Tag Archives: sincerity

Two Ways To Keep Members Faithful

The first way to keep members “faithful” is to be sure everyone is involved.  Have a project for each member, and make sure that he feels important in his role.  Praise him for the good job he is doing.  Make him feel needed; make him feel that the well-being of the whole congregation rests firmly on his shoulders.  That will keep him “faithful.”

There are two problems with this method.  In the first place, it encourages the creation of projects that are not remotely related to the work of the local church.  One member plays on the church ball team; another member leads the Boy Scout troop; another is an active member of the “Dorcas Society”; another plans the program for the men’s luncheon.  Everybody is busy all right, but in activities that are not authorized in the New Testament as concerning the actual work of the church.

In the second place, members are often given roles for which they are not qualified.  A lady is chosen to teach a class not because she is qualified, but because she needs to be involved.  A man is appointed a deacon to help him to be “faithful.”  Another man is appointed to serve the Lord’s Supper for a month in order to encourage him to be present each Sunday that month.  This method thus places “the cart before the horse,” for no one should ever be assigned any work in the Lord’s service who is not already faithful and qualified for the work to be done (2 Timothy 2:2).

The second way to keep people faithful is to develop within them a genuine love for the Lord.  When people love the Lord, they will be faithful, and it won’t take some kind of “special” project to keep them faithful.  They will also be involved: in worship, in study, in godly living, in sharing the gospel with a friend, in helping the needy.  I have known literally hundreds of Christians who have never in their lives been appointed to any special work, but whose love for the Lord alone keeps them faithful.  There is no superficial faithfulness on the part of these; theirs is a faithfulness that is real.

Special responsibilities are fine for those who are qualified to have them, but the member who requires some special duty to be faithful has never learned what true faithfulness is.

– By Bill Hall

Two Sources of Authority

“The baptism of John, where was it from? From heaven or from men?” (Matt. 21:25).

The chief priests and elders questioned Jesus concerning the authority for His work, saying, “By what authority are You doing these things? and who gave You this authority?”  Jesus did not dispute the need for authority.  In fact, he asked them a question about authority concerning the baptism of John, promising to answer their question if they answered His question.

Jesus’ question tackled the foremost issue in any study of authority – its source.  Jesus identified two, and only two, sources of authority – heaven and men.  “Heaven” has reference to divine authority, that which is provided by God.  Such authority is found in God’s revelation to man.  God’s word to man today is the word of Christ in the New Testament (Hebrews 1:1-2; Ephesians 3:3-5; Jude 3; Colossians 1:5; 2 Timothy 1;13).  When we do what God has revealed in the divine pattern of His word, we are acting by heaven’s authority!

On the other hand, man’s authority is just that, human authority – that which stands in contrast to divine authority.  This human authority can be manifested in several ways:

  • Preachers and scholars – following what men say.
  • Creeds of men – religious doctrines of men.
  • Majority opinion – what most people believe.
  • Personal opinion – what I think is right.
  • Emotions – what I feel is right.
  • Sincerity – what I really believe is true.
  • Results – the end justifies the means.

Each person must decide which authority he will ultimately and completely follow or submit to – man or God.  God’s word is truth (John 17:17).  If most folks choose to follow man, division and confusion will continue in our world.  Choose to follow Jesus and His divine authority.  He is the only true way.

— By Marc W. Gibson, The Central Voice, March, 2014