Why should I partner with a local church?

Why Partner with a local church?

Historically the church rarely answers the “Why” question. We've always been good at answering the “What” question, but we've been horrible at answering the “Why”. Typically we're too lazy to go through the hard work of answering the “why” so we say things like, “Because the bible says so.”
  • Why is sex before marriage wrong?
  • Why should I give my money to the church?
  • Why is the bible important?
…...Because the bible says so.

1. A Biblical Reason: God is committed to the church.

Over and Over again you see in the scriptures God make a covenant with his people. And Jesus, who is not just our sacrafice and Lord, but also our example; was so committed to the church that he gave his life for her.

It is absolutely true that we don't need to sign a paper in order to be committed to something. However, if for some reason we are not willing to be formally committed to the local church, than we are forced to ask the question, "why"? What is it about a commitment that is scary or not necessary?

2. A Cultural Reason: It is an antidote to our society.

We live in an age where very few want to be committed to anything...a job...a marriage. This attitude has even produced a generation of disconnected and minimally committed "church hoppers.” Partnership swims against the current of America's "consumer religion." It is an unselfish decision where we come together and agree to partner with each other; For better or for worse.

3. A Practical Reason: It defines who can be counted on.

When I was playing Ball in college, when the season rolled around, I never walked into the gym and saw my coach walking through a game-plan with another guy who didnt play for us. I never say my coach investing in the guys on the other team at game-time. He may have said, “Good Luck” but he want telling them how to attack the lead foot, keep cross-over low, elevate when you shoot. It wasnt that he was against other players, it was just that they weren't on his team.

Every team has a roster. Every school had an enrollment. Every business has a payroll. Every army has an enlistment. Church Partnership identifies our family. Netcast needs a way to discern who we should be spending our time with and investing in. The leaders at Netcast need to identify who is partnered with us and begin to spend the majority of our time and money investing in those people.

Without a process to identify who is partnered with us, it makes it hard to know who we send on missions trips. Who do we care for? Who do we visit with? Who do we support?

4. A Personal Reason: It produces spiritual growth.

The New Testament places a major emphasis on the need for Christians to be accountable to each other for spiritual growth. Personal experience tells us that we cannot be accountable when we're not committed. This process of partnership will help us with that. Committing forces you into accountability, which in turn deepens knowledge, maturity, holiness and Christlikeness. In the end, partnership will be a means of God's grace that will protect the unity and maturity of Netcast. As a committed body, we will be stronger and healthier worshippers of Jesus.

5. A Leadership Reason: It defines Netcast leaders.

Netcast attracts leaders. We have since day one. But often times people want to lead without being committed and under authority. We've had a ton of people who want to start new ministries, or tell us where we should give our money, or even people who have asket to preach or lead worship. I'm not agains that, I'm just against that when you want to lead but not be committed.

Starting today, we cannot allow people to lead who aren't committed to our body and submissive to our authority. Leadership is anyone visibly leading someone at Netcast; this can be a community group leader, staff, anyone on the worship team, any ministry head, etc. The temptation will always be to put people into leadership because of need rather than qualifications. Not everyone is biblically qualified to lead.

Partnership is the first step towards a process of raising up leaders, and it allows us to know who are candidates for leadership opportunities when they arise. For the protection of unity, it is absolutely necessary to have a system or process in place for people to work their way into leadership at Netcast Church.

Is Church Partnership a Biblical concept?

 Is Church Partnership Biblical? Yes....here's 4 reasons why I think so.

1. The New Testament church leaders were committed to counting and organizing the local church.
  • Acts 2:41 says So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
  • Acts 4:4 says But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.
Since the beginning, the church was a definable, countable body.; which indicates some concept of organized belonging.

2. The New Testament church established a transparent process for identifying who belonged to that particular gathering of Christians.
  • 1 Corinthians 12 Paul tells the Corinthian church that it is a body.
  • Ephesians 2:21-22 Paul tells the Ephesian church that it is a temple.
  • 1 Timothy 5:1-2 Paul taught Timothy to view believers in the Ephesian church as family.
To function as a body or a temple or a family, a local church had to have a process that identified who belonged to the family.

3. To obey certain texts, the church much clearly know who is a part of its local body.

  • Acts 20:28 Paul says to the elders in Ephesus “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood”
  • 1 Peter 5:2 Peter says to the elders: “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers”.
If a church doesn’t have a defined body, then for whom exactly are the elders accountable for as shepherds? To obey these texts, the church must know who is within their local body.

4. In order for biblical correction to occur there must be people committed to a local body.
  • Matthew 18:15-17 Jesus gave us a process for confronting sin in the local church that includes, as a last resort, bringing an unrepentant Christian before the church to be removed from the body.
  • 1 Corinthians 5:1-2. Paul rebuked the Corinthians for allowing a man to sleep with his step-mother without kicking him out of the church.
If there is no commitment to the local body, then what does it mean to bring someone before “the church” for discipline? Who is the church in a case like that?

So, does the bible show us that commitment to a local body is necessary?

It seems that a formal, intentional commitment to a local church is everywhere assumed in New Testament Christianity. Simply put, being committed to a local body of believers is a structure for putting biblical Christianity into practice.

Netcast Partnership Party (This Sunday after Service)

This Sunday after church we will be having a Partnership Party for anyone interested in learning about officially partnering with Netcast. You do not need to register for this event as we want to make it as easy as possible for you to join us.

No matter how long you've been attending Netcast, if you have any interest or curiosity about what partnering with Netcast Church looks like, come on out and party with us as we talk about this! There will be plenty of space, plenty of babysitters for kids and plenty of food.

The party will be held at the home of Robert and Sherry Gould and there is no cost. I look forward to seeing you there.

Pastor Matt

Sunday July 1st @ 12:30pm
33 Lakeshore Ave
Beverly, MA 01915
Directions from Briscoe Middle School

Netcast Identity: Responsibility of Leadership

Series: Netcast Identity
Title: Responsibility of Leadership
Text: 1 Peter 5:1-3; Ephesians 4:11-16

Over the past few weeks we have begun to look at "The Church" and how Netcast Church fits into the picture of God's global bride. Thus far we have come to see that the mission of God is to glorify His name through making disciples of Jesus Christ. Because of that, Netcast has concluded that we will bring glory to Jesus by cultivating gospel-centered, worshipful communities. In order to do this, we will have to be very clear about our roles and responsibilities to each other within the body. In other words, what is the role and responsibility of the leadership at Netcast Church, and what is the responsibility that we all have as individuals towards Netcast Church.

In 1st Peter 5, the leaders of a church have a clear call to shepherd the flock that God calls us to and exercise oversight. Therefore at Netcast, the leaderships primary responsibility is to feed, lead, protect and organize the church. We feed through the word of God, we lead through example, we protect from wolves and heresy, and we organize through assimilation in order to see disciples made.

A big philosophical question that we have to ask next is, "What is the relationship between the leadership at Netcast and the people at Netcast?" Author Greg Ogden writes in his book The New Reformation; “A congregation tends to assimilate the personality, stance and approach of its pastor, and reflect that identity as a mirror image.” For example; If the pastor is a scholar. the church will become full of learners and students. If the pastor is a social activist, the church will become justice enforcers. Is the pastor is very fatherly, the church will often times become like dependent children. So, how does that play out at Netcast?

The leadership at Netcast views our relationship to the body as equippers. Leaders at Netcast are determined to equip the body with the tools necessary to take their God given abilities and leverage them for the advancement of the gospel. Ephesians 4 says "equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ" In other words, the role of the pastor is to humbly equip and inspire a body of people to live into what Christ calls you: A missionary.