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What You Need To Know Before Joining Our Church (Part 8)

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2. Financial support of the church and pastor
A. Church members should give to the Lord of the firstfruits of all their increase (Pro 3:9-10).
B. Part of giving to the Lord is financially supporting the pastor that God has given them (Heb 13:16-17 c/w Gal 6:6).
i. Communicate v. - 1. trans. To give to another as a partaker; to give a share of; to impart, confer, transmit
ii. He feeds the brethren spiritually, and they provide for him physically (1Co 9:6-11).
iii. Normally, the pastor should be able to live off of the monetary contributions of the church members (1Co 9:13-14).
iv. When a church is few in number, this may not be possible; and when such is the case the pastor will have to work a second job (Act 18:3; Act 20:34).
C. Church members are also required to support the financial needs of the church.
i. Financial needs of the church include things like:
a. Financial support for widows in the congregation that meet the Biblical requirements (1Ti 5:3-16).
b. The cost of a meeting place, whether owned or rented.
c. Helping out poor brethren in the church (Gal 2:10; Rom 12:13).
ii. The Excelsior Springs Church does not take a regular collection for church needs at this time.
iii. Therefore, church members should be setting aside some of their Lord's money and saving it for a time when it is needed (1Co 16:1-2).
D. See sermons on Giving to God.
3. Maintain contact with the pastor and church members
A. Nonresident members should be checking in with the pastor by phone or email at least once per month.
B. They should also keep in contact with other church members also (Mal 3:16).
4. Being of one mind and unified in the faith
A. Church members should be unified in the faith (Rom 15:5-6; Php 1:27; Php 2:2).
B. Members of the church should all be speaking the same thing doctrinally (1Co 1:10).
C. The church is not the court of the Areopagites where everyone shares their own diverse and strange doctrines (Act 17:21; Heb 13:9).
5. Supporting other members
A. Church members should bear each other's burdens (Gal 6:2).
B. They should both rejoice and weep together (Rom 12:15).
6. Being subject and accountable to the pastor and other members
A. Church members must submit to one another (Eph 5:21; 1Pe 5:5).
B. A church is accountable to a pastor who gives an account of them to God (Heb 13:7,17).
7. See sermon on What it Means to Be a Church.

IV. Pastoral authority
1. The pastor (elder, bishop, overseer, steward) has the rule over the church (Heb 13:7,17; 1Ti 5:17).
2. The pastor is given authority by God to rebuke, reprove, warn, admonish, and exhort church members of their duties to God and His law (Tit 2:15; 1Th 5:12; 2Ti 4:2).
3. The pastor should be obeyed when he is exercising the authority that God has given him (Heb 13:17).
4. The pastor is not a lord over the church, but rather a feeder, leader, and example to them (2Co 10:8; 1Pe 5:1-3).
5. See sermons on Pastoral Authority.

V. Dealing with problems in church
1. Interpersonal problems
A. If you are offended by another church member, either forget about it or address it with him alone, and don't tell anyone else about it (Pro 25:9; Mat 18:15).
B. Do not whisper, talebear, or backbite behind your brother's back.
C. If he will not hear you, you can either drop it or you can take one or two others with you and tell him his fault again in their presence (Mat 18:16).
D. If he won't hear them either, you can drop it, or you can take it before the church (Mat 18:17).
E. If he won't hear the church, then he will be excluded from the church (Mat 18:17).
F. Before you take it to the final level, remember:
i. Mercy rejoices against judgment (Jam 2:13).
ii. Love covers a multitude of sins (1Pe 4:8).
G. See sermons on Dealing With Problems in the Church.