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Edited & Compiled by

Dr T. A. Makoni

for Celebration College

PASTORAL MINISTRY TRAINING

Practical Pastoring Manual

May 2009

April 2009

Edited & Compiled by

Dr T. A. Makoni

for Celebration College

PRACTICAL PASTORING
Celebration CollegePastoral Development Programme

Session One

Pastoral Care and the Heart of a Shepherd


The move of the Holy Spirit that has taken place over the past decades has had a profound effect on many parts of the church. One of those effects has been a fresh revelation of the role that we have to care for one another. Leaders in the church have a responsibility to model that care and to create a climate of love and care. Psalm 23; Ezekiel 34; John 10. We believe that the gift is in the body, however, and an important aspect of that body ministry will manifest itself in mutual love and care. Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12.

A.

The basis of Care

1 John 4:19 Both the desire and ability to love come from God. Without His love moving in our hearts our reservoir of Love would soon be exhausted. Gods example. We model our love on the example that God gives us. His love is not sentimental with feelings but no action. Neither is it stimulated by anything especially desirable in us. God loves us because he is love (Psalm 23. John 10). This caused Him to give the best He had (John 3:16). And to reach out even to the unlovely (Romans 5:6-8). This causes us to follow His example (1 John 4:11 12). Gods Word. We should not only follow Gods example but also be obedient to His word. Love for our brothers and sisters in Christ is:
Evidence of New Birth. Following His commandment. A demonstration of our discipleship. Our heartfelt response to God. A working out of our commitment to God Romans5:5 John 13:34; 1 John 3:16 John 13:35 1 John.4:11-12 1 John 3:18

When asked the question Am I my brothers keeper?(Genesis 4:9). Our answer has to be YES! When one member suffers the whole body suffers (1 Corinthians 12: 26).

April 2009

Edited & Compiled by

Dr T. A. Makoni

for Celebration College

B. Why we should care


Jesus did, and he instructed us to keep watch over ourselves and the flock of God. Jeremiah 3:14-17, John 21:15-17, Acts 20:28-31, 1 Peter 5:1-4.

C. Purpose of pastoral care


1. Protection and care from: going in the wrong direction issues of character 2. Open doors and help set faith goals i.e. encourage and develop 3. Present all competent to counsel i.e. bringing people to maturity and into serving and soul winning.

D. Who to love and care for


There is no exception - everyone must be included. We may give priority to our Christian family, but we are to have Gods compassion for the lost, hurt and wounded (Luke.10:37). We are even to extend His love towards our enemies!

E. How to love and care


We meet people at their point of need.
Acceptance Forgiveness Serving Diligence Open Homes Shared Resources Shared Feelings Prayer Restoration Carry Burdens God placed no requirements for good behaviour on us before He loved us. We are also called to accept before we correct. [Romans 15:7] Not an option if we wish to enter into the benefit of Gods love. Love will inevitably lead to action. [Galatians 5:13] Our love for God and each other will make us want to give of our best for them. [Colossians 3:13] A key feature of the early church was that they went from house to house. [Romans 12:13] We hold what God has given us lightly. Making our resources and possessions readily available for others. [Acts.2:44] We share each other's joys and sorrows. [Romans 12:15] If we are to love and pray for our enemies, how much more for those we are joined to in Christ. [Matthew 5:44] The Fathers love for the prodigal meant he looked not just for his return, but restoration. So we look to see those who have fallen restored. [Galatians 6:1] We seek to come alongside in times of difficulty to help lighten the load. [Galatians 6:2]

F. When to love and care

April 2009

Edited & Compiled by

Dr T. A. Makoni

for Celebration College

This is not to imply that love can be switched on and off. There are, however, particular circumstances where Gods love is especially needed. When things are bad - I was robbed - a problem We can all identify with this. We see friends in sickness or other trouble. We know that they need us and we are able to respond to Gods love within us. 1 Corinthians 12:26 We may need to offer practical help, a listening ear, or just a shoulder to cry on. We always must remember that when people are in a hole and unable to get out; the best thing may not be to jump in with them, leaving two in the hole. When things are wrong - I am a robber - a fault If a brother falls in to sin or other difficulty this is not an excuse to pass by on the other side. Remember; Jesus died for us while we were still sinners! We are not to take a judgmental attitude, but have a heart to see restoration. Galatians 6:1. This does not mean that we cover over or excuse sin, but we bring godly admonishment.
To bring Gods people to maturity. We want the best for our brother or sister, and we are jealous for the reputation of the body. Colossians 1: 28 Face to face. All challenge or reprimand should be direct to the person concerned. Galatians 2: 11 Based on the word of God. We are not to judge or give people the benefit of our opinion. We are to invite them to compare their actions with what we find in Gods word. Colossians 3: 16 Not to bring shame. 1 Cor.4: 14 We are not to bring others into condemnation. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to convict sin. [John.16:8] Our main goal is to see a change in attitude or behaviour. Not to make angry. Remember fathers are not to provoke their children to wrath, neither are we to cause unnecessary offence, but to show how our brother can find his way back. Ephesians 6: 4 With compassion. Few will respond to the self-righteous know-all who can never be corrected himself. Acts 20:31, Galatians 6:2. Jesus looked on the people with compassion. We should not attempt to bring correction if we are motivated by anything other than compassion.

WHY? HOW?

When things are right. Jesus used the illustration of the good shepherd. In fact the word pastor is the same as shepherd [Greek: poimen ] Good shepherds do not only look after their sheep when they are in trouble, they have a day to day task to make sure that the sheep are feeding themselves and going in the right direction. So with us we are not just to run around putting out pastoral fires. Love and care will take an interest when things are going well. It will involve having vision for one another, looking for development opportunities and bringing encouragement. The latter being an essential part of our daily diet. Hebrews 3:13.

G. Special care
In our natural families there are times when one member needs special attention. This is the case in the Christian family too. Particular special needs are:

New Christians Widows.

Need regular feeding and fellowship. Bereaved.

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Bereaved. Fatherless Teens.

Dr T. A. Makoni

for Celebration College

Not just at the time of bereavement, but during the subsequent period of adjustment Not just practical provision, but role models. The church needs to help with its youth as they go through these difficult years of adjustment. An adult friend who can be a sounding board outside of the family can be a great help.

H.

Safety factors

Whilst we may have a special relationship with one particular person, none of us should be locked in to any particular person. No one, whether leader or not, should have the sole input into any ones life or situation. Of course this is not an excuse for people to play one person off against the other.

1. Leaders as shepherds
Acts 20: 28-32 Leaders must shepherd; self first - see 1 Timothy 3: 1-3 and Acts 20: 28 then their wife and children 1 Timothy 3: 4-5 and then flock - not optional. See also 1 Peter 5: 2-3 Shepherds protect flock from: things outside the church v 29 things inside the church v 30 Shepherds must care for the flock: night and day v 31 with tears (deep care) v 31c

2. Jesus our example


John 10: The good shepherd same door - leaders are disciples also v 1 own shepherd - he knows them v 3 brings out - not cloistered v 4 goes ahead - they follow v 4 they know him - security guards entrance v7 feeds sheep v 9 lays down life v 11 faces enemies v 12

1 Peter 5:4: The Chief Shepherd Hebrews 13: 20: The Great Shepherd

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Edited & Compiled by laid down his life rose in resurrection will return with rewards

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Leaders are accountable to Him (Hebrews 13 v 17)

3. Leaders have corporate and individual responsibility


Each leader has a pastoral charge from God. leaders know the people people know their leaders the people are valued by Jesus standards their needs are met, not just questions answered the young, immature, weak and damaged are given special care help is given at the time of need, even when not convenient the flock is not disposable, we cant write them off.

4. Bad Shepherds: Ezekiel 34


Cared for themselves v 2 Lived off the flock v 3 Neglected their needs v 3 Dominated the flock v 4

Contrast 1 Peter 5: 1-4 Note Gods judgement Ezekiel 34: 10

5. Problems for shepherds


1. 2. Overload - when one man is trying to pastor everyone. Jesus chose twelve! Not being cared for himself/ herself - if a pastor isnt being pastored there is a danger of his/her weakness being transferred to those he/she is pastoring. There is a need for caring relationships with accountability, openness and support. No warmth/closeness - its difficult for people to relate to someone who is all together and never makes mistakes. Need to be real with people. Heavy handedness - fear of not being heard or obeyed. Need to see insecurity dealt with. Holding back - unclear communication, wrapping it up nicely. People need to know if you are commending or correcting. Creating dependency - not training people to hear God for themselves - they become shepherd dependent and do not mature. Not gifted - everyone should have a pastoring heart, but not all are pastors. Need to recognize gifting.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

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Edited & Compiled by

Dr T. A. Makoni

for Celebration College

8.

Needing to be served - when being served is more important than serving. Need to give up status/importance - be like Jesus. Having to be God - never get trapped into being final arbiter of the will of God. Being drained - beware of those people who will only relate to the boss. Unrealistic expectations - handling people who believe the pastor should do all the work. People not open - cant input people beyond the measure of their willingness to open up.

9.

10. 11.

12.

April 2009

Edited & Compiled by

Dr T. A. Makoni

for Celebration College

Session 1

PRACTICAL PASTORING
Celebration CollegePastoral Development Programme

The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. (Isaiah 50:4 , Amplified Bible)

Session Two

Counselling: Introduction

People of all ages, no matter what their standing or position, experience crises in their lives at one time or another and find themselves in need of help. In the secular world this help is generally obtained through psychologists or psychiatrists, depending on the nature of the problem. In Christian circles people who need help will run to their pastor for counselling. Too often, however, pastors are ill-equipped to deal with the wide spectrum of problems that are presented to them. Christian counselling, when it is based solely on the Biblethe written Word of Godis the only true basis for meeting the needs of people. Whether we realize it or not almost all of us are involved in counselling every day of our lives. A friend has a problem in his marriage, a neighbour has lost a loved one, and a relative has discovered that she has cancer, a son or daughter has to be challenged about their unacceptable behaviourall of these are counselling situations demanding sympathy, personal concern, insight and wisdom. The Bible is full of scriptures and examples of caring for others. 1. Philippians 2:4, Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 2. 1 Thessalonians 5:11: Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. You do not need to be a professional counsellor or have had specialized training in order to help people with their problems. Generally, people are vulnerable and need help when they are struggling with life issues such as bereavement, divorce, etc., when they are caught up in life habits, overcome by life problems, issues of life and relationships. In counselling the most important thing to remember is that the Holy Spirit is the Counsellor (the Paraclete). Only the Holy Spirit can change a person. We are just vessels for His work. It isnt easy to counsel in a disciplined and skilled way, especially when the problems are so diverse, the needs are so great, and the available counselling techniques are often so confusing and contradictory.

April 2009

Edited & Compiled by

Dr T. A. Makoni

for Celebration College

Helping people is not an option. It is a responsibility for every believer. Everyone, no matter your background, can learn effective counselling skills. God can use you as a Counsellor. The Church as a healing community The church was created to fulfill the great commission of making disciples. The early church came together in a fellowship or koinonia that involved a community relationship with one another, a partnership that actively promoted the gospel and build up believers, and a mutual sharing of insights, experiences, worship, needs and material possessions. The true church has always been headed by Jesus Christ who showed us how to evangelize and teach who by His life and instruction pointed us to the practical as well as the theoretical aspects of Christianity, and who summarized his teaching in two laws: love God, and love others. All of this is meant to take place within the confines of a group of believers, each of whom has been granted the gifts and abilities needed to build up the church. As a group, guided by a pastor and other chosen leaders, the believers direct their attention and activities upward through worship to God, outward through evangelism and inward through teaching, fellowship and burden bearing. Galatians 6:2,10 . In his book, Effective Biblical Counselling, Larry Crabb claims that there are three levels of Christian counselling:1. 2. 3. Counselling by encouragement; Counselling by exhortation; and Counselling by enlightenment

Understanding the basic needs of people If we are to help people with their problems, it is essential that we have an understanding of what our deepest needs are. In Biblical Counselling we teach that there are three basic needssecurity, significance and self-worth. We all need the security of being loved and accepted. We all need a purpose for living and a sense of personal worth. Bruno Bettlheim, who has worked extensively with autistic children, describes a simple three-stage process of psychological development. 1. 2. 3. First, a child learns to name things: chair, table, mommy. Second, he becomes aware of a relationship between these parts of his world: When the chair is pushed against the table, it stops. Third, he looks for ways to become part of his world, to be the cause in a causeeffect sequence. Intentionality develops. He notices that mother consistently pays loud attention to him when he spills the milk. When he wants attention, he then learns to spill the milk with subtle deliberation. He is now having an impact on his world. He matters. He causes an effect. He has the beginnings of significance. He can see that he makes a visible difference in his world.

Children who never develop to the third stage suffer psychological problems. Why? They do not enjoy significance and hence have no basis for regarding themselves as worthwhile.
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Because many of us do not have these basic needs met at the root levelby those given the task of nurturing usour parents or other authority figureswe attempt to meet these needs in various ways, creating personal problems. Personal problems begin with a wrong belief which leads to behaviours and feelings which deny us the satisfaction of our deep personal needs. The problems of resentment (or anger), guilt and anxiety seem to be the three central underlying disorders in all personal problems the they exist because we think incorrect thoughts.

The circle represents the world in which I live. I like B (e.g. money) but I am depending on having it to meet my needs. Because I cannot fully control whether I will have B tomorrow I am anxious. I hate No. 2 (e.g. unloving husband), and I refuse to accept it as Gods loving provision because I wrongly believe I need something else in order to be worthwhile. Therefore I am resentful. I believe I need Y (e.g. another woman), and so I step outside the circle of Gods provision to get it. I am the guilty. The basic cure is learning to be content in whatever circle is mine. The initial task of the biblical counsellor is to recognize the basic personal needs of people (significance and security) and to identify the wrong thinking about how to meet those needs which has led to either sinful behaviour (the problem then is guilt), or sinful feelings (resentment or anxiety). The human personality cannot function smoothly when guilt, resentment, or anxiety are present. To lastingly rid the person of these problems, the incorrect thought processes which occasioned the problem, thoughts which conformed to a wrong view of how to meet personal needs, must be identified and corrected.

Different types of Counselling


A. Deliverance Counselling The supernatural church

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Jesus promised to build the church. It is important that we impact the nations and communicate Jesus effectively through both proclamation and demonstration. Luke clearly saw the mission of the early church as being simply the continuation of the mission that Jesus had initiated while on earth. He states that his Gospel only recorded the beginnings of Jesus actions and words (Act 1:1). By clear implication his second book, the Acts of the Apostles, was to be read as a record of all that Jesus was continuing to do and to teach. For Luke, his second book was really the Acts (and words) of Jesus. From Lukes perspective the church was here to continue the ministry of Jesus. The church is the main instrument of the kingdom of God in the earth. It is here to proclaim and demonstrate the same kingdom which Jesus declared was at hand (Mark 1:15). Jesus gave a mandate to His disciples to proclaim and demonstrate the kingly rule of God (for example see Luke 10:9). Their proclamation was summed up in the phrase that (apart from Caesar) there [was] another king (Acts 17:7) but they did not stop at proclamation. They went on to demonstrate some of the practical areas over which this King ruledsickness, demons and even death. This mandate, to proclaim and demonstrate, has never been revoked nor changed, and the end of Marks Gospel explains that the disciples proclaimed the good news and experienced God confirming their words through supernatural signs (Mark 16:20) If the church is to fulfill its task and commission without compromise, it should not surprise us to discover that it is not the church in its current state which will do this. God has a plan to bring His church to maturity so that it will be comparable even to Christ Himself (Ephesians 4:11-13). We can look back and see the dimension of power displayed through the disciples and the early church; but we can also look forward and, in faith, see a similar dimension of power released in order to complete the task which the first church began with such commitment and enthusiasm. Nothing comes automatically. A new church culture needs to be formed where supernatural events will take place easily: a church culture where the supernatural will be accepted as normal. We should not allow failure to deter us from Gods purposes. Most of us like to live lives which are free of disappointment but there are disappointments when we try to do the will of God and fail. God is looking for a passionate people who will be radical enough to say at every turn that church life has to adjust in order to fit in with God and His word.

