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Category: Church Governance

Independence and Interdependence: Towards a Harmonization of the Congregational Principle and Associational Relationships

Baptist churches are congregational and therefore decisions made by the congregation are binding on that congregation. But are decisions made outside the congregation, at associational or union level binding on the congregation too?

How has COVID-19 and Lockdown Affected the Implementation of Congregationalism in our Churches

At this time, in the year 2021, we as Baptists have faced a huge challenge to the principle and practice of congregational church government, in that the lock-down has made it very difficult to hold members meetings, particularly for bigger churches. Here are a few of the difficulties: Congregations That Can’t Congregate South Africa went…
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The Role of the Leader in the Context of Congregationalism

Introduction One of the questions that always surfaces in the Baptist Principles class (at BTC) is the one relating to the role of the Pastor in a Church where the Principle of Congregational Church Government is upheld. They recognize that this principle can stifle good leaders and cause much frustration in their ministry. This same…
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Churches are closed but restaurants and casinos aren’t: Are churches being unduly targeted?

This week on Monday night (28 December 2020) the State President, Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, declared new “adjusted alert level 3” restrictions which included, amongst many other restrictions that, “All indoor and outdoor gatherings will be prohibited for 14 days from the date hereof, except for funerals and other limited exceptions as detailed in the regulations,…
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The Biblical Leadership Structure of the Local Church

It seems that the practice of a church Executive model as the leadership structure of a Baptist church has been ‘The Baptist Way” since Baptists arrived in South Africa in 1820. But is this what the Bible teaches as to how Jesus governs his church? Is an Executive (which typically includes all elders and deacons)…
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When do we go back to church and how?

This week I had the privilege of interviewing 6 pastors on the subjects, “When do we go back to church and how?” I asked them five questions; 1. Why go back to church? (09:51) 2. Is it loving? (22:22) 3. What do you do with singing? (27:49) 4a. Is ‘online church’ church? (35:13) 4b. Is…
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Guiding Baptist Churches towards multiculturalism

Last week I had the opportunity to interview Pastor Darryl Soal who, on 24 July 2020, will become Dr. Darry Soal. Congratulations, Darryl! The reason why I was so keen to chat to him was because I’d heard what topic he’d spent the last few years researching. If you’re involved in a Baptist church, or…
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Watch the teaching

Paul commands Timothy the pastor, and the Spirit commands pastors and believers, “Keep a close watch on yourself and the teaching”  (1 Tim 4:16 ESV).  The words ‘the teaching’ refers to a definitive ‘body of doctrine’ that is to be believed and taught and passed on.   And Paul and the Holy Spirit believe that…
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Resourcing the Local Church

The Baptist Northern Association exists for one reason only – to serve the local church! Naturally the needs of one church are different to the needs of another so we’ve picked up a few skills and built a few partnerships to help. Firstly we do training. This last weekend was our annual “One Life” Conference…
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How is a Baptist Church to be Governed?

Biblical History Perhaps the greatest demonstration of governance in the Old Testament is seen in Moses’ step-father, Jethro’s advice to Moses as the leader of God’s people; “Now obey my voice; I will give you advice, and God be with you! You shall represent the people before God and bring their cases to God, and…
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