And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor withall the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
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The man who told me this was very bitter about Christianity in general and the church in particular. Years before, his car had broken down while he was traveling far from home. He found a church where revival services were being held, and sat through a sermon encouraging Christians to love everyone. Afterward he approached church leaders for help, and was turned away.
For him that was proof that all Christians are frauds and all preachers are charlatans. It can be ruined by pride, gossip, immorality and other kinds of sin within the congregation. It can also be tarnished by unfortunate mistakes. Recently a single mom began attending our church. A new Christian, she chose us because when she was a child our congregation had brought Christmas gifts to her family when her father was in prison.
We have a young man attending for a similar reason.
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He had been in a juvenile correction facility, and his mother was looking for a church that would love and disciple him when he got out. She knew of ours because of the same gifts-for-children-of-prisoners program. Lord, Grant that our new church will have a reputation of Calvary love in the community. Protect us from pride and from fear. Do you want a successful church? Enter your email below to get tips on how to get your church to thrive! Share on Facebook. Share on Twitter. Home Devotions A Church's Reputation.
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor withall the people. By DCPI. More Articles. How To Lead Worship Online.I have a heart for unchurched people and am always trying to find a way to build bridges and tear down barriers.
Irrelevance … So what exactly would you do all day or why on earth would your organization exist? I think so. The vast majority are hard working, mostly underpaid, sincere people who really love Jesus and want to make a difference. But our blind spots can be our worst enemies. Identify them, and suddenly you can be more effective. I started to fall into this trap early in my ministry, and realized I had to correct it right away. If you find yourself saying brothersisteramenfellowshiptribulation and the like, it tends to bring less credibility to what you do.
I also think the more titles you have, the weirder it gets. People ask all the time what to call me. Unchurched people are tired of the hypocrisy. And, honestly, church people are weary of thinking of their pastor as someone who has it all together. You struggle as a pastor spiritually. So do I. Sometimes we feel close to God. Not as in super-raw authentic, but appropriately transparent.
Authenticity is the new relevance. So be honest. Talk about your struggles appropriately. But I believe the general thrust of the of the Gospel is that Jesus loves the world and died for the world as an outpouring of that love.
You can think through that theologically, but also practically most theology is practical in the end anyway. Who would you rather hang out with? Someone who hates you, or someone who loves you, even if they disagree with you?
I am tremendously inspired by what Jeff Henderson and the people of Gwinnett Churc h have done with their ForGwinnett campaign.
Even worse, some of us can gain social media traction through those ill-considered opinions.A lying preacher. A stealing deacon. An immoral elder. In the last few months, no fewer than a dozen pastors and church members have used the above phrase to describe their church to me. Like people, the church has a name among the citizens of the surrounding area.
Our conduct has an impact on how people perceive us. Church leaders and members should remember that we represent the church.
Unfortunately, many churches are paying the price of the misbehavior of the people involved. As a closing note, if you are a victim of a transgressing church; if you have been hurt or mistreated or injured by a church, a ministry leader, church members or a denomination, I sincerely apologize to you and pray for your healing and restoration.
Hopefully you can find renovation for your brokenness. Jesus has healing for you. Good stuff! The previous pastor left unpaid bills all over town, it took about two years to clear our name in the community. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account.
Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. So what do we do when our church has a bad reputation in the community? Reputations can be repaired. In John 4, Jesus spoke with a woman who had a jaded reputation. She was living in sin and everyone knew it. But Christ forgave her, restored her character and actually used her brokenness to heal many others.
Read the story in John Do the right thing. Pay bills on time. Tip well at restaurants. Manicure the church lawn. All of these things help others to determine their attitude about your church. Sometimes you have to start over. But let me encourage you — while God begins new things, He also specializes in reclamation projects!What does the Bible say about reputation?
Question: "What does the Bible say about reputation? The Bible is clear that a good reputation is of great value and is therefore something that we should strive to earn and maintain. A reputation is built over time as others evaluate our life choices and determine who we are based on how we behave.
Reputations are built on the judgment of others. If we need a neighbor to watch our house while we are gone on a trip, we will most likely choose one with a good reputation. We will not ask the kid down the street who is always in trouble with the law. He does not have a good reputation. But if another neighbor has been honest and friendly and has given us no reason to doubt his character, we will place something of value under his care because his reputation gives us confidence that he can be trusted.
As Christians, our number-one priority is to represent Christ well to this lost and broken world Acts Because Jesus is honest, kind, loyal, and honorable, we should strive to be those things as well Ephesiansand all of those qualities contribute to a good reputation. People evaluate the worthiness of our message based on our reputations as people of character. If we have poor reputations, our message is tainted as well.
Dishonesty, gossip, and hypocrisy damage our testimonies and do not reflect the character of Jesus. Many will not heed our words when our reputations do not match what we claim to believe.
So what is a good reputation, and how do we maintain it? People with good reputations are those who live with integrity. Their private lives match their public personas. There are no hidden agendas, double lives, or dishonest practices. They live authentically, and, when they sin, they quickly make it right with those they offended Matthew — They keep their word, treat others respectfully, and accept their responsibilities.
They treat their families well, and, because they are consistent, others know what to expect of them. Those with good reputations usually care very much about keeping their reputations intact. Pastors, especially, are called upon to keep a good reputation in the eyes of the watching world. If he loses his credibility with those he is trying to reach with the gospel, then he brings reproach upon his office, his message, and his Lord. The world needs to see pastors who are honorable, upright, self-controlled, and real.
Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him on his journeys and aid the ministry verse 3. Timothy left home and followed Paul, and thus began a lifelong friendship. There are times when our reputations are tarnished through no fault of our own. Gossip, slander, and lies can cast a shadow over the most stellar of reputations. In those times, we can follow the example of Jesus. The Son of God knew that, when He left the throne room of heaven to come to earth as a man, His exalted reputation would not follow Him.
So He left His reputation behind and entered a world where He would be misunderstood, mocked, and lied about Matthew — The Son was willing to entrust His reputation to His Father, and, whenever we are wrongly accused, we can do the same 1 Peter — We seek ways to do good, we have proved ourselves to be people of virtuous character, and others have learned to trust us. We avoid being stained by the world James Find Out How to Statement of Faith.As we work in our cities or in the suburbs or more rural areas, what do we want our flocks to understand as their mission in the world?
For most we jump right to the Great Commission and seek to send our people out to be disciple makers.
This is indeed the call that has been given to us by our Lord Matt. But underneath all of that, what are the foundations that underpin the reputation of a church that is godly? In Colossians we discover some characteristics of a church with a godly reputation. It reads:. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant.
In faith, this church is known as those who have not only believed in Christ as their savior but also those who recognize His lordship and live accordingly. This is further fleshed out in love for the saints. This is, of course, that sacrificial love that Jesus displayed in washing his disciples feet, which foreshadowed his ultimate act of sacrificial love when he laid down his life and reconciled man to God with His blood.
Paul also states that they do these things because of the hope they have laid up in heaven. The gospel is not just a message of forgiveness for now, but also causes us to live in hope of what is to come. We have an expectant certainty that God will fulfill his promises and that drives our faith deeper and makes our love for one another flourish.
Is it okay to be known as the church that has great preaching and great evangelistic zeal? Is their value in being known as the church that serves the community well?
Is their benefit to being known as the church that does not entertain children and students, but seeks to disciple them and their parents as well? All of these things are indeed significant, but only if God is at the center; and faith, love and hope in the gospel are the underpinnings of that reputation. Consider lastly, that Paul in this passage also speaks of the leadership of Epaphras within the church of Colossae.
That church had learned these things from him. Consider what you are teaching and modeling for your flock.When The Battle Chooses You - Pastor Steven Furtick
Does it emulate the characteristics of this church with a godly reputation?For any person who has fallen into discipline-worthy sin, restoration to the fellowship can be relatively immediate.
But paying penance is not a biblical virtue. But, again, restoration to the fellowship is not the same as restoration to the pastorate. Remember those qualifications? And those qualifications are not things that can be determined in immediate fashion.
You cannot tell if someone is a good manager of a household the first time you meet him. You see the witness of his family life over time.
It will take more time, given the offense, to see him walk in repentance, to gain that reputation back. This is the case with any point of disqualification, although of course some levels of discernment can occur more quickly than others.
It is not an immediate thing for a pastor disqualified for a long pattern of verbal abuse or coarse jesting to gain a reputation as a gentle, peaceful man. Repentance is an immediate reentry to the fellowship, but re-entry to the pastorate takes the testing of time. This is not graceless.
Even if a pastor in view of restoration is planning to assume the pulpit of another church or plant a new church, his restoration to ministry should still be affirmed by his previous community.
There are some extreme cases where this may not be possible, but it should be normative for disqualified leaders humbly submitting to discipline. So, how soon? Not never. Not immediately. Forgiveness comes quickly, expensively, and immediately, on repentance.
If a pastor has betrayed his people, and it has wounded a church grievously and wounded his wife grievously, he can be forgiven just like that. Wiped away. The blood of Jesus covers it. A decade? It takes a long time, a long time, until memories are healed.
And very practically I think this is what I would say: A man who commits adultery, say, in the ministry, should immediately resign and look for other work. And he should make no claim on the church at all. He should get another kind of job and go about his life humbly receiving the discipline and sitting and receiving ministry, whether in that church or in another church.
And then the church should turn that around if it believes it should, not him.Question: "Can restoration occur after a pastor has been caught in a scandal? Sin in the church causes pain verse 5.
The punishment that the church metes out has a limit verse 6. The repentant person must show sorrow over his sin verse 7. The church should respond to true repentance with comfort and forgiveness verse 7 and reaffirmed love verse 8. In these verses, Paul emphasizes the restoration and unity that should follow discipline, based on the grace and mercy of God in Christ; the implicit warning is against man-made limits to forgiveness, personal vendettas, disunity, and excessive punishment.
Of course, the answer is, no; forgiveness is available to everyone in Christ 1 John However, the act of forgiveness does not automatically restore a former status. A drunk driver can be forgiven, but the car he wrecked stays wrecked. An embezzler can be forgiven, but it may be that no bank will ever hire her again. A pedophile can be forgiven, but, by law, he will never be allowed to work with children again.
Pastors involved in scandal can and should be restored to fellowship with God, with their families, and with fellow believers. But a restoration to the pastorate is another matter. Rather than seek to restore a fallen pastor to the pulpit, churches should seek to restore him to fellowship within the church, following the process of church discipline outlined in Scripture Matthew — The former pastor should be amenable to the discipline the church enforces.
Noble work requires noble character and noble behavior. Sexual sin is not noble behavior, and a pastor who falls into immorality has not shown noble character. Also, a pastor-teacher is held to a higher standard than the people he shepherds James Unfortunately, the current climate in the church involves a high toleration for sexual misconduct. Christian couples live together before marriage, and no one confronts them. Some denominations simply transfer the sinning pastor to another district with no real discipline at all.
And, of course, some churches are ordaining openly homosexual pastors or priests and ignoring pedophilia among the clergy. All of this evinces a cavalier approach to sexual sin —a sin that has severe consequences in Scripture Proverbs —29; 1 Corinthians ; Hebrews