The care of the soul


(Luke 4:18) Deliverance and counselling can be defined as cura animarumthe care of the soul. To be given care of the soul means to be accountable as a minister (remember that we are all ministers of the Gospel) for admonishing and shepherding the person through their times of crisis, emotional conflict and inter-personal pain. Through gentle, but firm, confrontation, the person learns to take personal responsibility for the past as well as present actions of sin and negative responses to victimization. In the New Testament the care of the soul is not confined to that of the pastor, but also to those who are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able also to admonish one another (Romans 15:14).
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Paul admonishes the Church at Colossae to let the Word of Christ dwell richly in them, with all wisdom: teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in their hearts to the Lord (Colossians 3:16). The word admonish is noutheses, in the Greek, which is translated by some of the newer versions as having counsel. A literal translation of this word would be to confront in love in order to change not only the direction but the personality of the person. The deliverance and counselling ministry is to ultimately lead the Christian who is oppressed or in bondage into victory and the establishment of inner tranquility and peace. Admonition can only take place in the context of love and humility, for it requires the admonisher to first of all remove the log in his own eye in order to take out the splinter in anothers. (See Galatians 6:4; Matthew 5:25.) Redemptive love seeks to restore and not condemn. Humility then becomes the foundation of all true heavenly wisdom. The ministry of deliverance is a ministry of:1. Healing (rephah : to mend by stitch, repair thoroughly, make whole) to the sick (chalah : to be rubbed or worn, to be weak, sick, afflicted, to grieve or be grieved, infirmity, to fall sick, to be sorry, woman in travail, to be wounded); Binding (chabash: wrap firmly, a compress, to rule, to bind, to gird about, to govern, healer, to bind as a turban) the broken (shabar: to burst, to break, broken-hearted, to bring, to build, to crush, to destroy, to hurt, to quench) hearted; Reconciling those who have been: a) Hurt and in withdrawal and isolation (abad: to wander away, to lose oneself, to perish, break, destroy, fail, lose, to be void); and those who are indecisiveness and are at the crossroads, highway of life (diexodod; hodos: those we come across in our journey en route, in our daily walk.

2.

3.

Deliverance is part of salvation


How can one enter a strong mans house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house (Matthew 12:29). Deliverance is a part of salvation. Jesus said, He has sent me...to preach deliverance to the captives (Luke 4:18). Jesus came to rescue us from the hand of the enemy. He is our Deliverer. Let us take a look at some guiding principles in respect of deliverance counselling. 1. There is no substitute for repentance a) Man is responsible for his choices and responses. b) The Christian life is maintained by an attitude of repentance. 2. There is no substitute for self-discipline a) Deliverance will give a person discipline

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c) Discipline brings order to ones life d) The devil does most of his work through disorder. 3. There is no substitute for crucifixion of the flesh. a) One cannot crucify demons b) One cannot cast out the flesh 4. There is no substitute for forgiveness and confession of faults. a) Grounds for deliverance must be prepared through forgiveness and confession of faults. b) Bitterness can only be released by forgiveness 5. Satan enters a person when a place is given to him (Neither give place to the devil Ephesians 4:27). a) There are things that give place to the devil. b) The devil does not respect a Christian who opens the door to him. 6. The demon may be cast out, but the ground that gave place to it cannot be cast out. a) Unless the ground is dealt with, no permanent relief can be obtained. b) Pull down the stronghold, and the enemy must flee (Proverbs 21:22). 7. There are degrees of deliverance a) To the degree truth has been received, Gods Spirit will bring deliverance. b) To the degree of understanding concerning the enemy and the ground given, can one effectively resist him. 8. The scriptural ground for obtaining deliverance is truth. a) Receive the truth of Christs full redemption. b) Receive the truth concerning the works of Satan. c) Receive the truth concerning ones self. 9. Accepting ones own responsibility in the matter is receiving truth. a) Man is responsible for what he is. b) Only as he accepts this responsibility is there deliverance. 10. What is ours in doctrine is not automatically ours in experience. a) Areas can remain untouched until one appropriates by faith Christs redemption in that area. b) The blood covenant breaks the power of Satan, faith must be joined to the covenant for its benefits to be received. 11. Force must be used against force a) The devil only respects one more powerful than he. b) One must be the aggressor against the enemy. c) The strong man must be bound (Matthew 12:29)

Satans Kingdom
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The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 2:11 that we must not be ignorant of Satans devices. Three functions of Satans kingdom (or the Kingdom of Darkness) are described in the Bible as rulers, principalities and powers. Rulers Words like thrones, dominions, authorities and rulers are used in the Bible to describe offices held by spiritual beings. Ruling has to do with exerting opinion or will over others. In Matthew 16 Jesus spoke about the gates of hell. In Biblical times the leaders of a city sat at the gates to make decisions governing that city. The modern equivalent of gates would not be the city limits, but City Hallor Congress, Parliament, the Oval Office, the Kremlin, 10 Downing Streetany place where important corporate decisions are made. Satan infiltrates existing human authority structures seeking to rule through them. Authority structures are not only on the highest levels but touch every facet of our lives. There are authority structures which govern our lives, from the highest courts in the land to the person who issues your dogs license. Where there is no authority or submission to authority, where there is chaos and rebellion, Satan rules. Like the cities of the Old Testament, the governmental structures of society have walls. Though unseen, they are real walls of authority and protection. When these walls are torn down, the results are disastrous. The devil is actively and effectively destroying the walls in three ways:1. Godless leadership. When leaders do not live and lead according to biblical principles, and in agreement with the will of God, the walls of their authority crumble. Satan is allowed to rule through them. 2. Neglectleaders who dont lead. Husbands who do not husband, parents who do not parent, teachers who do not teach. To the extent that we neglect our responsibilities as leaders, we leave a vacuum for the rules of darkness to rule in our place. 3. Rebellionthe most common destroyer of the walls. In a nut shell the spirit of rebellion is the rejection of authority. Rebellion is a heart attitude that says: I dont need rules, I dont need anybody telling me what to do. Ezekiel 13:4-5 challenges us to take up our prophetic and intercessory responsibilities in society. Your prophets have been like foxes among ruins. You have not gone up into the gaps to build a wall for the house of Israel to stand in battle... A fox makes himself a comfortable den in the ruins of a wall. This is often what Christians do while society disintegrates around them. We are called to rise up and repair the damage in the walls of society through warfare, prayer and involvement. Principalities

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Principalities are merely beings with broad areas of influence in Satans kingdom. Satan deploys his troops geographically. They are not scattered haphazardly. Satan sees the world in segmentsempires, nations, regions, cities, precincts and neighbourhoods. Powers or Strongholds This refers to kinds of evil or sin, and the demons assigned to those sins. It indicates a concentrated effort toward the building up of certain evils. It is true that Satan was totally and eternally defeated at Calvary. However, it is equally true that this defeated foe is active in the earth today. How can this be? He is active in our society to the degree that people are sinning and living selfishly. He has precisely the amount of authority that we give him when we live in opposition to God. In dealing with the kingdom of darkness we stand against the rulers, principalities and powers in nations, in people groups, and in authority structures. We must bring freedom from bondage in individuals through the ministry of deliverance, prayer and intercession. We must be resolute in our efforts to share the Gospel and bring light wherever there is darkness. We must become men and women with God-given authority, winning victories on every level.

Establishing the Kingdom


The whole of Jesus earthly ministry centred in the words from Mark 1:15: The kingdom of God is at hand. He came as our Saviour to rescue and redeem us back to our original estate in the divine order. We need to have an understanding of the kingdom of God, which is not in eating and drinking (that is ritual performance), but in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). We often hear that we need to develop a kingdom culture. But what is the kingdom and what should this culture be. Romans 14:17 tells us, in fact, what the kingdom is. It is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. In Luke 11:20 in His discussion with those seeking to test Him, Jesus said But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the Kingdom of God has come upon you. The finger of God is a figure of speech indicating the power of God. Jesus was, in essence, establishing the Kingdom of God when He cast out demons. At Celebration Church we offer a course called Walking Free which is held every Sunday afternoon and Monday night. This is a course not only used for training leaders, but for affording an opportunity for people to hear the word and be set free.

C. Crisis Counselling What is a crisis?


The Word of God describes many individuals in a state of crisis. Paul was one of them. See Acts 9:1-9. From this account of Pauls conversion on the road to Damascus we see that the experience affected him in many ways. 1. It affected him physically. He could not see and had to be led by the hand.
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2. He was changed spiritually for he became a believer and reversed his whole pattern of responding to Christians. 3. He was affected mentally and emotionally for he did not eat or drink for three days. His conversion caused a crisis. Webster defines crisis as a crucial time and a turning point in the course of anything. This term is often used for a persons internal reaction to an external hazard. A crisis is an extreme problem or difficulty which, because of its nature and magnitude renders a person temporarily unable to cope. A crisis forces the person to rely on new and untried methods of dealing with the tension in their lives. A crisis is in the HERE and NOW. The Chinese character for crisis is made up of two symbols: one for despair and the other for opportunity. When doctors talk about a crisis, they are talking about the moment in the course of a disease when a change for the worse or better occurs. When some counselors talk about a marital crisis, they are talking about turning points when the marriage can go in either direction. It can move toward growth, enrichment and improvement, or it could move toward dissatisfaction, pain and, in some cases, dissolution. When people are thrown off balance by the ensuing event, they are then experiencing a crisis. The term is frequently misused. It is applied incorrectly to even everyday annoyances. The terms stress and crisis are used interchangeably but incorrectly. Crisis is not always bad. Rather, it represents a pivotal point in a persons life. Therefore, it can bring opportunity as well as danger. As people search for their methods of coping, they may choose paths of destructionbut they may also discover new and better methods than they previously had available. There are three types of crisis: 1. Accidental Death, injury, chronic illness, redundancy, fire, burglary 2. Developmental Puberty, First day at school: mother and child; First love, Retirement, Mid-life crisis 3. Existential In the here and nowour perception of realitybelieving that it is the end of the world. Crisis studies also show that some crises generally cause more stress than others. following are among the most stressful crisis events: The

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Death of spouse , Divorce, Marital separation, Imprisonment, Death of a family member, Personal injury or illness, Marriage, Job loss, Marital reconciliation, Retirement, Child Abuse and Mate Abuse

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Specialized Counselling
Session Three

DivorceCare
DivorceCare is a church-equipping ministry, designed specifically to help churches minister to people experiencing separation and divorce. With increasing frequency, the issues of divorce are coming to our churches. Few churches remain unaffected: Marriages within the church are breaking up, leaving a trail of hurting families and congregations that struggle to find the right response. People hurting from divorce or separation are showing up at churches, looking for help and healing from the pain they feel. It may be the first time theyve set foot in a church, or they may be returning after a long time away. Response from churches varies widely, from rejection of those involved in divorce to effective programmes that help in healing and recovery. Often churches with a desire to develop a ministry in this area find it a challenge to do so because of the complexity in starting and maintaining such an endeavour. It is for such churches that the DivorceCare programme has been developed. The DivorceCare Solution The DivorceCare programme takes a biblical approach to divorce, separation and related issues such as reconciliation, remarriage, forgiveness and the effect of divorce on children and families. DivorceCare emphasizes that real healing from the intense pain of divorce must begin with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The DivorceCare programme features three key elements: 1. Training of church divorce recovery leaders and facilitators 2. Videotape teaching materials to address divorce issues in a biblical context. 3. Support group strategies to facilitate on ongoing ministry to divorced and separated people. The programme is designed to be easy to implement, easy to use. DivorceCare is structured as a weekly seminar/support group session which combines teaching and small group discussion. Materials can be used by a few people meeting in a home or a larger group meeting in the church building. DivorceCare is designed as a weekly form to run in a continuous cycle at your church. There are two reasons why DivorceCare is structured this way.

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When a person experiences separation or divorce, they need help and support right away. DivorceCare groups are designed to be open so that a person can begin come any week. People going through divorce also need long-term support and care. Healing from divorce takes months, even years. While divorce ministry events can offer short-term help, it is a consistent ongoing ministry design which most closely fits the needs of someone who is separated or divorced. DivorceCare is Christ-centred The pain of separation and divorce is one of the most intense feelings a human being can face. The emotional damage cuts to the soul. True healing of this kind of pain can only come from Gods presence in the life of a person experiencing it. This presence comes through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

GriefShare
Church Initiative, which produces DivorceCare, also offers a grief recovery support group curriculum called GriefShare. Like DivorceCare the GriefShare group is designed to help people recover from the deep hurt that comes with the loss of someone close. The GriefShare programme contains three key elements: Video. At each session, people will view a video on an issue related to grief and loss. These videos feature top experts on a wide variety of subjects important to the grief recovery process. Each video contains personal stories of people who have been through grieving experiences. Support Group. After the video the people in attendance will become part of a small support group to discuss what was on the video and what is going on in the lives of the group members. Between Sessions. People have time to reflect on what happened in the group and how the concepts discussed might apply to their personal circumstances. There is also an opportunity for personal study with a section in the workbooks called On Your Own which lead people to some very relevant, very practical sections of the Bible and guide them through a personal evaluation of how these verses apply directly to their situation. Both of these programmes are protected by copyright and cannot be copied or duplicated. If anyone is interested in use these very effective programmes in their church they would need to contact Church Initiative, P O Box 1739, Wake Forest, NC 27588-1739. If you are on the Internet their website is www.divorcecare.com or www.griefshare.org.

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Difficult situations in Counselling


Bereavement and Grief
Grief is not an enemy or a sign of weakness. It is a sign of being human. It is the cost of loving someone. It is inevitable that during such a loss we would be very deeply impacted, shocked or wounded by it. Grief is the manner or process in which we work through this loss. It is important always to bear in mind that grief is a process and not a permanent state. This knowledge in itself can be an enormous encouragement to someone who is in the early days of bereavement. There is a grieving process for every kind of loss. 1 Peter 1:6-7 When it comes to the subject of death one thing is certain: sooner or later everyone who lives out their normal life span will find themselves having to cope with the trauma of losing someone who is precious to them. Death is inevitable. Definitions: Bereavement: To rob, dispossess, leave dissolute, deprive Grief: Deep or violent sorrow What did you feel when you lost something? Desolation, Distress, sorrow, fear, panic, anger, violated. What is loss? Anything which constitutes a changepart of your life which is no more. Kinds of lossdeath of a loved one, untimely death through suicide, abortion, still birth; loss of a limb or part of a body (body image, freedom and independence); job, home (lose security, identity, status); hope (loss of that which was anticipated. In bereavement we are walking the walk with people. We come alongside people and give them permission to carry on with the grieving. We create an environment of care. The severity of impact on an individual who experiences bereavement are influenced by: The circumstances in which the loss occurred; How unexpected it was; How personal and intense the loss is; How life-changing the loss is; What other difficult/challenging situations the grieving person is facing.

Common elements of the Grieving Process Many books refer to the stages of grief that people move through and I do not intend to deal with these stages other than to simply mention what they are. Denial and disbelief

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Anger and sadnesscan be expressed in various forms and directed towards any number of different people, including the deceased. Depression and/or despairusually sets in within four to six weeks after the burial. The first two stages we have mentioned seem to have a measure of relief in them: denial helps to keep the full reality of the loss at a distance; anger has a similar effect in that if provides an outlet for pent-up emotion. However, depression is like a fog that slowly creeps up and envelopes you. Signposts vanishperspective is lostmotivation ceasesindecision rules the dayyou cannot pray or read your Bible; there is no longer anything worth looking forward to; it is like a paralysis of the mind. Acceptanceis evidenced by the bereaved person making a conscious decision to stop looking back all the time and to start to face the future, knowing it will be without the companionship of their loved one.

A lady by the name of Jean Richardson, writing from her own experience as a widow, points out the following eight stages of grief. She explains that these stages will vary in their order and may overlap. Stage 1: Stage 2: Stage 3: Stage4: Stage 5: Stage 6: Stage 7: Stage 8: Shock, which can involve muscular weakness, emptiness and inner tension. Numbness, everything seems unreal and remote. Struggle between fantasy and reality, the bereaved person will find reality difficult to accept and may act partly as though it had not happened. Feelings of guilt, panic or frenzy, withdrawal from the family and outside world. Depression, which is quite natural and to be expected. Release, shedding of tears or release of a flood of grief. Painful memoriesunable to face memories and accept them. Acceptance, new life begins and plans for the future form. Practical and emotional problems become easier to deal with.

