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Church Life

A Bittersweet Announcement

Over the last few years, we’ve studied and discussed together the different views that evangelical Christians hold regarding the nature of hell. At two separate times we studied these differing views intensely. Both of these studies were prompted by questions or requests from people in our church. The first study was a “detour” in a leadership training class, and the second was…

A Change in Terminology

When we look at the passages in the New Testament discussing the pastoral leadership of the church, we see a consistent pattern of the church being shepherded or pastored by a team of pastoral leaders. (For more on this, see Why We Don’t Have a Senior Pastor.) We also see another interesting pattern. The most common word used for these congregational pastoral…

Church Bylaws

The following constitution and bylaws establish a framework for our fellowship and ministry together as a church. ARTICLE I: NAME The name of this church shall be The Orchard. It is incorporated as a non-profit corporation under the laws of the State of California. ARTICLE II: PURPOSE A. Greatest Commandment Before anything else, we are worshipers of God, disciples of Jesus Christ,…

Interactive Teaching, part 3: Challenges of Interactive Teaching

This article was originally posted at Exploring the Faith. We’ve looked at some of the benefits of interactive teaching. So let’s consider some of the challenges of teaching this way: “It takes a lot more time.”This is true. If you’re studying a passage of Scripture, and you have people respond to you and invite them to raise their hands and ask questions,…

Interactive Teaching, part 2: Why Teach Interactively?

This article was originally posted at Exploring the Faith. In the last post, we saw that Scripture doesn’t call pastors to preach, in the familiar sense of delivering sermons, but there is a repeated call for pastors to teach the church. I noted that—contrasted with preaching—teaching has different priorities, a different focus, and different expectations. So we should want to see this kind…

Interactive Teaching, part 1: Preaching or Teaching?

This article was originally posted at Exploring the Faith. The preaching of the Word has traditionally held a preeminent place in most evangelical churches. This is no accident. Young pastors and leaders have been taught how vital sound preaching is for keeping a church faithful and healthy. Quotes from noted leaders reinforce to us the crucial nature of preaching to the life…

Qualifications for Senior Pastoral Team Members

Updated May 9, 2022 Since our church body is considering adding another pastor to our senior pastoral team, it might be helpful for us to post these qualifications for the elders/pastors who shepherd the whole church, compiled from 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9: Desire to serve: The desire to serve by shepherding or pastoring the church is an honorable one from…

What Does the Senior Pastoral Team Do?

Updated May 9, 2022 Our church is led by a team of pastors. Because these pastors share together in the shepherding of the church and oversee the other pastors and directors of the church, we refer to these church leaders as our senior pastoral team. As the name indicates, these pastors lead the church as a team, with no team member being…

Digging Deeper: Political Division in the Church (Feb 2)

Our first Digging Deeper seminar will be February 2 and will begin a series examining the current political division within evangelical churches. Our conviction is that evangelical Christians should be modeling a different way of engaging one another, discussing even issues about which we passionately disagree with love, grace and mutual respect. The church should be showing the world another way, rather…