Tag Archives: Credo Magazine

Credo Mag – November 2014

The latest issue of Credo Magazine, “How Then Shall We Pray” is now out.  This issue was a difficult one to proofread as many of the articles were so edifying and challenging, I felt myself reading for my own personal edification rather than proofreading for errors. Thankfully there are multiple, capable editors and proofreaders to catch what others miss.  Matthew Barrett and his team do an excellent job putting these issues together each quarter.  I’m sure there is something instructive for everyone in this issue!

PDF version here

Dead Church Walking

In the latest issue of Credo Magazine (for which I’m thankful to have been a part of the proofreading team) has an interesting and fitting article written by Harry L. Reeder III entitled, “Dead Church Walking: Why Church Revitalization is More Important than you Think.”  In the last two posts, we’ve looked at the related concept of church revitalization, first with a look at Revelation 3:2 and then through the experience of Ernest Reisinger in working for church reform.  In this article by Reeder, we get a combination of both Scripture and experience through his well written and informative contribution to the magazine.  Some highlights from the article are below:

God’s Word is Sufficient

“While the Bible, in the Book of Acts, records ‘statistical growth’ in the church, there is no indication that the leadership focused their ministry philosophy upon statistical church growth.  But, the leadership did focus on the spiritual vitality and health of the church with statistical growth recorded as a consequence of the Apostolic ministry, not its objective.”

Strengthen the Church

“Paul’s strategy of church revitalization is clearly not embraced by today’s denominations, who for the most part leave struggling churches to fend for themselves or superintend their closing while pursuing the planting of other churches.  Paul, in contrast, intentionally and strategically sought to ‘strengthen the churches’ who were stalled, plateaued, or declining by leading them to spiritual health and vitality.”

Pursue the Wandering Flock

A Biblical Paradigm

“Instead of closing more churches than we are planting, why not close fewer, which then allows us to plant more because there are more healthy churches to reproduce new ones?”

“The objective is not church growth.  It is church health.”

“If church growth becomes the objective it will eventually lead to the pragmatic decisions of injecting ‘cultural steroids’ into the church body.  So worship becomes entertainment.  Membership becomes customer service.  The salvation message becomes the prosperity gospel or the self-esteem gospel.  This will likely result in a statistical increase initially, but a compromised message and methods for growth will eventually destroy the church body.”

You can read the article in its entirety here: http://issuu.com/credomagazine/docs/2_credo_april_2014_final

Harry L. Reeder III is Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church.  He is the author of  From Embers to a Flame: How God Can Revitalize Your Church.

Church Gimmicks and the Idol of Success

Timely.

The following quotations are from the article “Church Gimmicks & the Idol of Success” in the latest issue of Credo Magazine “Churchy Gimmick: Has the Church Sold its Soul to Consumerism.”  You can read the article, and others, in full here: Credo Magazine, latest issue

“Following America’s lead, churches around the globe are spending through the roof trying to attract the greatest number of people into their worship gatherings.  Success is the name of the church-growth game.”

“In fact, one of the most frequent questions a pastor receives is, “How many did you have in worship?” or “How big is your church?”  It seems like buildings, bodies, and budgets sideline Christ crucified, a stumbling block and offense.”

“I maintain that the ‘How to’ of being faithful to God in worship and ministry is demonstrated through the ordinary, historic, and apostolic means of grace, particularly, ministry of the Word, prayer, and sacraments.”

“If God has already provided the ordinary means of growing in grace as we find in His Word, why do we think that we have the right or the greater wisdom to invent new ways through entertainment-driven, success-oriented worship and ministry?”

“I plead with you not to be tempted with success, professionalism, or the fading fads of our entertainment-driven culture.  Rather, pursue Jesus as the all-satisfying treasure that He is and strive to faithfully feed His sheep through the means of grace that God has already provided His Church.”

Brian H. Cosby (Ph.D., Australian College of Theology) is pastor of Wayside Presbyterian Church (PCA) on Signal Mountain, Tennessee and author of Giving Up Gimmicks: Reclaiming Youth Ministry from an Entertainment Church (P&R).