Helping children grieve The kind of family we grow up in is crucial to how we accept loss or death for it shapes how we view life and how we respond to it. Children can accept loss if there is something to hope for, something to look forward to. But if they view their life as one loss after another, recovery is extremely difficult. Here are some general guidelines. Children have feelings even if they do not show them. A childs initial response, like adults, is denial. Do not try to hide your feels from your children, it will not be successful. Tell them they are not responsible for the loss. Reaffirm this often, because unless they understand otherwise, they may tend to blame themselves. Help them understand what has happened. Share just enough details to satisfy their questions, avoiding anything that would traumatize them.
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They will need to be with their parents a great deal and may be clingy. They need more than words. Help them remember the good times and encourage them to share their emotions. They may act out their grief by being angry at the person who has left. Empathize with their hurt without condoning any wrong behaviour.

Grief often brings with it theological questions. Why did God allow this or cause this to happen? If He is good, why did this happen now? What happens to babies and small children who die? Moral issues often arise out of the cauldron of emotions in grief. As sense of outrage is embedded in the grieving process, especially when children and good people die, sometimes creating an inner demand for justice. While God does not always give answers to all our questions, He always gives Himself. You can focus your attention on the faithfulness of God, His comfort and His promise to work all things together for good. You can trust Him when you do not have all the answers. Hidden Grief Hidden grief may derive from a miscarriage, abortion, death of an abusive or hostile spouse, stillborn birth or by giving up a baby for adoption. A vital component in healing from hidden grief is a recognition of pain and the needs arising from it. Some possible examples of hidden grief. Still birththe baby is alive in the womb, but dies just before or at birth. Miscarriagethe baby dies in the mothers womb and the birth process stops itself. Infertilitythe inability to have children. It characterizes 15% of couples who are of child-bearing age. Abortionthe active choice of the mother to terminate the life of her baby (Very seldom is the matter viewed in these terms by the girl/woman getting the abortion. But later, feelings of depression may overtake her without her necessarily associating them with the abortion. It is not uncommon for this to happen on the anniversary of the abortion).

Responses that cause us to stay stuck in grief. We act as if the loss is not affecting us We act as if we are still in control We give into despair as our normal attitude We refuse to let the departed go We hold onto our anger against God.

Galatians 6:2 reminds us that we are to Bear one anothers burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ. Often grief is more intense because we do not have the network of a large family unit living in the same locality. The church is to be our family.

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Grief is experienced by everyone. Each persons grief is as unique as they are. We can use the lessons we learn in grief to help others People in grief do not need sermons or lectures. In grief, people need to tell their story over and over.

How to communicate to those in grief. Although you may have experienced grief, you may be hesitant to approach the bereaved. Not knowing what to say, you may tend to avoid them. Obviously, this is not a good plan! But there is no proper thing to say. There is no way to say just the right thing to make it all okay. There are no magical words to take the hurt away. It is your heart of concern and love that you need to express. Be genuine. Be authentic and say what you really mean. The seven most common mistakes people make in handling people in their bereavement 1. 2. 3. Embarrassment. Some people do anything to avoid talking to the bereaved person about their loved ones death. Physical avoidance. Some people, even close friends, cross to the other side of the road, rather than meet face to face with the bereaved. Unhelpful platitudes. Time is a great healer, Youre young, youll get over this; Hes with the Lord; You wouldnt want her to suffer, would you? Some of these platitudes may be true but they can sound awfully cheap. Too many helpful books on the subject of healing prior to the loved ones death. Add to this those who presented formula prayers of faith to be confessed out loud by the terminally ill. One person near to death was heard crying and saying, Im too weak to read these out loud. I hope God wont be mad at me. People criticizing how the bereaved expressed their sorrow, or how they seemingly failed to show their sorrow enough. The guests at one funeral were horrified because the parents of the deceased honoured their sons request for his funeral to be more like a celebration and party. People expressing their anger that God had failed to answer their prayers in not healing the one who had died. Some even spoke of losing their faith. Feeling that within a few weeks everyone had forgotten what had happened and that even to mention the loved ones name would be inappropriate.

4.

5.

6. 7.

Some suggestions to help you interact with a grieving person. Remain calm and non-judgmental Use direct and specific language (time, place, people surrounding him/her) to help them reorient from the blur of grief events. Encourage people to talk about life as it existed before their loss. Mention the deceased by name.

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Do not be afraid to gently tough them Make several short visits Let the grieving person make plans Be willing to listen, especially in the evening Let them cry and express their emotions Visit during the weeks after the funeral when others get back to normal life but the deeply grieving person cannot If the bereaved want to talk about their loss, do not change the subject to a lighter topic. Do not say that you know how they feel. Each loss is unique. Take your conversation cues from them. Silence is okay Do not tell the bereaved how good they look to avoid talking about how bad they feel.

The general process of healthy grieving 1. Acknowledge and understand your own grief. 2. Allow your grief needs to be recognized by others 3. Feel free to grieve in your own unique way 4. Tell your story to others (the honest account of your loss) 5. Commit to the journey, long or short, which leads back into living life. 6. Share the comfort you have received with others in need. 7. Trust God and cling to Him. Bring all your questions and feelings honestly to Him.

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Session Four: Violence and abuse


1. Child Abuse
Violence and abuse, especially in the home, appears to be increasing. Abuse is difficult to define, perhaps because the term covers so many types of physical and psychological maltreatment. Child abuse, as defined by the formal language of the U.S. Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, involves the physical or mental injury, sexual abuse or exploitation, negligent treatment, or maltreatment of a child under the age of eighteen, by a person who is responsible for the childs welfare and under circumstances which indicate the childs health or welfare is harmed or threatened thereby. The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines abuse as, An established unjust or corrupt practice. In recent years the word abuse has been used to describe all sorts of unacceptable behaviour; people talk about having their time abused, their healthy abused, their privacy abused. All these usages may be proper, but we want to talk about some rather more serious expressions of abuse, namely sexual, verbal and physical, that leaves its victims with deep emotional wounds. Without radical surgery these people become permanent casualties. Just as abuse is difficult to define, so is its incidence difficult to measure. Many victims are reluctant to report abuse, especially when the abuser is a family member. Children and the elderly often are unable to report abuse, and some people arent even aware that the pain they experience is abuse. Even with these obstacles, the figures that do get reported are staggering. Between 2000 and 4000 child deaths occur annually because of child abuse or neglect; An estimated 1.5 million children are victims of neglect; Between 100 000 and 200 000 children are sexually abused

Obviously these are figures that are issued in the United States and would vary in Southern Africa. In Zimbabwe, conservative figures state that 3 out of every 5 children are either sexually, verbally or physically abused and neglected. T.E.C. runs a course, Healing from Abuse in which we deal with this subject in depth. Briefly, families perform three basic functions to meet their members needs:1. 2. 3. Maintenancemeeting physical needs of food, shelter, clothing and medical care. Nurturancemeeting emotional and relational needs for acceptance, affection, affirmation and time with others. Guidancemeeting intellectual and spiritual needs for instruction on such enormously diverse topics as how to tie a shoe and how to know God.

A family is dysfunctional when it is marked by consistently inadequate or impaired functioning in meeting these needs. Parents have the primary responsibility for maintenance, nurturance and guidancenot the children. Therefore the parents inadequate and impaired functioning determine the degree the family is impaired.

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Your own dysfunction

FRIGID Unable to handle any physical touch from the opposite sex.

PROMISCUOUS Transference of spirits

Defence mechanisms are natures devices to help us cope with the problems of an imperfect world. DENIAL is a major defence mechanism of anyone who is part of a dysfunctional home where they have been subjected to any kind of abuse. But there are another two defence mechanisms: REPRESSION and SUPPRESSION. Psychology teaches us that below the CONSCIOUS MIND are the two levels of the SUBCONSCIOUS and the UNCONSCIOUS.

How do we deal with memories and pain of the trauma of abuse? 1. We can SUPPRESS themwe push them down under the surface of our lives by a voluntary effort, telling ourselves that we will not think about the problem right now but will come back to it at some other time. We can REPRESS thembury them more deeply into the un-conscious so that they will no longer trouble us. Usually we forget the things that are repressed.
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We can EXPRESS themlet out our negative feelingspunch a pillow, angrily tell someone what we think of them, go for a run etc. We can CONFESS themrecognising the presence emotions and dealing with them in a responsible and mature way. of negative

Unfortunately, this is not something children are able to do. Helping the children of Abuse Children rarely report sexual or physical abuse, sometimes because they dont know who to tell but often because they have been threatened with further harm if they talk to anyone about the abuse. Sometimes you can suspect abuse or neglect by observing several of the following: The child seems unduly fearful, especially of parents The child is poorly groomed or inappropriately dressed for the weather. The child appears under-nourished or inappropriately fed. The child is withdrawn or depressed or overactive and aggressive. The child seems disinterested, unable to concentrate, inclined to cling to adults other than the parents or unable to get along with other children. The parents are rigid, highly demanding of their children and inclined to punish harshly.

The parents have experienced multiple stresses such as marital discord, divorce, debt, frequent moves, job loss, or other pressures. Frequently the outside observer has few or no indications of abuse. There are no scars and the child looks healthy, but sometimes there will be inappropriate behaviour such as aggression, altered sleep patterns, or inappropriate sexual behaviour. It is true that children have vivid imaginations and sometimes make up stores, but young children do not have the capacity to fantasize about something that they have not experienced. Listen carefully if they give hints about abuse and, if you can, ask them to describe what they mean in more detail. When caring adults are bold enough to intervene, lifelong psychological damage can often be prevented. Mate abuse Once again most victims are reluctant to report the abuse. There is realistic fear that the abusing mate could explode in more violence if he (or she) discover that the family aggression has been reported. A woman whose livelihood depends on her abusive husband is reluctant to risk being cut off from food and shelter, especially if this would make her solely responsible for the care of children. Some Christian women believe (and are told by their pastors) that wives should be submissive to their husbands, even if the husbands behaviour is intensely violent and life threatening. If abuse is suspected, we should not be reluctant to raise the issue. Pastors who can visit in the home have unusual opportunities to explore these issues with victims who might not voluntarily come for counselling.

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Ultimately the Christian counsellor wants to help the couple maintain and heal the marriage, but when the risk of further violence seems high, it may be wise to help the abused mate and children get away from the danger and withdraw, at least, temporarily, to a place of security and safety. This could be the home of a church family, but it also may mean the use of a community emergency shelter for abused spouses and children. When this removal seems best, you would be wise to get the advice and guidance of community resources, such as a lawyer, law enforcement officials, or medical personnel. Many of us lack experience in this kind of social intervention, so it is helpful to know what community assistance is available and what legal issues are involved.

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Session Five

Maintaining sexual purity in ministry,


Truth is heavy, so few men carry it (Jewish Proverb) Approximately 1 in 10 young men who start out zealous and in full-time ministry actually finishes strong! Along the way they fall prey to the enemys ambushes. Although we are talking about men, this also applies to women! Listen to this sad story: of John Bisagno Story. In the Christian life, its not how you start that matters. Its how you finish. (Steve Farrar, Finishing Strong, page 15.) And what is the main way Satan knocks out 9 of those 10 men? What is the chief ambush to watch out for? Satans all-time, number one, time-proven tactic for snaring men and keeping them from finishing strong is sexual immorality. And the statistics prove it. (Steve Farrar) Adultery insurance? The central issue in insurance is risk. If you were to approach an insurance company about being insured about committing adultery, how likely is it that they would give you insurance? How at risk are you? Dr. Howard Hendricks surveyed 246 men who were in the ministry and fell into adultery within a 2 year period of time. He found 4 correlations between all of them: 1. None were involved in any kind of personal accountability group. 2. None were having a daily time of prayer, Scripture reading, and worship. 3. Over 80% of them became sexually involved with another woman as a result of counselling them. In other words, they were spending significant amounts of time with women other than their wives. 4. Without exception, each of the 246 had been convinced that moral failure will never happen to me.

Danger areas Barney Coombs mentions three danger areas; spiritual affinity, counselling and familiarity (which may better be described as intimacy). He does such a good job that I will quote the entire extract: Id like to show three main areas of danger: Spiritual affinity The first one and probably the most deceptive is spiritual affinity.
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Saint Thomas said: Although carnal affection is dangerous to all, it is yet more so for those who associate with persons that seem to be spiritual, for even though the beginning is pure frequent familiarity is dangerous and the more the familiarity increases the more the first motive is weakened and purity is defiled. The devil knows well how to conceal danger. In the beginning he sends out poison darts but only those that inflict slight wounds and kindle affection. However, in a short time the persons begin to act toward each other not like angels as in the beginning but like beings clothed with flesh. The looks are not immodest but they are frequent and reciprocal, their words appear to be spiritual but are too affectionate. Each begins frequently to desire the company of the other. Involvement in intercession, the participation of musicians and singers in praise and worship ministry and ministry in deliverance are some of the godly activities where nave believers have fallen prey to the Enemy.

Counselling The second danger is that of counselling. Repeated counselling sessions with wives of troublesome, unbelieving husbands or single women (especially those recently divorced or widowed) provide unbelievable opportunities for the devil to trap an unsuspecting leader. Sid Cheal, a real father in the faith, advised, Never give lifts to women when you are alone unless it is absolutely necessary, and, Never counsel women alone. If its unavoidable, always leave the door ajar. Familiarity [intimacy] Familiarity with lady members of staff is a very dangerous past time. St Bernhard once wrote, To be familiar with a woman and to preserve chastity requires greater virtue than to raise a dead man to life. The sharing of marriage difficulties and other family concerns, lunch with your secretary or suggestive or flippant remarks provides a conducive atmosphere for the devil to strike a lethal blow. Lyndon K. McDowell, writing in the USA magazine Ministry on the dynamics of ministerial morality, said, When any two people of opposite sex work closely together sexual feelings will almost inevitably be aroused. (Practical Pastoring pg 55-57)

Time-bombs Avoiding these three pitfalls may be hard enough on its own, but if you add the fact that many people have hidden time-bombs ticking away; it makes for an even more combustible combination. What is a time-bomb? It is a fuse-line or fault linea character weakness, unresolved issue, or propensity to sin that we have. These problems may not be immediately evident but with time will explode, wrecking our lives. Examples of time-bombs are an addiction to pornography, a deep insecurity that makes you look to women for affirmation, or bitterness and self-pity that looks to illicit sex as comfort.
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Listen to these excellent quotes by a seasoned apostle: Jimmy Swaggart, world renowned TV Evangelist, having been caught with a prostitute, blamed his fall and subsequent public disgrace on a secret addiction to pornography that had constantly dogged his path from his early teens. It had been a time bomb slowly ticking away for over 30 years. We tend either to be impressed or threatened by one anothers outward success. Yet how many superstars, not to mention the rest of us ordinary mortals, have hidden time bombs ticking away waiting for Satan to detonate them? The Christian world is fairly competent at training people academically and theologically but we are not so good at discipling them in godly character. I have become overwhelmingly convinced that before a man is recognised and released into responsible leadership he needs to have been properly and carefully discipled. This entails the discovering and defusing of time bombs in a mans character. It also means that character weaknesses are identified and dealt with. (Barney Coombs) The world, the flesh and the devil This is the terrible trio we all have to face in life! Some people may think they are safeI dont have any time-bombs ticking awaybut the fact is we dont need some unresolved issue from our past to shipwreck us! Any one of these three can do it. The world is the enticing culture around us that is always promoting sensuousness, lust and illicit sex (1 John 2:16). The devil is our sworn enemy who constantly tempts us to sin (Genesis 3:1-5). And our flesh is that fallen part of our nature, our sinful nature that we will carry to the grave (Galatians 5:24, Colossians 3:5). Once, when Barney Coombs was relating to a friend how a Christian leader they knew had fallen into adultery, he responded, Theres a devil out there! To which Barney replied, And a sinful nature inside! The point that was made was that we have enemies without and within and the ones within are worse! No matter how far someone has gone up the mountain of God, or how great their history of holiness, they still carry their worst enemies within them the evil desires of the flesh, the sinful tendencies that have to be put to death daily. Regardless of who we are there is no room for complacency. We must be vigilant and guarded. Beware of no man more than yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us. (Charles Haddon Spurgeon) I highly commend for your careful consideration the following seven golden rules: 1. Never exchange intimate details with a person of the opposite sex other than your wife. 2. Never put your arm round a woman other than your wife or daughter. Psychologically you are offering them security that just happens to answer one of the deepest needs a woman has. 3. Never counsel a woman alone. If that is not possible, keep the door of the room slightly
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4. Never give lifts to a woman unless she is old enough to be your mother or it is a matter of urgency. If possible give your wife a telephone call to let her know what is happening; it all helps to keep things in the light. 5. Always ensure your own marriage is in a healthy statewhich includes enjoying each other in bed. (Proverbs 5:18-19) 6. Always deal ruthlessly with any deep character fault and without fail confess your problems to a trusted friend; ask him to hold you to strict account for your daily actions and temptations. 7. Whenever you find yourself repeatedly thinking about another woman and enjoying the thought, always seek help from a trusted friend, preferably someone you recognise as having spiritual authority in your life. Charles Swindoll, pastor of the First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton, California, has these seven golden rules: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Keep the romance in your marriage Dont take your secretary to lunch. Dont see the opposite sex alone at night Dont meet them in their homes Dont sit on their beds in hospital Dont hold their hands when you talk Dont put your arms around their shoulders.

