QUESTIONS EVERY CHURCH SHOULD ASK.
Responses that seem to be alluding so many believers in otherwise good churches.
Dr. Marc S. Blackwell, Sr.
1: How can my Local church best serve Christ? Discussing the Place (or Role) of Togetherness.
- How were the First Century Teams formed and focused on the work before them?
(Romans 16:1–6) "I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, 2 that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also. 3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. 5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia to Christ. 6 Greet Mary, who labored much for us.
- How do we guide individuals & our congregation toward Biblical paradigms of self-less service?
(Romans 16:7-16) Greet Andronicus and Junia, my countrymen and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. 8 Greet Amplias, my beloved in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys, my beloved. 10 Greet Apelles, approved in Christ. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus. 11 Greet Herodion, my countryman. Greet those who are of the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord. 12 Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, who have labored in the Lord. Greet the beloved Persis, who labored much in the Lord. 13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. 14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren who are with them. 15 Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ greet you.
Romans 16:17-20 "Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. 18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. 19 For your obedience has become known to all. [Also see Hebrews 13:17) Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. 20 And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen." (nkjv)
2: What can my Local Church do to better communicate to Christ’s glory: The importance of Honesty.
- How can we best resolve the cross-cultural barriers between “expat” Missionaries and their congregations?
- How can our local churches reach-out to immigrants without losing our Irish or South-Irish church members?
For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles—2 if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, 3 how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: 6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, 7 of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.
8 To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; 10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. 13 Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.
14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
3: Why should my Local Church equip Christians to serve? Seeing Service as Personal Acts of Worship.
- How can Biblical concepts of discipleship and spiritual growth be best communicated to younger believers?
We face a super strong trend in society - a trend that treats music and culture as a-moral or above morality. If the words of a new Christian song seem acceptable or even good - this excuses the beat, the sensuous sounds and identification and obvious harmony of the music with the flesh and within the world system of things. Worship has been reduced to "praise" and "worship" then is identified with the public gathering, the collective experience and the emotional re-charge that results from the existential moment of inner peace, elation or happiness. But this subject deserves our attention - our further discussion and the fact that worship was and is "service" - doing not just singing, not just praying and even not just reading our Bibles but also a commitment to each other, one another and the action words (the verbs) of Christian living is essential. Consider
"Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith."nkjv
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." nkjv
"Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen." nkjv
- How can we develop leadership amidst a backdrop of personality, character and culturally “dysfunctional”?