and that was spontaneous, with a sense of being directed by the Holy Spirit. I didn't need to follow a bulletin to know what was going on, and while that may be a personal preference, I tend to think that's evidence of God's leading the planning.

The message was a bit longer than I'm used to, but the congregation was fully engaged, and time passes quickly when you're interested. I was following closely, looking for hard core Calvinist distinctions, which kept me focused. Didn't hear anything that would necessarily fall into that category.
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Tim Bonney » Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:08 pm

Sounds like it was an enjoyable service Sandy. Certainly God is involved in good worship flow. But I'm also willing to bet they do good solid worship planning to get that kind of flow.

Because my church is live on the radio we have a highly scripted service but it doesn't feel scripted because of how the worship flows and keeps moving without a lot of empty space, wasted time in movement between one part of the service or another. We learned to do it to eliminate dead air. Now when I visit churches without a will thought out worship flow it seems disjointed and slow.
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Sandy » Mon Oct 13, 2014 6:55 am

I would guess there's a lot of planning that goes on in order to get to the point where a worship service "feels" spontaneous or interactive. I think it takes a conscious awareness that worship is directed at God as the audience to bring elements into worship that direct people to God and lead to a genuine encounter, rather than just a feeling that you're checking off the bulletin. I'm sure being live on the radio is an interesting experience, since you have worshippers whom you can't see, but you want to have a similar experience to those in the congregation. We used to video our services, and use them in worship planning, and it was amazing to see the reaction of people to things like inadvertent noise, lengthy transitions that interrupted the flow, "dead air" so to speak, and things that occurred which didn't really contribute to an atmosphere of worship. People could see that things which were not "worship" (like announcements) could be disruptive after the "call to worship."

I don't think I was expecting to see anything really "different" at Capitol Hill with regard to their "Calvinist" position. They are one of just two or three churches in the inner city of Washington that have been able to reach into the large, and growing, 30-50 year old age group in the city and that's a much more visible focus than doctrine or church polity.
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:26 am

Sandy wrote:
I don't think I was expecting to see anything really "different" at Capitol Hill with regard to their "Calvinist" position. They are one of just two or three churches in the inner city of Washington that have been able to reach into the large, and growing, 30-50 year old age group in the city and that's a much more visible focus than doctrine or church polity.


I imagine if you were there enough to hear a fair number of sermons you'd see the Calvinist theology come out either specifically or by the buzz words that go with a particular theology.
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Sandy » Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:18 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:
Sandy wrote:
I don't think I was expecting to see anything really "different" at Capitol Hill with regard to their "Calvinist" position. They are one of just two or three churches in the inner city of Washington that have been able to reach into the large, and growing, 30-50 year old age group in the city and that's a much more visible focus than doctrine or church polity.


I imagine if you were there enough to hear a fair number of sermons you'd see the Calvinist theology come out either specifically or by the buzz words that go with a particular theology.


It's sort of there in his writing, though it's muted, and it's hard to catch the "buzz words." The sermons, I would guess, would depend on the topic, or perhaps the emphasis of a series.

This is a church that baptizes about 200 people a year, mostly adults. Maybe its stereotypical, but I'd expect a Calvinist church to see mostly children baptized, not necessarily young adults. You don't find very many inner city churches anywhere, especially older, established congregations, that pack the house twice on Sunday, and draw a mostly under 40 crowd. In Washington, from what I've observed and read, there's only one other church that fits that bill, National Community Church, (known as the "movie theater church" because of where it worships--in movie theater auditoriums) pastored by Mark Batterson, and a lot of its congregation is in the burbs, and he's not Calvinist. Capitol Hill's satellite congregation, in Northwest DC, which worships in a former Presbyterian building, is also booming. Not what I would consider typical of Calvinists, but, hey, we are in a post-denominational age.
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:01 pm

Sandy wrote:This is a church that baptizes about 200 people a year, mostly adults. Maybe its stereotypical, but I'd expect a Calvinist church to see mostly children baptized, not necessarily young adults.


There does seem to be a disconnect between the fact that Calvinists believe so strongly in election and yet often seem to be quite evangelistic, almost in contradiction to what they state their theology to be.

That being said, my Church believes in freewill and the necessity for people to profess faith in Christ and yet we baptize primarily children.
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby KeithE » Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:39 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:
Sandy wrote:This is a church that baptizes about 200 people a year, mostly adults. Maybe its stereotypical, but I'd expect a Calvinist church to see mostly children baptized, not necessarily young adults.


There does seem to be a disconnect between the fact that Calvinists believe so strongly in election and yet often seem to be quite evangelistic, almost in contradiction to what they state their theology to be.

That being said, my Church believes in freewill and the necessity for people to profess faith in Christ and yet we baptize primarily children.

Yeah General (that is Arminian) Baptists have it right on these matters.
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Tim Bonney » Tue Oct 14, 2014 11:11 pm

KeithE wrote:Yeah General (that is Arminian) Baptists have it right on these matters.


At least the Arminian part. :wink: :lol:
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