Enough said!

SUMMARY
The problems in peoples lives arise because of wrong choices they have made. These wrong choices generally come because of wrong beliefs. Let me share some statements with you: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. God wants our walk in this world to be founded on our sense of restored identity in Jesus. We will live our destiny only to the degree that we live in an abiding sense of who we are in Jesus. The need to perform to prove always comes from the sense of lack. The right action driven by a sense of lack never produces good fruit. I may be fully committed to what I believe to be the truth, but if it does not have the power to set me free, then it is not truth. So much of lifes struggle is not because we were told things that were wrong. It is because of what we were not told.
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A change of position always brings a change in perception. Change my beliefs and I will change my behaviour. Every action we take is based on a combination of logic and emotion. People who live in guilt and shame seldom make quality decisions unless they understand the difference between the two. Guild is the felling we have when we violate our conscience. It is a negative emotion. A negative emotion is not a call to negative action. Everyone wants to be different, but no one wants to change! People who are truly in search of a new life realize that change is essential. When our actions are inconsistent with our new identity in Christ, there is a war in our soul. When I combine information and emotion, I begin to experience my thoughts as real.

8. 9. 10.

Whether we are confessing the Word, praying, or worshipingall of which are tools for transformationwe should always see ourselves experiencing the end result of Gods promise. We should see and experience that promise as real until it becomes the reality of our heart. When your identity in Jesus becomes your reality, your circumstances will no longer be able to hold you. It is our identity in Jesus, the absolute assurance that we are who God says we are, that empowers us to live this incredible life of abundance. When we put ourselves, as leaders, in a place to help bruised, battered and broken people, it is this aspect of our walk with God that we must impart to those whom we counsel. What is a reality to us must become a reality to them. Breaking out of the cycle is all about breaking out of our self-perception.

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PRACTICAL PASTORING
Celebration CollegePastoral Development Programme

Session Six

Ministry of Helps

Introduction
How to be totally effective serving in the Ministry of Helps.

HELPS: Having Enough Loving People Serving


Churches need the ministry of helps. The time has come for church members to begin doing the work of the ministry, and let the pastors return to doing what they have been called to dobe spokesmen for Jesus.

What is the Ministry of Helps?


And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:28 ) The ministries that we call the five-fold offices are to help the Church grow. However all the jobs designated by the Lord must be done if Gods goal for His family is to be reached. People, who are born again, are part of Gods family. Have you, as leaders, ever wondered about their place in that family? Do they have a desire to be part of Gods mighty move in these last days, and have you facilitated a place for them to get involved? God has indeed called peoplethose ordinary members of our congregations, to a very important ministrythe ministry of helps. From 1 Corinthians 12:28 we see four things about the helps ministry: 1. 2. 3. It is a supernatural ministry, listed among things such as miracles and healings. It is a gift God has set in the Church like a concrete pillar to hold things up. It is an indispensable ministry. If we were to take out of the Body of Christ the ministry of helps, it would become so ineffective that it would not be funny. If we were to take away the ministry of helps from any major ministry e.g. Hagin,

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Bonnke and closer to home, Pastor Tom Deuschle, it would become debilitated -so reduced in its effectiveness as to become almost paralysed. 4. It is a productive ministry. People are not in the ministry of helps to look good. They are there to produce something. They are not there for appearance's sake. God does not have figurehead ministries. Every ministry must be a productive ministry.

Within each of us are gifts and talents that have been entrusted to us. These gifts and talents are not for us but to bless and serve others. A gift is always designed to be for the recipient.

Who do people help?


They help the one God has set in each church to oversee itthat is you, if you are a pastor. Their job is to help the pastor run the church. Helps ministries act like fingers on a hand in assisting pastors. The Lord gives pastors a vision for their churches, and He has given the members of that church to the pastor to help bring that vision to pass. Without the helps ministry, things will not get done.

Purpose of Helps
God Himself set the ministry of helps in the Body of Christ as we saw from 1 Corinthians 12:28. Helps is a supernatural ministry with its own supernatural anointing to serve God by serving His pastors and His people. The definition of Helps literally is one who gives assistance (Romans 12:12) How do you remain alive after you are born again because God is looking for living sacrifices? I believe you remain alive, a living creation by SERVING in Gods kingdom. It is NOT a hard thing to be a living sacrifice. Only you and I make it hard. God says it is a reasonable service. Two Greek words in the New Testament to describe our service: DIAKONEOto be an attendant, wait upon (act as a deacon), minister, serveserving one another. This is the word Jesus used in Matt 20:28 when He said that he had come not to be served but to serve. DOULEUOto be a slave, to be in bondage. This word refers to our service to Godour worship and ministry to Him. As our service is directed God-wards, it will be easy for that service to turn man-wards.

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If someone in your church needs help, and you can meet that need, do it! That will keep your pastor from having to do it. Satan delights in keeping a pastor so busy that he cannot lead the people as he ought to do. Your obedience to Gods call for the helps ministry will protect your pastor from this dangerous snare. God wants to speak to His people through the pastor, but He cannot if the pastor is too busy to spend time in prayer. In Numbers 11:1017, we read how God set the ministry of helps into His people of that dayIsrael. Moses could no longer help the people individually. There were too many of them with too many problems. Moses cried out to God about the burden of all this people upon me (v. 11) and God answered. The Lord told Moses to pick 70 elders of the people and bring them before Him. Then the Lord said He would take of the spirit which is upon you, and will put it upon them (v.17) in order that the elders might share the burden of the people. The 70 elders were given a supernatural ability to share the load of caring for Gods people. Doing the things that will benefit the pastor takes a supernatural anointing. Ask God for this anointing, and He will gladly answer. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10) People only stay committed by becoming involved in some aspect of the ministry in serving others. If you cannot be faithful with another mans vision do not expect God to give you one of your own. Serving involves a willingness to lay down your life for others. Serving means giving up the right to non-involvementa participant and not a spectator. Serving means sharing your gifts and talents with others

The Work of Helps


(1 Corinthians 12:18,2628) The ministry of helps is a supernatural ministry set in a church by God to help bring to pass the vision or goal God gave the pastor. The simple definition of helps is one who gives assistance to the weak and needy. In v.18, we see that every member is put in the Church for a purpose. Every believer has a job to do in helping to care for Gods people. Caring for someone is not a mental attitude but an action whereby you watch out for the needs and welfare of others. God never intended for any believer to be a pew sitter, week after week, He put you in your church to help. Where people do not help the Body of Christ is weak.

The disciples had Helps Ministries


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In Matthew 20:25-28 Jesus shows us a true servant, one who was determined to do the will of the Father from the heart. He demonstrated that having a servants heart is not a sign of weakness but rather a sign of strength and inner peace. In Matthew 10:1,5,7-8 Jesus sent out His disciples to cast out demons, heal all manner of sickness and disease, preach, cleanse the lepers, and raise the dead. This is an exciting part of ministry: to watch God perform signs and wonders as you minister His Word. This is a part of ministry everyone seems to want, but few seem to have read what took place before Jesus' disciples went forth to do these things. These twelve were called to be apostles, but they did not start out that way. Jesus called them and set them apart with one specific purpose in mind: They were to carry out the work of the Gospel after He left and sent the Holy Spirit. They were called to that level of ministry, but before Jesus gave them this power, the majority of their time was taken up with what many today would consider menial work. Then they went out in the power of God and did exploits in His Name; but when they returned, what happened? They continued doing menial work! Throughout the gospels, the twelve disciples were with the Lord almost constantly. They travelled with Him everywhere. They made preparations before Jesus ministered, probably controlled the healing lines, and cleaned up after the meetings were over. Example: In Matthew 14:16-20, we find an account of Jesus feeding the five thousand men (plus women and children). Notice that He told the disciples Give them something to eat. According to Mark's Gospel, the disciples had the people sit in groups or ranks, by hundreds and by fifties. Jesus blessed the loaves and fishes; then gave them to the disciples. It was the disciples who distributed the food to the multitude. It was the disciples who did the clean-up work: and they (the disciples) took up the fragments that remained twelve baskets full (Matthew 14:20). It was the disciples who supervised the seating; who gave the bread to the people and who cleaned up the mess afterwards.

The disciples operated in a supportive role, in a supportive ministry. Their support, their aid, their assistance helped the Lord's ministry flow smoothly. They supported the ministry God had placed them in. They got involved and were excited about doing God's work. Though the majority of their work was what most people would consider menial, they were faithful to do it and everything ran like clockwork.

Serving Gods chosen man


In Exodus 24:13 Gods chosen man had a minister. Joshua was called to minister to Moses. The word minister in that context does not mean preacher but servant
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Joshua was chosen by God to wait on, or to serve, Moses. He was to help Moses by serving his needs so that Moses could keep his mind on Gods work. Being a servant was a menial thing to most peopleand still is considered that waybut Joshua saw it as a ministry unto the Lord. Eventually, he was promoted to the position of leader of Israel. Any pastor will be more effective if he is not concerned with day-to-day duties such as sweeping the floor, setting up everything, painting the church. I would rather have my pastor before God in prayer and in the Word than have him sweeping the floor. I want him perfectly in tune with God so that he can minister to the people. In Acts 6:23, the apostles realized this. TEAM MINISTRY Acts 2:44 Now all who believed were together and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and divided them among all as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord (being unanimous, having mutual consent, being in agreement, having group unity, having one mind and purpose) In each of its occurrences this phrase with one accord shows a harmony leading to action. The Ministry of Helps is a team ministry requiring a unity of spirit and purpose.

Three things are needed to build good team unity and spirit: (1) Team Spirit Primarily means UNITY John 17:20-22 Glory of God is not some fog We are the glory of God Team Spirit is being one There is tremendous power in agreement IT TAKES EFFORT TO HAVE UNITY IT TAKES EFFORT TO KEEP THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT Team Faith Hebrews 4:2 - Jews - Ten spies - evil report Two with the word of faith. Did not share in the faith of those who obeyed. Ten spies did not have team faith but a slave mentality longing for the things of the past. UNBELIEF CAN CAUSE TEAM DEFEAT Team Fruitfulness The vine cannot bear fruit by itself. As each part finds itself we will have team fruitfulness. Check your heart and ask yourself why you are here.

(2)

(3)

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Is it for selfish motives or is it for the Kingdom? UNITY IS A SPIRITUAL FORCE Effective teamwork happens when each team member uses his or her special skills. Ideally, each member's strengths will contribute something important to the team effort. In this way, members make up for one another's weaknesses. Aaron made a good team with Moses. He provided Moses with one skill he lacked, effective public speaking. But while Aaron was necessary to Moses, he needed Moses as well. Without a guide, Aaron had little direction of his own. There was never doubt as to who God's chosen and trained leader was. God gives special abilities to individuals which He weaves together for His use. God has a slow process and a definite pattern when making a person ministry fit. One of the problems in the Church today is that we honour the gifts above character. GOD LOOKS AT THE HEART AND NOT THE POWER GIFTS. GOD MEASURES THE HEART AND IF YOU HAVE THE HEART OF GOD YOU ARE IN!

God can give you a power gift in one second, but He cannot give you character in one second! It takes years to produce that heart of righteousness. God slow cooks in pressure. He develops you in hiding and in obscurity. GOD IS CALLING TOGETHER TEAM MINISTRY. He is testing teams and relationships. If you do not have the spirit and the vision of the leader you cannot work in the house. Each house has a vision and a destiny. Many people come into the house and they are anointed but they do not have the heart or the spirit of the leader of the house and therefore have no means of locking into the heart and vision of the leader. They will create turbulence, strife and division. You can only have one vision in the house. God is going to test your commitment. Leaders should always make the fire hottest to those closest to them to find out where their loyalty lies. (The serpent was only exposed in the fire!) Loyalty means adjusting my schedule to meet the needs of those I am called to serve. Loyalty is being a reliable messenger to those I am serving. Loyalty is knowing and following the wishes of those responsible for me. Loyalty is standing with those I am called to serve in time of need, when the going gets tough.

Qualities of Helps

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We, are required to be faithful and loyal in our service in the Kingdom. These characteristics are reflected in FOUR AREAS: 1. IDENTIFICATION We must identify first with where God has called us - with a local body, with a set man and the vision God has placed in that set man. This requires: Allegianceduty Stand with those I am called to serve Constancyunchanging, permanence, tenacity Adjusting my schedule to meet the needs of those I serve. Dependabilitysteady & faithful Being counted on to stay when the going gets tough

2.

INVOLVEMENT Once I have identified with the Church and the Pastor that God has called me to, I have to get involved. Many people never get to here. This is a choice. We choose to get involved. In fact every stage of our Christian walk is a choice.. This requires: Faithfulness Doing your job regardless of whether anyone else does theirs. Prov.25:13 says that a faithful servant refreshes his master. Daniel 6:4 says No fault or wrong could be found in him. This is the testimony of a faithful servant. Faithfulness will put you in a place of honour in the eyes of your pastor. Reliability Being a reliable messenger to those I serve - not having my own vision. Trustworthiness Counted on to keep rank whatever the situation

3.

INVESTMENT Having identified and got involved, I will begin to INVEST - not only my life but also my talents, my time and my finances. Illustration: The Talents All of us have special skills and God wants us to use them for His glory. A talent must be used and polished otherwise it will tarnish. We must be: Consistentregular, steady, true to type, undeviating It is at this time of investment that the devil will seek to move you from your post, your calling, because he knows when you begin to invest you begin to grow in the things of God. Be consistent in all you do. Crises in our lives reveal the cracks Use the crises in our lives as building blocks

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Steadfaststick-to-it-tiveness It is the day of adversity that will reveal my loyalties and my priorities. Am I able to stand and endure to the end, or do I set my level of achievement? John Mark a young traveler with Paul left under pressure. When it was suggested a second time that he accompany Paul and Barnabus, Paul refused to take him (Acts 15:37-39). And yet John Mark did redeem himself and gain Pauls approval (2Timothy 4:11) Resiliencethe ability to bounce back Loyalty is an attribute of a persons character that is tried and tested in the crucible of pressure and fire.

4.

INCREASE Before the increase can come I must have fulfilled the three previous requirements. This will take: Planting We need to plant our seed, our talents, our time in the right soil Preparation Be prepared for God to work in our lives to enlarge our hearts because when an investment is made God will always give an increase. Positioning When the increase comes we must make sure we are positioned correctly - where God wants us to be.

If you are helping anyone in the church, or helping the weak or needy, you are operating in the ministry of helps, a gift set in the Church by God. This is a ministry just as valid, just as anointed, as if God had asked you to be a prophet. God is not a respecter of persons nor should we be. An usher, a nursery worker, a sound man, a musician, anyone giving assistance in the Body, is in the ministry of helps. Their task is just as important as those of people in leadership offices. Gods rewards are not based on the size of the ministry on earth, but on the degree of faithfulness. Faithfulness is necessary to everyone in the helps ministries. Why do we place a higher regard, a higher honour, on some offices than others, when God does not? The ministry of helps is as anointed as the calling of a prophet. When you begin to serve God, you step between the hands of God. He begins to shape and mold you. When you move, God moves. When you sit God sits. He has not overlooked anyone in the body of Christ. All of us have the same measure of faith, and every one of us is a necessary part of the Body,

Conclusion
God has given your pastor a vision for your church, and he is responsible to bring it to pass. However, he will need help. That is why God has placed you there: to be a minister of helps

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to your pastor so that the vision can be reached. It is our responsibility to ensure that the vision is protected for if we allow it to be destroyed, we destroy our own destiny.

