The church, the people of God, the gathering, the spiritual family, the ekklesia – these are some of the words we use to identify people for whom Christ died. In Matthew 16:18, Jesus began to unveil to His disciples God’s plan for redeeming and empowering people from all nations. This first use of the word “church” in scripture – ekklesia in the Greek language – did not carry the same images in the disciples’ minds as it carries in ours today.
They understood the word to describe a gathering of people for secular community meetings. We tend to think about buildings, organizations and activities. But the accurate picture of the church began to unfold at Pentecost.
No matter how you describe it, the church is still God’s ‘plan A’ to complete His purpose. And we cannot overlook that Jesus called it “My church.” We are HIS people. The church belongs to Him.
The Biblical Recorder (BR) wants to bring attention to the high value of the church, the ministries of local churches, the challenges facing local churches and the transitions that move churches from one step to the next.
If you would like to share your church’s unique ministries and/or struggles, please contact me soon at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear your story!
In this month’s magazine, you will read about effective ministries born in the local church. Several articles focus on transitions and resources that can help you navigate significant changes.
For example, churches are prone to make mistakes in the search for a new pastor, and it can take years to recover from poor decisions. In the absence of a pastor, wise church leaders will step back and encourage their church to be intentional as they move forward. Several articles in this magazine emphasize pastoral transitions.
Full disclosure: Last October, at the same time the Biblical Recorder asked me to serve as part-time interim editor, Brian Upshaw (on the Baptist State Convention of N.C. leadership team) expressed an interest in my service as a contractor with the convention in the ministry of transitional interim pastors. I was trained and certified in this process in 2019.
Discussions with Upshaw were postponed so I could focus on learning the new procedures of the BR magazine, website, weekly newsletter and social media. In February Upshaw and I worked on an agreement. I began serving as a part-time contractor March 1. My assignment involves assisting churches who are in need of an interim pastor and training pastors to guide a church through the transitional interim process.
I hope to continue assisting churches and interim pastors in this very important ministry when I complete my interim service at the BR. I’m convinced this is one of the greatest struggles facing churches today. I hear this cry from churches across North Carolina and in other Baptist state conventions.
The BR wants to print material that will assist your church at every level. We are your partner, on mission together in North Carolina, North America and the world.