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New generation of preachers ponders ‘The State of the Church’



“Should we be ashamed of the name ‘Church of Christ?'”
“What is our dominating conversation in the Church of Christ?”
Those were among the questions discussed by a panel of young ministers from the north Texas area during a recent “State of the Church” event, hosted by the Cedar Crest Church of Christ in Dallas.

Willie B. Williams III (Photo via www.northcolonycoc.com)

“The unique thing about this panel is that the ministers represented are all in their 30s, so this is a new generational conversation,” said Willie B. Williams III, minister for the North Colony Church of Christ in The Colony, Texas, and one of the organizers of the discussion. The gathering was “a young generation discussing possible solutions for current problems that we see in the church today.”
In addition to Williams, participants in the discussion included:
Sam Bailey, Church of Christ at Cedar Valley in Lancaster, Texas
Jonathon Morrison, Cedar Crest Church of Christ in Dallas
Lamont Ross, Marsalis Avenue Church of Christ in Dallas
Kevin Jones, Eastland Church of Christ in Fort Worth, Texas
Brian Moss, Lake Como Church of Christ in Fort Worth, Texas
Moderating the discussion:
Patrick Worthy, Greenville Avenue Church of Christ in Richardson, Texas
Willie B. Williams Jr., Beckley Heights Church of Christ in Dallas
Here’s Part 2 of the discussion:

 

  • Feedback
    I like this. A poignant, intelligent conversation is needed in most every place in the US among Churches of Christ. I have to say though, isn’t this what Leroy Garrett was trying to do 20 years ago?
    Shane R
    November, 9 2012

    The State of the Church was a great success! A special thank you to all the ministers who participated in the discussion.Thank you for not only addressing the issues that the Church faces, but also providing solutions so we can move forward as a whole.
    DeAndrea Gabriel
    November, 12 2012

    Had the honor of witnessing The State of the Church panel discussion….profound & thought-provoking! Our young ministers embody a spirit of unity we should all adopt! Not to mention�a brilliant avenue for overcoming lingering concerns! Very excited to see what’s next!
    Tamara Maxwell Davis
    November, 13 2012

    It was great to hear some of the topics covered during the State of the Church! It allows us, The Church to ponder collectively and individually and move toward improvement in all areas and to stand firm, unashamed & united for the cause of Christ. Thank you and a job well done to all of the panelist!
    Christel McBene-Courtar
    November, 14 2012

    If the church of Christ was a name given to a religious group by a convention organized by humans then “The Name” should be accepted as such, However, looking at the way the church is described in the scripture in the original language, the picture becomes clearer.We are too associated with the denominational use of the term and therefore lose its significance. EKKLESIA is the Greek word translated into the English “Called out” or “assembly” and also it is not at all associated with a conglomeration of religious groups in the New Testament but specifically identifies the followers of Christ or His disciples. Unless we endeavor to study the Biblical language aspect of the “church” which is synonymous with “Kingdom”, “way” “disciples” or “Christians” the latter being the only name the Christians were called according to Acts 11:26 we will lose sight of the vast scope of the greatness of the true Christianity for which Jesus Christ gave his life to give us the “tree of Life” lost to man in Genesis ..I have seen signs outside of “church” buildings like “church of christ meets here”, “Christians meet here” and “The Church of Christ” the last sign gives people the impression that the building is the church whereas the former two points to the Assembling Christians meeting in the building and rightly so. We are now hearing names like “church of Christers” asociated with social grouping rather than God worshipers. If we wonder about or want to be ashamed of the “name” “Church of Christ” we have two choices, either be ashamed of the “BUILDING” or be ashamed of Christ. Would’nt it be wonderful if all the Christians could search out the exegesis of Matthew 28:18-20, making disciples and teaching those disciples to do the same thing that Christ told the apostles to teach the disciples to do ie., making disciples, teaching them to observe all the things that Jesus taught the disciples to observe. Notice that In the original language “Making disciples”, “Baptizing”, “teaching” “observing what is commanded” are all participles which becomes a continous cycle right up to every individual CHristian today not only the preacher. Teaching the meanings of the text like Nehemiah 8:8 teaches , to explain the meaning (NIV). Declining churches will diminish,every Christian will be learning to understand instead of memorizing without understanding the context and listening to rhetoric.Let us pray that those “ministers” (Notice the lower case “m”) will understand their function and not make it a title of the word in the original language (DIAKONES) which simply means one who does service or a servant. God help the church that we may search out ,study the Biblical languages so we could all be of the same mind and of the same judgement, so that in everything CHrist may be glorified and not us humans I Corinthians 4:6. God Bless the “Ekklesia” of Jesus Christ.”The gates of hell will not prevail against the Lords “EKKLESIA” (ek =OUT of…Kalew = Called, therefore we are the “called out”) This is our calling! Lk 19:10, and see Luke 17:10. In Love!
    John Jansen
    November, 16 2012

    Christ bought the church and paid for it with His blood. It is His, the church is His bride. It is referred to being of Him. It is the called out of Christ, or the church of Christ. The foreign names one finds today in the world are nowhere found in the Word of God.
    Gary Hatmaker
    November, 20 2012

    The church that fails to evangelize will itself be evangelized by the culture in which it finds itself. As one who was raised in a denomination-or two- its easier for me to see the cultural influences in churches of Christ. John Janson’s observation is an example of how culture influence the church and not the church getting out its message to the culture. A disciple is a learner. A disciple of Christ wants to learn what God has revealed to man regarding how to live and worship so he or she can please God in everything. Christianity must be learned, therefore it must be taught.Faithful men took the time to study with me for months before I was baptized. Others have spent time over the past 30 years teaching me “the Way” as revealed in scriptures and helping me understand what I read in the Bible. I will continue to study and learn. Christians who seek to follow Christ will always be different from those who follow the shifting cultural norms. Christianity is a lifestyle.It is different way of thinking calling for a “renewing of the mind” to conform to God’s will as reveled in scripture. This is difficult for us to understand as we have been raised in a “Christian nation” with its cultural Christianity and secular Christian thought. This mindset effects those who are new to the Way as well as those who have been occupying a space on Sunday morning for years. It effects young and old preachers and teachers as well. Spend some time in Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or animist cultures and you will observe Christians who understand that you are called to a counter culture lifestyle for which you will suffer persecution. Our time will come. Teach the truth in love. Let’s not be ashamed of the gospel.
    Paul Lockman
    November, 21 2012

    Greetings in Christ’s Name
    Wow such a thrill to learn that the ministers in 30’s discussing about the present Church problems…..We can be proud of being a part of One True ‘Church church of Christ’ but our activities only lead to hang our heads down in shame. We cannot see Christ in our Churches….I have faced one such problem still confronting and posting of the same to many friends to do so…you also need to contend and confront for the Truth..prayerfully..
    For the cause of Christ and His Cross
    Raj
    V.G.RAJ Evangelist
    November, 26 2012

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