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PRACTICAL PASTORING
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1. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. Hebrews 9:27-28 2. Every death that takes place forces us to be reminded of two unchangeable realities. a. The fact of death: Every person who is born into the world will ultimately die. The fact is that only two people in history have not died (Enoch and Elijah). No matter how much you care for your body or how much you try to extend your life through natural means you will not escape your appointment with death. b. The fact of judgment: Every person will ultimately face judgment after death. Believers who die will face the Judgment Seat of Christ and unbelievers will face the Great White Throne judgment. No amount of rationalization or denial of an afterlife will change the reality of this. After death it is too late to prepare for death. 3. Guiding Principles When we visit the bereaved, we go to help, serve and act We go to provide spiritual, moral and material support to our church members We must be prepared to evangelize and to minister release and healing to the bereaved family We must ensure that the bereaved do not develop a secret controversy with God. - e.g. why Lord? We must be sensitive at all times to the needs of the bereaved family

4. Preparedness Bereavement is a fact of life and happens to all of us at some point in time. We, therefore, need to live in a state of preparedness as leaders so that we can quickly render care and service. We need to put in place structures to deal with grief in our sections and cells so that everyone knows before hand what is expected of them. Below is a list of things we may need to have in place as part of our preparedness: Identify people who are gifted and have a passion for specific areas of service and seek their commitment to serve as and when required, e.g. o praise and worship, o evangelizing,

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o personal care for the bereaved, o looking after children of the bereaved family, o preaching and conducting service at the funeral and graveside, o cooking, serving food and washing dishes Have an idea of standard requirements for utilities and make a plan on how you are going to access them prior to anything happening. Establish the channels of communication that you will use in the event of one of your members experiencing a bereavement and have people commit to shoulder responsibilities to co-ordinate and pass on the message

5. What to Do During the Funeral 3.1 Communication The bereaved member should contact their cell leader or delegated representative immediately or make arrangements for someone to do this for them Cell leader should telephone the bereaved person immediately, then visit them to strengthen. Get details of the deceased and their relationship to our cell member, if not immediate family: o Who has died? o Were they born again? o Which church did they go to? o What role can our church play? Do not assume that our church is responsible for the funeral service. Inquire and negotiate if possible. o Who is co-ordinating the funeral arrangements? o How can we work with them? Cell leader should contact the section leader, the persons identified to carry out specific tasks and all the cell members to get ready to go and serve Section leader to contact zone leader and other section leaders in zone and advise on situation, what action has been taken and the level of support required 3.2 Church Service Establish whether our church can take the leading role in conducting service or will offer supporting role to other church(es) Produce a program for part or whole service with the assistance of the people who have a passion and commitment to serve in this area Assign responsibilities for praise and worship and preaching When conducting the service - be sensitive - do not preach too long Keep focused on the objectives of the service: o evangelise and o minister release and healing to the bereaved family

3.3 Resource Support Establish if a funeral policy was in place to determine level of material support expected

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Encourage members to give the resources - support in cash or kind: collect money from cell members to support the bereaved. Whatever comes in is what you give. It is not the money, but the effort made by people to help that counts Assign a co-ordinator to take charge of cooking, serving food and washing dishes and ask them to come up with a team to assist

3.4

Critical Moments Zero in on the people - the family Who is making arrangements - who is going to fetch the body? Bereaved can get emotional when driving - let a cell member go with them if the family is not fussy. When body is brought home - ladies go to ladies and men to men - watch for the cell member and go and hug them after body viewing. These are tender moments - be there for your people.

3.5 Managing Expectations Beware of unreasonable expectations The church is not supposed to pay all the expenses. It can only help where possible Encourage members to get funeral policies

3.6 Child Care or Accommodating Dependents If there are children or other dependents involved, please make sure they are taken care of or accommodated Organize their movements if there is a need in this area, e.g. if they need to be taken to school. This will enable the bereaved to grief without such worries.

4.

Aftercare Let us not forget the bereaved after burial Instill hope in the bereaved and carry them through This is probably the most crucial time because reality is setting in Set up a roster for meals for at least two weeks and another roster afterwards for people to encourage the bereaved person, for as long as is possible Be led by the Holy Spirit Have Cell group at their house if this is possible

Practical Counsel During Grieving The need for a good cry


Every pastor, sooner or later, has to help people walk through devastating experiences like the death of a child or other family member. It is important to allow people to cry without trying to stop them. Sorrow released is love expressed and is a powerful healing agent. It also relieves tension from pent-up feelings.

The need for personal contact


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There is no substitute for personal contact.

Dr T. A. Makoni

for Celebration College

The need to be careful what you say


I was greatly helped through a television programme on the subject of death and dying. Three people shared the things that hurt or disappointed them the most after the death of their partner. The first was that they felt they were a cause of embarrassment to friends. People seemed awkward around them, some stumbled over words, no-one seemed willing to talk about their loved one.

The need to avoid trite answers and empty platitudes.


Two things grieving relatives cannot abide are trite answers and empty platitudes. The following is a list of trite remarks often made by well-meaning people as they have trite to comfort those grieving: Its all for the best. My second marriage was much better than the first. Youre young enough to marry again. Youve still got other children, think of those who havent. Jesus needed her in heaven. He would have been a vegetable. God may be trying to say something to you.

The funeral service


A helpful funeral service should have these elements in it: 1. A recognition that their loved one has died. If it was sudden, such as a heart attack or car accident, the pastor could use such phrases as tragic loss, or sudden death or shocking news because that is how the family sees it. If the death came after a long illness, phrases such as sad parting, long illness patiently borne, courageous battle would be most appropriate and would accurately express the perspective of the family of the deceased. Take time to honour their loved one. This should include a brief history of their life, their place of birth, their education, their wedding date, a record of any outstanding period of employment, the testimony of others and any acts of heroism or Christian service. All these help to make up a useful account of their life. Turn the hearts of the bereaved towards the Lord Jesus to receive His comfort and peace at this sad time in their lives. When the dead person was a believer the pastors job is so much easier. All the wonderful promises of eternal life, the resurrection and the riches of the ages to come are at your disposal from the Scriptures. Any Christian funeral should have an element of celebrating victory for death is swallowed up in victory. It should be viewed as a homegoing. Its a celebration of a life lived for the Lord and now the loved one is going to be reunited with the One he loved and lived for. The secondary theme of a reunion as the hope of the saints for a grand family get together after the resurrection should permeate the event. 1 Thess 4:13-18

2.

3.

4.

1. The Purposes of a Funeral


You only get one chance to make a good first impression when called upon to help families manage significant loss. Your first few moments with them can lay a foundation for hope or alienate them from the One who is our hope. It is therefore important to prepare yourself for meaningful ministry as soon as you are contacted by the family or funeral home. There is no such thing as routine crisis intervention. A family crisis is precisely what you face when called upon to help with a funeral. Rarely is a family ready for the death of a loved one. Even if there was notification of terminal illness or the threat of death, few people realistically anticipate their responses to that final farewell. The familys pain and confusion are intense. Your purpose is to comfort and to guide. There may be many questions, expressed and repressed. You will not have all the answers. Your responsibility is to offer the care, compassion, and love of our Lord to people whose dreams have been shattered. You can provide objective strength rarely seen even in the closest of friends if you know and fulfil your ministerial role as a helper. Hurting families need a comforter who demonstrates the love and compassion of Christ while performing even the most painful tasks of ministry. Let the Holy Spirit care for them through you. Significant ministry does not happen automatically. Applying basic ministry skills can enhance your ability to share the love and compassion of Christ. You need to develop those skills, allowing the Lord to infuse them with spiritual power and produce lifechanging effects among those you serve.

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Understanding the Purposes of a Funeral


Funerals are not supposed to be fun, but neither should they be torturous. When you understand the purpose of a funeral, you can set guidelines for yourself to make sure you lead a service that comforts those who are present.

Funerals Help us Grieve


Grief is a normal response to loss. All of us need to meaningfully work through personal trauma or disappointment. Funerals can help us do that. Culture shapes the way we react to the news of death. People living in Bible times often tore their clothes, wore sackcloth, or covered themselves in ashes (II Sam. 3:31). They loudly wept and wailed as the mourners did in Mark 5:35-38. Families sometimes even hired professional mourners to grieve publicly for them (Jer. 9:17-18). In some places of the world today, people still grieve in similar ways. Westerners are far more subdued. We have learned to limit any public display of grief to our attendance at a funeral service.

Funerals Help us Express Sympathy


Individuals who experience loss feel lonely, confused and sometimes abandoned. It is natural to want to display our sympathy to a family facing the pain of losing one of its members. Attending a funeral is a tangible way of expressing compassion and support to the hurting. Our presence also reaffirms our love for and commitment to those who have lost someone special. Death unalterably changes relationships, and it is comforting for the family to have friendships strengthened through the presence of friends at a funeral. . It is a time for friends and relatives to share love and support. Having a service at a specific place and time affords loved ones from various geographical locations to have a focal point where they can grieve together and reminisce together. Without such a service it is very unlikely that such a gathering would take place or that people would make the effort to come together. At times like these people can reconnect with the living for the purpose of comfort, healing and even reconciliation.

Funerals Help us Accept Loss


Grieving is the process of emotionally adjusting to loss. Funerals force us to face the fact that death has taken a loved one from us. The sooner we can begin talking about the death of a loved one, the sooner we will be able to accept fully that loss without feelings of guilt or accusation. Funeral planning, even at the last moment for an unexpected death, causes people to talk about death and therefore deal with it more realistically. It is not uncommon for someone who has experienced the loss of a person who has been very close to them to feel that what is going on around them is not really happening. They believe that it is all a bad dream from which they will awaken. In some cases they imagine that their loved one will walk through the door and everything will be back to the way it was. The funeral service helps to being a sense of finality and opens the door for quicker recovery.

Funerals Help us Remember Positive Times


Funerals are wonderful opportunities for remembering the positive highlights of a persons life. You can learn a lot about the depth of family relationships when preparing for a funeral.

Funerals Help us Find Hope


Funerals are excellent occasions for giving hope to those who feel they have lost all hope. Biblically speaking, hope is the assurance or confidence that God will do what he has promised. Which of Gods promises ought to be emphasised in a funeral? Certainly the forgiveness of sin, the promise of eternal life for all who trust Christ as Saviour, and the assurance of Gods presence and love are common themes.

Funerals Help us Express Respect


When death strikes, it is not uncommon to hear people say, I just wish there were something I could do for the family. Or If I could only tell her again how much I appreciate her. In both instances, the speaker is really saying, I would feel much better if I could tangibly express my love for this person right now. Love desires to express itself in meaningful ways. Love does not die when a friend does, but it still seeks expression. Funerals provide an excellent opportunity for people to pay their respects. It is a time to highlight and affirm the life message of the life lived.

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Every person is a living epistle (II Cor. 3:3). That is, every person has certain distinctive things about them that become a life message. The Bible instructs us that we are to learn from the example of others (I Cor. 10:6, 11; Heb. 13:7). The funeral service is a time to highlight the life message of the loved one and to be sure that we have heard what his or her life preached.

It is a time to comfort believers in the hope of the resurrection (Ps. 116:15). Believers need not see death as an enemy. Death is indeed a fact of life, but Christ has overcome both death and hell. The funeral service is a time to remind believers of the saving grace that has come to us in Jesus Christ and the blessed hope that we have of an eternity spent with all believers of all time. The funeral service is sometimes referred to as a home-going service because of the heavenly home that has been prepared for all believers. It is a time to challenge all men with sacredness of life and the necessity of living it for God (Ps. 90:12). So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. The funeral service is a time to remind us once again of the gift of life that has been given to us and the fact that the gift of life is a stewardship from God for which we will give an account. At most funeral services unbelievers will be present. It is important that at this vulnerable time they have an opportunity to hear the Gospel one more time. It is important that pastors exercise sensitivity to the desires of the immediate family in this context, but the message of the Gospel should be clear. Remember, the service is for the living and not the dead.

2. Caring for the Bereaved before the Funeral


What is the pastor to do when a death takes place? A. Visit the home (or place of death) as soon as possible. This is one of those times where the pastor should drop everything and run. However, when you arrive be calm and be sensitive. 1. Be prepared to share a comforting scripture (Rom. 15:4). For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. 2. Be prepared to offer words of encouragement and hope (Phil 2:1; II Th. 2:16-17). 3. Be prepared to be still, listen and weep (Rom. 12:15). This is not a time to adjust or correct.

4. Be prepared to handle unexpected and even negative responses. Some typical responses include: a. BewildermentWhat should I do? b. HopelessnessWhat am I going to do now? c. Anger Why did God let this happen to me? d. ResentmentWhy did my beloved do this to me?

5.

Be prepared to pray together with those present.

NB. Please be sensitive to people and use the language that is relevant. In most families the local languages both fr ministry and for songs are advisable. Take Notes : Use a notebook. Be accurate but dont make the family wait for you to record every jot and tittle. Write down just enough to jog your memory. Note-taking assures the family that you are listening well and that you want accurate information for the service. If you do not know the family, write down the names of the people you meet. Families do not mind you recording the names of people with whom you are talking as they realise you are in a room full of strangers. Use the Deceased persons Name. Write down the name of the person who died and use it often. Although you may not have known the deceased, family members will appreciate your personal reference to their loved one. Be sure to confirm the pronunciation of the name before you visit the family. Ask Questions: Obtaining information from the family is easier when you guide the conversation through questions. Some families will bombard you with personal information, which always makes your job easier. Other may not know what kind of information you want, or may find it difficult to talk about their loved. one. You need to draw out details through meaningful questions. Whenever possible ask openended questions that cannot be answered with a yes or no. Develop question designed to gather information about each of the following topics: Personal information birth date, wedding anniversary date etc. Work/career.

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Personality/Lifestyle what motivated the person; what was the persons philosophy of life? Was he outgoing or reserved? Ask about hobbies and recreational activities. Beliefs/Spiritual Background. The family usually assumes the subject of religion will come up so ask questions along the lines: Tell me about your husbands spiritual beliefs. Or: Did your daughter/son every talk with you about her/his faith? These are non-threatening questions because they do not require family members to express or defend their own theological convictions, if they have any Information about the Death. Must be handled with discretion. The family may not know anything about the manner of death, or the details may be too grim to discuss. However, most families want to talk about even the most difficult means of dying. You may way to say, Tell me how your husband died, or ask, Can we talk for a few moments about the manner in which your daughter died? Use proper terminology, not euphemisms. For example, the terms death, dead, died, passed away, or passed on ought to be used rather than expired, graduated to glory, or worse yet, kicked the bucket or bought the farm! When you talk about the manner in which a person died you are showing that death and the way people die is mentionable and manageable.

Summary of Some Practical Things


1. PRAY For your own sensitivity (order, peace, comfort) For direction and wisdom GET A TEAM/ FORERUNNER/ CELLS Establish the level of authority you have at a funeral. GET INFORMATION About the deceased, the family and burial plans. TALK TO FAMILY. MINISTER TO FAMILY PLAN SERVICE FORMAT. Work with a team. Include the family. Plan for both church service and graveside/ cremation ceremony. AVOID Irrelevant conflicts, e.g. burial place Irrelevant rituals, e.g. going around the house before departure Unbiblical practices Unnecessary responsibilities, e.g. financial responsibilities 2. 3. 4. 5.

6.

7.

ALLOW THINGS THAT MIGHT ASSIST THE GRIEVING PROCESS Better facilities, e.g. use of church building Inclusion of special songs ACCOUNT FOR The well being of the key persons Smooth functioning of your team Full representation of your ministry/ pastor (evangelistic, healing, inspiring) Proper handling of the funeral (hope, love, care for one another) Adequate spiritual covering After care cell group

8.

Dr T. A. Makonis Sample Funeral Service A HomeGoing Celebration and Farewell Party: Celebration Church Bulawayo Choir: Soft music. Minister; "We are gathered here to celebrate the life and to say farewell to our dearly loved. Prayer: Father, in Jesus Name we come before You now and thank You for Your
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faithfulness and love - that love which sent Jesus, your Son, to die on our behalf so that we can be reconciled to You - the Almighty God - and call You Father. We praise you for the victory we have over sin and death because it is only our body that dies. Our spirit lives forever in eternity with You, our God, if we know and confess Jesus is Lord. We thank you for the life and memory of .. We bring before you today the family of and ask for your peace to come upon them. May your love surround them and the joy of the Lord be their strength during this sad time. Bible Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Opening Hymn that affirms the Christian Faith and Hope Eulogy: A brief family tribute appropriate for Christian worship may be offered by one or two family members or friends.

Outline of a Eulogy:
Give a brief history including birth date, place of birth, parents, grandparents, siblings.

