The important link between pastoral care and church discipline

We’ve been working through a teaching series called “Believing and Belonging” at Bearwood Chapel.  It’s based on some studies we put together for potential new church members. We’ve looked at questions including “What is a healthy church?” and “Who should be a member of a church?” We’ve also talked about leadership, baptism, communion, gifts and giving. The last talk is all about “Church Discipline.” In fact, going back to the original studies it is about pastoral care and church discipline.

This is important because, church discipline gets a bad press at times. We don’t like the word “discipline” it sounds harsh and authoritarian, Yet, discipline is a very Biblical concept. Continue reading

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Down’s Syndrome, disability, abortion, euthanasia and the church

Last week, the Church of England Synod debated a motion concerning the rights and welfare of people with Downs’ Syndrome.  We spent a bit of time talking about this as church elders this week.  We used as oSally Phillips on DSur starting point, Ian Paul’s article here. Now, our elders’ discussion is not going to get the same level of attention, nor are we part of the church of England so what the C of E discuss and decide is in one sense “not our business.”   Indeed, whilst Ian was critical of Synod, this was not our primary focus. However, we felt it right to talk about this because: Continue reading

Three reasons for giving

This is the penultimate talk in our believing and belonging series. We have talked about what healthy churches look like, who should belong to a church, the importance of baptism and communion and how we are to use our gifts together in the service of the Gospel. Next week we will be looking at pastoral care and church discipline. Today we are going to talk about giving. Continue reading

Rethinking church and mission – What is the local church’s role?

Stephen Kneale kicked off some thinking about the local church and mission with few blog posts recently.[1]

Eddie Arthur has followed up with a post looking at what Mission Agencies can and in his experience do contribute.[2]

The fascinating thing is that in the follow on conversation there hasn’t really been much disagreement from the following propositions. Continue reading

Should we listen to/use Bethel music in worship?

Here’s a little follow up to my article on Bethel.  One of our young men asked me a couple of weeks ago about Bethel and music. You see, one of the reasons they have a high profile is because of the music they’ve produced.  They wanted to know if it was okay to buy, listen to, use the music in worship. Continue reading

Complementarianism – a family perspective

For most of my adult life, one of the most potentially contentious conversations in church life has been the question of men and women in church leadership.  Women have been allowed to preach in the Methodist Church and some other denominations for a long time, they have also served as ministers/pastors in those contexts.  However, it was only in the 1990s that the Church of England allowed women to be ordained into the clergy and very recently indeed that the bar was lifted on women bishops.

Generally speaking the view within independent evangelicalism has remained that eldership and public teaching roles should be restricted to men, though some churches have started to include female elders.  A lot more churches would include female deacons but there are still some who see this role as male only. Continue reading