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Creatorís Covenant

Improving Church Assemblies

Suggestions for Church Improvements

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One way the congregation can be equipped is by using a study session format rather than a preaching session. With a topic chosen and made known ahead of time, people can look into the matter and develop intelligent questions or examine various views. The scriptures quoted in support of these views can then be examined for what they really say.

 

"Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you." (I Tim 4:16)

 

New believers need to be very careful, but once one has a good grasp of scripture, there are alternative means of improving ones understanding. Often there is a tendency to consult only those with whom we agree. One can learn as much or more from those who disagree. As Benjamin Franklin said, "Our critics are our friends, they show us our faults." The same applies for weak points, aspects of our beliefs that may be on shaky ground.

 

Paul was instructed directly by Jesus Christ and the most respected of Jewish teachers as well. Most ministers donít come with a perfect knowledge of their doctrinal history, i.e., how it came (or didnít come) from the Apostles. Almost two thousand years have past. The truth has been at best clouded, at worst, lost completely. Believers can not really assume anything. "I donít think thatís what it means," is an unacceptable explanation from anyone, including a minister. Verses that don't seem to fit should not be cast aside, but pondered and reconsidered. All scripture should be considered on a subject.

 

"I don't know" or "It appears to me" is an acceptable answer assuming various aspects of a subject don't fit together well.That doesn't mean the subject is closed, but there is more to be learned.

 

Truth is defined by the word of God. The believerís job is to seek it out, not protect it from attackers. The truth of scripture will stand. Our understanding of what any particular scripture means may not. After reading a scripture a certain way for years, one assumes that is what that scripture says. Sometimes that is not the case. Often people end up confusing their explanation of what a scripture means with what it actually says. Believers should always be willing to reevaluate the word of God and accept what it says.

 

If a matter keeps coming up over and over again, consider that it has not been addressed properly. Maybe some fundamental understanding is wrong. Some leaders have decided that a matter has been understood and settled. If missed the first time, a point of truth will come back time and time again. Ignoring the issue, brushing it off or digging in heals will never make it go away.

 

Many individuals in the congregation can be strengthened by being given the option to lead the group in a study. It doesn't need to be an earth-shaking new truth, but just something the individual has found interesting or valuable to them. Some will be anxious to do this, others will shy away. The option should be left up to the individual. Perhaps they feel they have nothing to add now. They may have something later. Leave the door open.