Where did they grow up? What was their childhood like? Where did they go to school? Professional and career accomplishments? Who did they marry? When and where? Children and grandchildren. How long were they married? Significant life accomplishments. Personal interests, hobbies, achievements. Character qualities, Christian service, and how they affected other lives.

Ministers Message - a short sermon, usually from some part of the Bible. Focus on comfort, encouragement and giving a Christian witness. Minister "Lord our God, you are the source of life. In you we live and move and have our being. keep us in life and death in your love, and, by you grace, lead us to your kingdom, Through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord." Amen." Hymn Bible Reading Psalm 23 Minister: "Let us pray." "Our God, we thank you for the life that you give us. It is full of work and of responsibility, of sorrow and joy. Today we thank you for -------------------------------------------, for what he/she has given and received. Help us in our mourning and teach us to live for the living in the time that is still left to us. Thank you for eternal life that gives light and joy to our days and years already here on earth. Lord, we thank you for your Son, Jesus Christ. Help us to see that it is he who opens the gate to the life that shall never die. Our Father in heaven, we thank
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you that, through Jesus Christ, you have given us the gift of eternal life. Keep us firm in the faith, that nothing can separate us from your love. When we lose someone who is dear to us, help us to receive your comfort and to share it with one another. We thank you for what you have given us through ---------------------------- We now entrust ourselves to you, just as we are, with our sense of loss and of guilt. When the time comes, let us depart in peace, and see you face to face, for you are the God of our salvation." Amen." Bible Reading: Romans 6:3-9 An Affirmation of Christian Faith : The Lord's Prayer The Minister: "Let us say the Lord's Prayer together:" Our Father, who art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen." Body Viewing: Music Departure for Cemetery: MC to give instructions on process The Committal At the Grave Site: The coffin is lowered into the grave. The mourners take their farewell. Minister: "In the Name of God, the merciful Father, we commit the body of ----------------------------------- to the peace of the grave till the sound of the trumpet is heard. The Minister lets three hand-fuls of earth fall onto the coffin, saying: "Just as the Scriptures affirm dust to dust and ashes to ashes. We declare, From dust you came, to dust you shall return. Jesus Christ, the resurrection and the life, our Saviour, shall raise you up on the last day as He promised. We commit your body to earth saying, Just as you believed in Christ you have passed from death to life. We command you according to the Word of the Lord that at the sound of the Trumpet be alert and be raised from the dead to meet again in the Presence of Master. Till we meet again at Jesus feet, fare thee well! Alternative Committal Prayers 1. Committal for the Unsaved Inasmuch as it has pleased God in His infinite wisdom and providence to take from this world the soul of ----------------, we commit his (her) body to the ground, earth to earth, dust to dust, ashes to ashes, there to await the Day of Resurrection, when the earth and the sea will give up their dead, to appear before the Lord Jesus Christ, the Righteous Judge of the living and the dead. 2. Committal for the Saved:

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Inasmuch as it has pleased God in His infinite wisdom and providence to take from this world the soul of -------------- , we commit his (her) body to the ground, earth to earth, dust to dust, ashes to ashes, there to await the glorious appearing of Our Lord Jesus Christ, when at His coming the earth and the sea will give up the righteous dead, and the bodies of those who sleep in Jesus shall be raised and made like His glorious body. Bible Reading: 1Co 15:51-58 Minister " O Lord God, who has created us and called us yourself and for your pleasure, give us hearts of wisdom, that we may understand how short life is and thus receive every new day as a gift. Give us a living faith in your Son Jesus Christ, who suffered death for our sins, who rose from the grave to give us a hope and who lives for ever. Teach us daily to die from sin and to live according to your holy will. At the moment of our death, make us ready to depart in peace. And when the eternal day of resurrection dawns upon the graves of the earth, grant us grace to rise to eternal life. Amen." The Blessing The Minister: "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Compassion and God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work. And now may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen Receive the Lord's blessing and comfort. The Lord bless you and watch over you. The Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you. The Lord look kindly on you and give you peace; In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." Amen." Hand back service to MCs for final speech and vote of thanks.

The End

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PRACTICAL PASTORING
Celebration CollegePastoral Development Programme

Session Eight

Hospital Visitation
I. The Importance of Visiting the Sick A. Jesus expects it (Jer. 23:1-2; Mt. 25:34-45). B. Pastors and elders are specially gifted for visitation (Jam. 5:14-15; Luke 9:2; 10:9). C. People can be unusually open during times of sickness. D. People will remember what happened in the hospital for a long time. E. It is a time of special opportunity to impart life to people and other family members. II. Preparations for the Visit A. Dress appropriately. The hospital will treat you differently when they know you are a pastor. However, it helps to look like what their expectation of a pastor would be. B. Take your spouse, another elder or a leader in training when you visit. Remember that Jesus sent his disciples out two by two (Luke 10:1, See also: Mt. 18:19). C. Bring your Bible. Ask God for a word of comfort to share for their specific situation. D. Bring some flowers and a card from the church. The flowers left in their room will be an ongoing reminder of your love and care of them. E. Pray for sensitivity to that person. Each person will have different needs. Each relationship will dictate a different opportunity. They may be fearful. They may be worried about certain issues while they are sick. They may have special needs. As a pastor you care about all of these things. III. The Visit Itself A. Be prompt, calling on them at the first opportunity. B. Handle yourself in a pastoral manner.
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1. Be thoughtful. Make sure that it is a convenient time. Unless it is an emergency situation, try to observe hospital visiting hours. 2. Be cheerful. Be pleasant, friendly, positive, full of faith but not plastic. 3. Be courteous. Your politeness toward other visitors, other patients and hospital staff will leave a positive impression that may open other doors. 4. Be tactful . Ease yourself into delicate situations. Try to carry the conversation in such a way that the patient opens up on the sensitive areas. 5.Be natural. Be relaxed and avoid professionalism. They get enough of that treatment by doctors and specialists. 6.Be observant. Notice cards, other family members, other patients and hospital staff. There may be additional ministry opportunities and divine appointments associated with this visit. 7. Be anxious to help. Maintain a servant spirit. Do not take for granted that other family members are doing the right thing in giving needed assistance in the natural areas of life. 8. Be strong. You are there to be of assistance. This is not a time to break down and require assistance of your own. C. Be brief, but not in a hurry. Lengthy visits can tire patients. Ten minutes is an adequate time to minister to the person in need. However, do not give the impression that you can not wait to leave. D. Be sensitive in conversation. 1. Do not talk about yourself and your own problems. 2. Do not talk over the sick person in their presence. People can begin to feel like an object or a thing. 3. Do not make jovial remarks or comments about the body (e.g. referring to the urinary track as the plumbing, etc). 4. Do not reprimand or scold the patient. Do not use this as an opportunity to adjust the patient regarding such things as diet and exercise or other spiritual issues. 5. Do not preach sermonettes. This is a time for prayer and encouragement, not a time for exhortation and rebuke. 6. Do not change the subject if the patient wants to talk to you about something serious to them. Do not avoid serious conversation when it is initiated by the patient. The patient may have spent hours thinking about something in anticipation of your visit. E. Be prepared for various reactions to their condition.

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Some people are prone to overreact while others may be more likely to under react to a serious situation. 1. Fear of death or some other issue. 2. Anxiety and worry about finances or how things will work out. 3. Anger and bitterness that this is happening to them. 4. Doubt regarding Gods love and promises to them. F. Do not overstep your authority. You constantly move in and under authority. 1. Observe hospital rules. 2. Co-operate with the medical instructions. 3. Be supportive of staff and other personnel. 4. Do not tell the patient what his feelings ought to be. 5. Do not minimize the patients condition (to them it is serious). 6. Do not give premature assurance or reassurance that you have no authority to give. 7. Do not be presumptuous when dealing with contagious diseases. If the doctors tell you to wear a mask, do it. We are not to intentionally drink any deadly thing. G. Other donts for the pastor 1. Dont act as if their church attendance was the most important goal in their life. 2. Dont sit on the patients bed. 3. Dont bore or scare the patient with stories of other sick people. H. Other dos for the pastor 1. Share a good word of encouragement from the Bible. 2. Pray for them. a. Anointing with oil (Mark 6:13) b. Laying on of hands (Mark 6:5; 16:18) 3. Make sure you have helped with any natural needs. 4. Be aware of other patients in the room. IV. Following Up on the Visit
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C. Be prepared to assist them after they return home. D. For long term stays provide new flowers from time to time.

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Session: Church Discipline

PRACTICAL PASTORING
Session Nine

Celebration CollegePastoral Development Programme

Church Discipline

A. The foundation for discipline in the local church comes from Jesus Himself. The foundation for discipline in the church comes from two important instructions given to us by Jesus Himself. 1. Jesus gave a commission to the church that involved making followers of Christ into disciplined ones (Mt. 28:19-20). 2. Jesus gave instructions to the church as to how to handle difficulties that arise between members of the church (Mt. 18:15-18). B. The foundation for pastoral disciple comes from the biblical job description of a pastor. 1. Pastors are to be watchmen. This means pastors are on the alert for issues that might have a negative effect on the flock and they warn them of potential danger. 2. Pastors are to guard and protect the flock from threats from within and without. 3. Pastors are to be those that bring the flock to maturity. C. The foundation for discipline in the local church is the actual need for it. 1. Without church discipline there is no clear standard of right and wrong among the congregation. 2. Without church discipline sinning members go on sinning, destroying their own potential fruitfulness in God. 3. Without church discipline there is the potential for others to do outwardly what they have only been tempted to do inwardly because the unjudged, outward activity is a tacit approval of it.
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4. Without church discipline the spiritual life of the body as a whole becomes greatly weakened. Spiritual vitality and life seep out and a progressive spiritual stagnation sets in. 5. Without church discipline confidence and respect for the church leadership is lost. People do not judge a church by the preached standard but by the practiced standard. II. Why is pastoral discipline often neglected? A. It is neglected because of fear. 1. Fear of confrontation in general. 2. Fear of being unpopular among the people. 3. Fear of a church split or polarization. 4. Fear of a negative reputation in the community. B. It is neglected because of ignorance. 1. Ignorance of the necessity of it. 2. Ignorance of the practice of it. 3. Ignorance of the true heart of God concerning it. C. It is neglected because of a lack of true covenantal love for the sheep. 1. Discipline is a demonstration of love. 2. Discipline requires a laying down of ones life. Psalm 119:75

III. What are the biblical commands that are used in connection with leadership and discipline? A. Reprove (Elenko) 1. Definition: To convict, to expose, by conviction to bring to light, to admonish, to correct, to call to account, to show one his fault (demanding an explanation), to chasten, to punish II Timothy 4:2 2. Other references: Mt. 18:15; Luke 3:19; John 3:20; 8:9,46; 16:8; I Cor. 14:24; Eph. 5:11,13; I Tim. 5:20; II Tim. 3:16; Tit. 1:9,13; 2:15; Heb. 12:5; Jam. 2:9; Rev. 3:19 B. Rebuke (Epitimao)

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1. Definition: To tax with a fault, rate, chide, reprove, censure severely II Timothy 4:2 2. Other references: Mt. 12:16; 16:22; 17:18; Luke 9:55;17:3; Jude 9 C. Admonish (Noutheteo) 1. Definition: To admonish, warn or exhort I Thessalonians 5:12 , II Thessalonians 5:14, NLT 2. Other references: Acts 20:31; Rom. 15:14; I Cor. 4:14; 10:11; Eph. 6:4; Col. 1:28; 3:16; II Th. 3:15; Tit. 3:10 D. Correct (Epanorthosis) 1. Definition: To correct, to restore to an upright or right state, to raise up again, to reform, to restore, to reestablish 2. See: II Timothy 3:16-17 , James 5:19-20 E. Judge (Krino) 1. Definition: To separate, put asunder, to select, to approve, to determine, decree, to judge, to pronounce an opinion concerning right and wrong, to rule, to govern, to preside over with power of giving judicial decisions I Corinthians 5:3, 12-13 These verses tell us that God takes responsibility to judge those that are outside of the walls of the church, but that we are to take responsibility to judge those that are inside the church. We are not to do Gods judging. However, we cannot ask God to do our judging for us. 2. Other references: I Cor. 6:2-31; 14:29 IV. What areas of sin are to come under discipline in the local church? (Taken from notes by Bill Gothard) Notice that the key to all of these issues is the ongoing nature of them. A. Irresolvable disputes between members (Mt. 18:15; I Cor. 5:11). B. Persistent teaching of false doctrine (Tit. 1:9-11; 3:10-11; Rom. 16:17). C. Continuing immorality and disorderliness (II Th. 3:6; I Cor. 5:11). V. What are the levels of discipline in the local church? Matthew 18:15-20 Jesus laid out the prescription for discipline in the local church. He indicated that true discipline moves through stages and the acceleration of discipline is totally dependent upon the response of the person being disciplined.
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The first step of discipline is private, one on one. If more people would take personal responsibility for the first step very little would have to go beyond that. B. Semi-Private The next step is to include others. Who should be included? It should be those who have authority in their lives including parents, church leaders and people of influence in their lives. Remember, you are primarily after the result of repentance and healing not punishment and excommunication. C. Public This step is handled by the leadership of the church and should only be done when all else fails. This involves a removing of the person from the covering of the local church and putting them into the hands of the highest authorityGod. He will discipline them personally from this point (Heb. 10:31). VI. What are the pre-requisites for effective discipline in the local church? Before any actual discipline can take place in the local church four things must be done. These can be established from the inception of the church, but, if they are not, they must be established before effective discipline can take place. A. There must be the establishment of a biblical standard of Christian living in the life of the church. The sins that are disciplined by the church must be understood by the vast majority of the congregation as being clearly wrong; otherwise the discipline of a member can result in division. B. There must be teaching of the membership concerning discipline. C. There must be an example given by the church leadership in all areas of living. D. There must be a genuine dedication to all the levels of confrontation, especially the first level. E. There must be a consistent application of discipline relative to the entire membership. VII. What is excommunication and how does it work? A. Excommunication is the public removal of a church member from membership and a severing of fellowship with the believing community. B. What happens in excommunication? 1. The sinning member is placed outside of the spiritual covering of the church (I Cor. 5:17).

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2. The sinning member is turned over to God for direct discipline (I Cor. 5:12-13).

C. What is the congregations part in excommunication? The power of excommunication is the congregations support of the process (II Cor. 2:6). Members of the local congregation must: 1. Refuse to fellowship with the sinning member (I Cor. 5:9-11; Rom. 16:17-18; II Th. 3:6, 14; Tit. 3:10). 2. Continually urge and implore the sinning member to repent (Mt. 18:17; II Th. 3:15). 3. Pray for the sinning member that they might be restored. D. How is the repentant excommunicant to be received back into fellowship? II Corinthians 2:6-8 1. He is to be forgiven. 2. He is to be comforted. 3. He is to be affirmed by the congregation. Note: Depending on the nature of the sin involved, it might be appropriate to let some time go by between the initial act of repentance and the restoration back to full fellowship to ensure that the sinful behavior has indeed been broken off. You do not want to restore the person only to have to excommunicate them again for the same problem. VIII. What are some practical steps for pastoral discipline? Note: The following notes were gleaned from Bill Gothards Pastors Seminar A. Thoroughly investigate charges (Mt. 18:16; I Tim. 5:19; Deut. 13:14; 19:18; Pro. 25:9; 18:13). B. Work with parents and other authority figures whenever possible. 1. Parents still have much influence (Deut. 4:9; Pro. 23:22). 2. Parents can give background information. 3. Parents should be first to get involved (Eph. 6:1; Deut. 21:20). C. Prepare the church for public discipline. 1. In teaching 2. In prayer, fasting and self-examination (II Cor. 7:11)
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3. In reminding them of the purpose and place of discipline in the church D. Inform the church (Mt. 18:17). 1. Read a prepared and approved (lawyer and leadership) statement. Statement should be brief, factual and project no malice. 2. The church should be called to continued prayer for and appeal to the sinning members. 3. The posture of scriptural love, but avoidance should be followed. E. Restore the offender when repentant (II Cor. 2:7-11). SAMPLE PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT It has come to the attention of the leadership team that a member of our church must be dealt with by church discipline. The elders have carefully and thoroughly investigated the facts, and have confirmed that discipline is necessary. The parents and the elders have appealed to the one who has sinned. All attempts have so far been rejected. Scripture now instructs us to inform the church so that the united prayer and obedience of the members to the scriptural steps of discipline may be used of God to bring this person to repentance and to a life of victory over sin. During this period of discipline we would ask that you not continue to fellowship with this person as usual but when you see them implore them to adjust their behavior, repent and be restored to God and the local church. In the meantime we urge you to pray for this person, but also to set aside a time of personal self-examination, confession of sin, and commitment to Gods Word as the rule and norm for our lives. We are doing this so that Satan will be given no opportunity to bring confusion or division on this matter and that God may be free, because of our obedience, to accomplish His purpose in the life of the one who has sinned. Name the person Identify the category of sin (no specifics) Pray for the individual

Extract from Celebration Churches Constitution


ARTICLE VIII CHURCH DISCIPLINE
8.01. The Nature and Purposes of Discipline Discipline is training that moulds, corrects or perfects the moral character of an individual. Wisely applied it fosters repentance and release, and the lasting blessing of God. Discipline is an exercise of scriptural authority applied as a last resort when instruction, reproof and correction have had no effect in the life and behaviour of the individual. Discipline is to be redemptive in nature as well as corrective, and is to be exercised with gentleness and meekness but with firm resolve. The aims of discipline are for the repentance, reconciliation, and spiritual growth of the individual disciplined; for instruction in righteousness and the good of other Christians, as an example to them;

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for the purity of the Church as a whole; for the good of our corporate witness to non Christians; and supremely, for the glory of God by reflecting His holy character. 8.02. Reasons for Discipline Discipline shall be applied when instruction, reproof and correction have been exhausted and continued unrighteousness constitutes a threat to the spiritual life of the members or to the life of the Church. The following shall be reasons for the application of discipline: a) Unresolved differences between members b) Habitual moral impurity c) Idolatry d) Falsely accusing and insulting others e) Drunkenness f) Financial impropriety g) Sedition, divisiveness, or causing dissention among members of the Church or the Body of Christ. The Process of Discipline The first step is to seek repentance and reconciliation in accordance with the procedure given by the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 18:15-17. Such person or persons will be appealed to by one who has prepared himself with prayer for the purpose of bringing about repentance. If the one will not be heard, further appeals should be made with one or two more, for the purpose of bringing repentance that would lead to reconciliation. If the matter remains unresolved, then two or more Elders shall appeal to such a member for repentance and restoration. If the member still refuses to repent the Elders, after prayerful consideration, shall make recommendation to the Spiritual Board for any disciplinary action. Stages of Disciplinary Action For the purpose of protecting the Church and the members it may be necessary to subject the individuals involved to disciplinary action. The purpose of discipline is to bring the individual to an awareness of Godly shame and sorrow so as to produce repentance. a) Standing down from Ministry The first stage of discipline is for the individual involved to be stood down from active ministry in the Church while submitting to correction and counsel. b) Exclusion from Fellowship Should the individual refuse to submit to correction and counsel and maintain his unrighteous attitude in the face of entreaty the next stage of discipline will be exclusion from fellowship. The individual who has been excluded is to be treated with all respect and dignity, but all contacts or attempts to fellowship with members should be redirected to leadership for resolution of the issue. The leadership should monitor the effect of the exclusion upon them, and renew admonitions and friendly reproofs so as, if possible, to restore them. c) Dismissal from Membership The final stage of discipline is dismissal from membership. If the individual refuses to respond to the appeals of leadership for repentance and restoration, acting in consultation with the apostolic leadership, the Senior Pastor shall publicly rebuke the individual and dismiss him from membership. They shall be treated as an unbeliever, with all respect and dignity, but excluded from the life of

8.03.

8.04.

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the Church and its members. The individual shall be removed from the spiritual responsibility of the Church. 8.05. Restoration Any individual subject to discipline may, on evidence of repentance, begin a process of restoration. Restoration shall involve rebuilding trust and relationship. a) An individual who has been stood down from ministry may be restored to that or another position of active ministry. b) An individual who has been excluded from fellowship in the Church may, subject to examination by two or more Elders and on approval of their recommendation to the Spiritual Board, be restored to membership, and participation in the life of the Church. c) An individual who has been dismissed from membership of the Church may, following repentance, subject to examination by two or more ordained pastors appointed by apostolic leadership and on approval of their recommendation to the Spiritual Board, be restored to membership, and participation in the life of the Church. Guidelines for Corrective Discipline of Church Leaders A leader who has suffered a moral breakdown shall also be subject to discipline. The leader shall be required to step down from public ministry for a minimum of 6 (six) to 12 (twelve) months, to cover the leader and his family, and to protect the people to whom he has ministered. During his period of probation the leader shall submit to counselling by a group of ministers recommended by the apostolic leadership. The process leading to restoration shall include confession and repentance to the appropriate parties at the level required. Genuine repentance shall be followed by forgiveness. At the conclusion of the probationary period the leader may be restored to his ministry, recognising that this may not always be possible depending on the circumstances of the moral breakdown, particularly the depth of deception involved and in cases of multiple or habitual failures.

8.06.

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Session; Water Baptism

PRACTICAL PASTORING
Session Ten

Biblical Teaching on Baptism Celebration CollegePastoral Development Programme

Water Baptism

1.1 The Symbolism of Water Baptism Wayne Grudem calls water baptism an ordinance that is observed once by each person as a sign of the beginning of his or her Christian life. Millard Erickson defines water baptism as follows: Water baptism is an outward symbol of the inward change which has been effected in the believer. It serves as a public testimony to ones faith in Jesus Christ. It is an initiatory rite. This definition of baptism implies three important symbolic meanings of water baptism, namely, that it is (1) an initiation rite, (2) a purification rite, and (3) an identification rite. a) Water baptism is an initiation rite. When somebody becomes a Christian, he is baptised as a formal and public way of declaring that he has become part of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Baptism is a public declaration of repentance from sin (Mark 1:4; Acts 2:38) and faith in Christ (Mark 16:16). Baptism does not make him a member of the body of Christ, it merely testifies to the fact that he has become a member. Mark 1:4. And so John came, baptising in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Acts 2:38. Peter replied, Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Water baptism symbolises a believers incorporation into the body of Christ. At the moment we are saved the Holy Spirit enters our lives and makes us part of the body of Christ. We are then baptised as an outward testimony to the fact that we have become members of the body of Christ. b) Water baptism is a purification rite.

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Water baptism symbolises the washing away of sins. Water baptism does not actually wash away our sinsthe blood of Jesus washes them away. When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, His blood cleanses us from all sin. The significance of baptism is symbolicit symbolises the fact that our sins have been washed away. c) Water baptism is an identification rite. When we are baptised we are symbolically and mystically united with Christ in His death and resurrection. Just as He died for our sin and rose to a new life, so we also die to our old sinful life and begin a new life of serving the Lord. Romans 6:3-4. Or dont you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. In summary, then, water baptism is a symbolic act that serves as a public declaration of repentance from sin and faith in Christ. It testifies to the fact that the believers sins have been washed away because he was mystically united with Christ in His death and resurrection. 1.2 The Subjects of Water Baptism Who should be baptised? Should we practise infant baptism or believer baptism? The answer to this question must be based on the meaning of water baptism. Since water baptism is a symbol of the beginning of the Christian life, only those who have personally committed their lives to Christ should be baptized. Baptism, which is a symbol of the beginning of the Christian life, should be given to those who in fact have begun the Christian life (Wayne Grudem). . Thus only believers should be baptised. There is no age limit on who should be baptised. The only requirement is that the person must have understood the gospel and made a personal and responsible commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. God has no grandchildren! Infant baptism, as it is widely practised today, is a pledge on behalf of parents to raise their children in a godly manner. A public pledge to raise children in a godly manner is a noble and desirable thing to do, but should not be confused with water baptism. Water baptism is a public declaration of faith in Christ. Each of us must make that decision for ourselves. Nobody else can make it for us, not even our parents. So in Celebration Church we dedicate babies and not baptize them. 1.3 The Style of Baptism The question of how we should baptise is closely related to whether we baptise infants or believers. Those who baptise infants mostly do so by sprinkling, whereas those who baptise adults do so by immersion. The Biblical method of baptism was baptism by complete immersion. Although many churches still argue that sprinkling is an acceptable form of baptism, several factors argue against this: a) The Greek word for baptise (baptizo) refers to immersing or dipping something into a liquid, such as dipping fabric into dye.
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b) All examples of baptism in the Bible and in other early Christian literature show that the early church baptised by immersion. c) The symbolism of being united with Christ in death and resurrection requires immersion since the water has to symbolise a grave. 1.4 The Significance of Water Baptism Why should we be baptised? If baptism is just a symbol of the internal change that takes place in a believers life, how essential is it for us to be baptised? Baptism is necessary for spiritual growth, but not essential for salvation. We are saved by repentance and faith, not by magical ceremonies. However, Jesus commanded us to be baptised. Matthew 28:18-20. We should be baptised in obedience to Jesus command (Matt 28:19). Although baptism itself does not save us or wash away our sins, it serves as an essential first step of obedience on the road to discipleship. The Christian life is one of walking in daily obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ. If we fail to obey in such a simple matter as baptism, how will we obey his more difficult commands? Baptism also functions as a seal on our commitment to Christ. In 1 Corinthians 10:2 Paul compares it to the Israelites crossing the Red Sea when they came out of Egypt. Just as the Red Sea became a barrier that prevented them returning to Egypt, so baptism should function as a seal on our faith that deters us from walking away of Christ. In one communist country the sentence for professing faith in Christ was three years, but the sentence for being baptised in the name of Christ was fourteen years. The communists realised that baptism has power to consolidate a believers commitment to Christ.

The Practical Aspects


I. The Preparation of the Place A. There must be adequate water to baptize by immersion. 1. The water should be clean and fresh. 2. The water should be a reasonable temperature. 3. The water should be easily accessible for both getting in and getting out. B. Some possible places that could be utilized. 1. An official church baptistery. If you do not have one, you can possibly utilize one from another church in the area. 2. A swimming pool. The best type of pools are ones that have gradual steps

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3. A natural water source. This would include lakes, rivers and oceans. Make sure that a certain amount of privacy can be achieved and that any necessary permits are obtained. C. The place should be accessible for members of the congregation to witness the baptism. II. The Preparation of the Candidate A. In the spiritual realm a. b. Provide the basic teaching as outlined above to the baptismal candidates. Encourage them to spend time in prayer prior to their baptism. B. In the natural realm There are certain natural guidelines having to do with procedure that will make for a better all around experience. 1. Let them know how to dress. a. Modesty is the rule here especially in relation to the women who will be baptized. Avoid colours and styles that become see through once wet. b. Encourage them to wear a swim suit under street clothes. c. Encourage them to bring a complete change of clothes and a large towel. d. Have some towels on hand and robes available for those who do not have proper attire. e. Have women ready to assist the women candidates before and after baptism. 2. Let them know when and where you want them to get ready. 3. Let them know what they should do when they join you in the water. Ask them to: a. Be prepared to share a testimony and/or answer questions. b. Hold their nose with left hand and their wrist with right hand as we lower you into the water. c. Come out of the water praising the Lord d. Wait in the water until those baptizing have had a chance to pray over them. 4. Join the candidates prior to baptism for a corporate word of prayer. 5. Give a brief exhortation to the congregation concerning what takes place in baptism and encourage them to renew their vows to the Lord. 6. Enter the baptistery with the candidates, one at a time. You may want to bring married couples or families who are also being baptized in the water together if the venue permits.
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7. Introduce the candidate to the congregation and have them answer a few questions or give a brief testimony. 8. Baptize the candidate; totally submerging them in water (Have the candidate hold their nose before you put them under). 9. As you baptize, say something like: Upon the confession of your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I baptize you into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so you also shall rise to walk in newness of life. 10. Encourage the candidate and the congregation to worship the Lord, speaking with other tongues. 11. Pray over the candidates before you dismiss them. 12. Encourage the newly baptised to go in newness of life.

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PRACTICAL PASTORING
Celebration CollegePastoral Development Programme

Session Eleven

Celebrating Communion
Source Material: Bill Scheidler Purpose: The purpose of this lesson is to help us understand the importance of communion as one of the main ordinances of the church and to grow in our appreciation of what is available to every Christian at the Table of the Lord. Key Verses: For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me. 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me. 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lords death till He comes. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 There are many names and titles that are associated with this ordinance; some of them are biblical, some historical, some traditional. All of them have an element of truth to them. A. The Lords Supper (1 Corinthians 11:20). It is referred to in this way because it was at Christs last supper with the disciples, prior to his crucifixion, that Jesus established this ordinance (Matthew 26:26-29) and it points to a future supper that all believers of all ages will once again eat with Christ (Revelation 19:9, 17). B. The Lords Table or the Table of the Lord (1 Corinthians 10:21). A table speaks to us of a place of feasting, love, and fellowship. The Lord has provided a place for us to sup with Him in an intimate way. C. The Communion (1 Corinthians 10:16). The word communion means an intimate sharing of one person with another. Communion is to be a time of intimacy with the Lord and His Body. D. Breaking Bread (Acts 20:7). This title refers back to when Jesus initiated communion and He took the bread, broke it, and blessed it (Matthew 26:26).

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And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread Acts 20:7 II. WHAT IS THE FOUNDATION FOR THIS ORDINANCE IN THE BIBLE? A. From the first chapters (Genesis 3:8) to the last chapters (Revelation 21:1-3) of the Bible, God has revealed Himself as one who delights in and desires to have intimate fellowship and relationship with His creation. B. Even though sin separated man from God, God has always provided a means whereby this intimate relationship could be experienced in His house. And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. Exodus 25:8 C. In the Old Testament, at different times, God provided different avenues through which this desire could be manifest. Two such avenues include: 1. The Altar of Sacrifice (Exodus 20:24) 2. The Table of Showbread (Leviticus 24:5-9) D. Under the New Covenant, the table of the Lords presence is the Communion Table. The table is the only piece of furniture taken into the New Covenant celebration or service.

III. WHAT SYMBOLS DID JESUS USE IN ESTABLISHING THE COMMUNION? A. Bread (Luke 22:19) 1. The bread speaks of the body of Christ broken for sinful man. 2. The bread which Jesus provided is necessary for spiritual life (John 6:58). B. Fruit of the Vine (Matthew 26:26-29) 1. The fruit of the vine speaks of the blood of Christ that was shed for sinful man for cleansing sin (Matthew 26:28). 2. Only the blood of Jesus has the power to cleanse from sin (1 John 1:7).

IV. WHAT SPIRITUAL REALITIES ARE DEMONSTRATED AND EXPERIENCED AT THE LORDS TABLE? Everything that we experience in the Christian life we experience as we exercise faith in the Word of God. The simple act of going through a certain formality does not accomplish anything in the spiritual realm. However, as we exercise faith in the Word of God we should expect communion to be a very meaningful time. A. It should be a time of Remembrance (Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24-25). As Christians, we should continually remember the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and what it provided for us. Luke 22:19
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B. It should be a time of Communion (1 Corinthians 10:16). All believers need to renew and maintain a communion relationship with the Lord. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? C. It should be a time of Unity (1 Corinthians 10:17). At the Table believers should be united around the Lord and recognize their interdependence and need for the spiritual Body of Christ. For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread. D. It should be a time of Love (Luke 22:15). Christs death was the highest expression of His love for us. The Table of the Lord is a feast of His love. Then He said to them, With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you E. It should be a time of Healing (1 Corinthians 11:28-30). The truths found at the Table of the Lord should have healing effects on relationships among believers and bring health to the physical body. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lords body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. F. It should be a time of Examination (1 Corinthians 11:28-32). Every believer should examine his heart to make sure it is free from enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowman (Luke 22:21; 1 Corinthians 11:29). G. It should be a time of Thanksgiving (Matthew 26:27). As we remember Christs work, a new spirit of thanksgiving should be ours. H. It should be a time of Blessing (1 Corinthians 10:16). Gods desire is to bless His people through the blessed bread and the blessed cup. I. It should be a time of Witness or Proclamation (1 Corinthians 11:26). Up to the Second Coming of Christ, the practice of communion in the Church is a visible sign and witness to the death of Christ. For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes. V. HOW CAN A SINFUL MAN FIND A PLACE AT THE KINGS TABLE? It is only on the basis of Gods infinite love, mercy, and grace that we can sit and feast at the Table of the Lord. Gratitude should fill our hearts every time we share this meal together. The magnitude of Christs love is symbolized in the Old Testament account of Mephibosheth finding a place at the table of the king (2 Samuel 9:1-13). Conclusion: Paul the Apostle had a great love and appreciation for the Table of the Lord. His understanding did not come because he was familiar with the procedure, because he read about it in a book, or because he was told by a church leader. Pauls understanding came to him by a personal revelation by the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 11:23). As you read and meditate on the Scriptures in this lesson, ask God to give you a personal revelation of the love of God expressed to you in the Table of the Lord.
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Sample Service Celebrating Communion: Dr T A Makoni


Ushers Please Serve the Elements Partaking of the Bread

Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when he was betrayed, took bread, blessed it and broke it
and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me. Blessing the Bread Blessed are you, Oh Lord our God, King of the universe, who brings forth bread out of the earth for our nourishment! We give thanks to You, our Father, for the life and knowledge which You have made known to us through Jesus Your servant, the Bread of Heaven: to You be the glory forever. As this broken bread was scattered upon the mountains and, gathered together, became one, so let Your Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into Your Kingdom, for Yours is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ forever. Through his broken body may we receive complete healing Partaking the Cup In the same way he took the cup, gave thanks and said, Drink from it, all of you. This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink from it, in remembrance of me. Blessing the Cup

Blessed be our God, the King of the universe, the Creator of the fruit of the vine! We give
thanks to You, our Father, for the holy vine of David Your servant, which You have made known to us through Jesus, Your servant: to You be the glory forever. We thank you for the covenant you have established with us and the access that you have given us with you The Declaration In the beginning, O Lord, you created us for yourself. But even though we have fallen through our disobedience to sin and death, You in your infinite mercy, grace, and love sent your only begotten Son our Savior Jesus Christ, to live among us as a man, born of a virgin. He suffered every hardship, adversity, trial, and temptation that we face, yet without sin. Finally, He stretched out His hands upon the Cross in perfect obedience to your will and offered Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. Therefore, as often as we eat this bread and drink of this cup, we remember His sacrifice and the redemption He purchased for us. We proclaim His death until He comes again. We thus proclaim that: Christ died. Christ is risen. Christ is coming again! We declare that through His death and resurrection we have been redeemed. Lets all re-affirm our faith by Reciting The Nicene Creed We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us
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men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered, died and was buried, and on the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of God the Father. And He shall come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end. And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And we believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins.And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

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PRACTICAL PASTORING
Celebration CollegePastoral Development Programme

Session Twelve

Baby Dedications

Source Material: Bill Scheidler and Loxley Ford The dedication of infants is not a ordinance in the same way that communion and water baptism are. Both communion and water baptism are commanded by Christ, demonstrated in the Book of Acts and explained in the epistles. Infant dedication is not a New Testament commandment. Parents are not more spiritual for formally dedicating their children and parents who do not dedicate their children are not walking in disobedience. Infant dedication falls more into the category of a local church tradition. It is a good tradition if it constantly affirms the sanctity of life, the importance of the family and the responsibility of all to see children as a serious blessing and responsibility. Definition: It is the act in which parents give their child back to God, for the purpose of having the Lord direct the spiritual growth and development of the child.

I. What are some important definitions relative to this practice in the church? A. The English definition of the word dedicate means: 1. To set apart for sacred uses; consecrate 2. To set apart for or devote to any special use, duty or purpose B. The New Testament Greek word used for dedicate (enkainizo) means to renew, to initiate, to commence to use (John 10:22; Heb. 9:18; 10:20). The thought here is that we want to renew this child to use according to the purpose of God for his or her life. C. There are two Hebrew words for dedicate. 1. The first one (chanak) is most often translated dedicate or train up (Deut. 20:5; Pro. 22:6; I Kgs. 8:63; II Chr. 7:5). It means: a. To make narrow

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Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 The thought of dedicating a child includes the idea of narrowing the use of that child for the purposes of God. b. To initiate the use of See also: Num. 7:10; 7:11; 84, 88; II Chr. 7:9; Neh. 12:27; Ps. 30:1; Ezra 6:16, 17; Dan. 3:2, 3 . The second one (qadash) is most often translated consecrate, dedicate, hallow or sanctify (Ex. 13:2; I Sam. 7:1; Num. 3:13). It means: a. To be pure, clean b. To be holy, sacred, set apart c. To consecrate to God II. What the dedication of infants is not. A. It is not equivalent to Old Testament circumcision of the child for covenant privileges and relationship. B. It is not equivalent to infant baptism without the water. C. It is not christening (making the baby a Christian or a member of the Church). III. What the dedication of infants is. Infant dedication is: A. A returning of the child to the Lord (I Sam. 1:24-28). B. A public declaration of the intent of the parents to raise this child to serve the Lord. C. A placing of the child into the hands of the Lord to be used at His disposal (Luke 2:22). The word used in the above passage for the word present means to put at the disposal of another. In dedication, parents are putting the child into the hands and at the disposal of the Lord (See: Romans 12:1). D. An impartation of divine blessing to the child through the laying on of hands (Mark 10:1316; Luke 2:28). Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it. And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them. Mark 10:13-16

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A blessing is an invocation of good. Just as Jesus laid hands on children and blessed them, in infant dedication church leaders lay hands on children and bless them. The blessing of the Lord makes rich and causes prosperity (Pro. 10:22). IV. What is the part of the parents in the dedication of the child? A. They are acknowledging the divine origin of the child. The Role of Parents in baby Dedication A. They are acknowledging the divine origin of the child. B. They are acknowledging their responsibility to oversee the development of that child. C. They are setting apart that child to Gods covenant and purposes (I Cor. 7:14). D. They are acknowledging their need for divine assistance in the rearing of that child. 1. In giving wisdom (Judges 13:8) 2. In giving protection (Mt. 18:10) E. They are making a public confession of their desire to keep the Lord as head of their homes (Josh 24:15c). But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Summary: The parents acknowledge that the child belongs to them and to the Lord and then agree to raise the child that he/she might be of service to the God. The Lord accepts the child dedicated to Him and then promises to bless the child with peace, guidance & knowledge. V. What elements could be part of the dedication of infants? A. Appropriate Scripture B. Charge to the Parents C. Testimony of Parents (if time permits) D. Prayer for Child and Parents VI. What are some of the things to guard against in the dedication of infants? A. Leaders should avoid using terminology that would make the act of dedication of infants a sacrament in the local church. 1. Do not say, Now this child is a part of the family. 2. Do not associate it with infant baptism and new birth language. 3. Do not approach infant dedication as if it is a command from the Lord. Parents who do not choose to dedicate their children in a public way are not to be seen as disobedient, lax or unspiritual.

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B. Leaders should prepare for the dedication time in advance to avoid embarrassing mistakes such as: 1. Referring to the child in the wrong gender. 2. Mispronouncing the first and/or last name of the child. VII. What are some additional benefits to the practice of infant dedication? A. Infant dedication becomes a great point of pastoral contact for members and their relatives. B. Infant dedication gives a regular opportunity for an exaltation of child bearing and biblical concepts of parenting. VIII. What does Dedication do for the Child? The child that is dedicated to the Lord is sanctified (set apart) for a special place of blessing and care. The steps of the child are ordered of the lord and even when the path seems to head to tragedy, victory and fulfilment are the end result. Matthew 18:10 See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of My Father in heaven. [See also Genesis 37:39-47 ~ Joseph; Judges 13 & 14 ~ Samson] IX. What does Dedication do for the Parent? The parents are given peace and confidence, knowing that the child they have presented to God will be under His constant care and guidance. 2 Timothy 1:12b because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day. X. What is the Parents Responsibility? The parents are responsible to teach by word and example to obey the commandments of the Lord and to serve Him: a. They are to TEACH b. They are to TRAIN XI. What is the parents Role in Securing the Promises of Dedication? Parents are responsible for: TRAINING their children by Word and example in Holy living. Deut. 6:6-7 Proverbs 22: 6 2 Cor. 12:14b Proverbs 13:22 Ephesians 6:4 1 Timothy 3:4.

They are to PROVIDE for They are to NURTURE They are to CONTROL They are to LOVE

Titus 2:4

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DISCIPLINE fair and proper TEACHING them to respect the Lord, His Word, His ministers and the people of God. PRAYER that never ceases. ADMONISHING their children to follow Christ.

Biblical Precedents Hannah dedicated Samuel to God. I Samuel 1:24-28. Jesus was dedicated (consecrated) in the temple 8 days after His birth according to the Law of Moses. Luke 2:22-24 We are therefore as parents actually consecrating and setting our child(ren) apart for God.

Current Celebration Church Model: Instruction for the Parents


Step 1 Parents need to obtain the tapes or the booklet from Xtreme Kids and diligently study the material. The present material is a set of 3 tapes by Dr Ken Stewart. A refundable deposit is required for the tapes. Alternatively the tapes can be bought from the bookshop. A baby dedication form will be handed over to the parents and must be filled in. Step 2 Once the material has been studied, and or listened to, the parents need to set up a counselling session with the pastoral staff of Xtreme Kids. Instruction for the Pastor Step 1 Ensure the form is filled out correctly. Step 2

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Ensure that the parents have studied the material. Ask them if they have any questions or problems. Explain that baby dedication is not compulsory, but a choice we as Christian parents make. Dedicate commit, devote, surrender, give over to, consecrate sanctify, set apart. Practical Details Baby dedications are held every third Sunday of the month. Parents need to specify which service. Be at church early. See the M.C. to let them know you are there otherwise the dedication will be cancelled. Sit close to the front of the hall, in aisle seats with your children and family. This avoids problems when having to get to the front. Sample Baby Dedication Service READING - Proverbs 3:1-18 My son, never forget the things I've taught you. If you want a long and satisfying life, closely follow my instructions. Never forget to be truthful and kind. Hold these virtues tightly. Write them deep within your heart. If you want favour with both God and man, and a reputation for good judgment and common sense, then trust the Lord completely; don't ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success. Don't be conceited, sure of your own wisdom. Instead, trust and reverence the Lord, then you will be given renewed health and vitality. Honour the Lord by giving him the first part of all your income, and he will fill your barns with wheat and barley and overflow your wine vats with the finest wines. Young man, young lady, do not resent it when God chastens and corrects you, for his punishment is proof of his love. Just as a father punishes a son he delights in to make him better, so the Lord corrects you.

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The one who knows right from wrong and has good judgment and common sense is happier than the man who is immensely rich! For such wisdom is far more valuable than precious jewels. Nothing else compares with it. Wisdom gives: a long, good life, riches, honour, pleasure, peace. Wisdom is a tree of life to those who eat her fruit; happy is the man who keeps on eating it. PARENTS BRING THEIR CHILD, CARRIED BY THE FATHER. INTRODUCTION: It is our wonderful privilege today to participate in the public dedication of -----------------born on ------------. Following the example of devout parents of the Bible, the parents have expressed their desire to present these children to the Lord. This dedication may not require the supreme sacrifice like that of Abraham who was called upon to offer his son on the altar, or that of Hannah who left her son Samuel to serve in the Temple with Eli. However, it is a sober commitment to responsibly care for that which God has given, and to be prepared to release him to His work when that time comes. Jesus demonstrated His acceptance and love for the little children when He said, "'Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.' And He took them up in His arms, put His hands upon them, and blessed them." CHARGE TO PARENTS: The primary responsibility for the care of children of course, rests on the parents. The Scriptures say, "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it." "Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." "These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Parents, as you engage in this task with joy and peace, may you earnestly seek the Lord daily for His wisdom - for all the events that will occur, all the decisions to be made and all the
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needs to be met. For as James says, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all men liberally, and does not upbraid, and it shall be given him." May you also daily give thanks to God for your child and for the joy and love he brings to your home. And as he grows, may you earnestly strive to spend adequate time with him, developing in him a strong moral foundation for life and an awareness of the Lordship of Christ and His abiding presence. CHARGE TO THE CHURCH: There is one other agent of influence represented here today -- the church. And at this time members of this congregation may stand to evidence the acceptance of their part of this responsibility. I charge you to do all that you can to provide and support a place of worship in this community where this child may hear the full counsel of God's Word. I urge you to be faithful in providing programs for instruction in discipleship, and to demonstrate affectionate kindness towards all of your little ones. And I charge you to covenant before God to set an example by your lives and to maintain an atmosphere in your church which shall inspire this child to desire the Christian way of life. COMMITMENTS: And now, parents, in the sight of God and in the presence of these witnesses, Do you solemnly undertake to bring up this in the fear and admonition of the Lord? Do you promise early to seek to lead him to accept Jesus Christ as Saviour and serve Him as his Lord? Do you pledge to make your home a "school" for Christian instruction? Do you promise, as far as you are able, to set before your child examples of consistent Godly living?

THE PASTOR RECEIVES THE CHILD FROM THE FATHER

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And now, on the authority of God's Holy Word, and as a minister in Christ's church, I dedicate you, this child unto the Lord, and unto His service, according to His will. Pastor then prays a blessing with laying on of hands. Pastor to Parents: In that you have dedicated your child to the Lord, we now lend him back to you, that by the grace of God and the guiding presence of the Holy Spirit, you will bring him up in the ways of the Lord.

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PRACTICAL PASTORING
Celebration CollegePastoral Development Programme

Session Thirteen

Performing Weddings

I. Do everything you can to promote the sanctity of marriage in the life of the church. A. It is a covenant made before man and before God. B. It is a public witness of their covenant love. C. It is symbolic of Christs relationship to the church (Eph. 5:23-32). D. It is part of Gods eternal purpose for the man and the woman (Gen. 1:28). II. Be sure a proper foundation is laid in the local church for successful marriages. A. Public teaching of dating and courtship principles. B. Pre-marital counseling of marriage candidates. C. Working in close association with the parents in the engagement process. D. Consider training a wedding coordinator in the church to help couples through the process. III. Be familiar with the laws in your area so you can guide the couple on the proper time line. A. Physical exam? B. Marriage license? C. Waiting period? V. Be a resource to the couple as they make wedding plans. A. Help them remain balanced in their perspectives.

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1. In finances , 2. In extravagances 3. In length of ceremony 4. In wedding participants 5. In venue options B. Help them to have realistic expectations as the date approaches. 1. In their budget 2. In their relationship C. Help them make decisions concerning the ceremony itself. e.g. Involvement of Parents, Singers/Songs , Vows , Officiants , Reception, Date/Time, Other elements in the service .Help them develop an order of service to their liking (Note: When disagreements occur, encourage the groom to let the bride have her preference.). B. Schedule a rehearsal a day or two before the wedding. . Be punctual in all of your duties. . Make sure all audio-visual personnel are present. C. Meet and be prepared to minister to relatives and other participants. D. Double check that all of the legal documents are in order. E. Keep the rehearsal flowing smoothly.

VII. Make the ceremony as meaningful as possible. A. Spend time getting your part down well. B. Be punctual in everything that you do. C. Be prepared for the unusual. D. Do your best to keep everyone relaxed. E. Make your exhortations meaningful, but brief. F. Be sure to say their names properly. G. Make sure all legal documents are properly signed and registered.

Dr Makonis Sample Marriage Ceremony


Opening worship or a soft music. As people walk in and take their places. At appropriate time MC introduces the entrance of the bridal team. The bride walks in accompanied by father, guardian or brother and stands a few feet away from minister. The groom would be standing at altar waiting to receive the bride. Minister: Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to witness the joining together of ------------------------------------------- and ---------------------------------------------------- in holy matrimony. In the time they have been together, their love and understanding of each other has grown and matured, and now they have decided to live their lives together as husband and wife. The red carpet signifies the blood of the covenant. We are reminded that our covenant relationship in marriage is based on our covenant relationship with God. As they walk on this carpet they affirm that none of them will break the covenant even at the cost of their own blood and life.
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Marriage is commended by the Holy Scriptures to be honourable among all men, and therefore is not by any to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly but reverently, discreetly, advisedly and solemnly. Into this holy estate these two persons present now come to be joined. If any person can show just cause why they may not be joined together in holy matrimony let them speak now or forever hold their peace. Presentation of Bride to Groom Minister: Who gives this woman to this man in holy matrimony? Bride Escort: I, --------------------------------------------, on behalf of the family, do. Minister: As a sign and token of your release of this woman to this man, please place her right hand into his left. Minister to Groom : Do you --------------------------------------- know of any legal or just cause why you may not be joined to --------------------------------------------- in holy matrimony? Groom: No, I dont. Minister to Bride: Do you ---------------------------------------------- know of any legal or just cause why you may not be joined to ---------------------------------------------------- in holy matrimony? Bride: No. I dont. Minister shares a short exhortation sermon Exchange of Marriage Vows, Minister to Bride and Groom: If it is your intention to take each other as husband and wife, please signify by turning and facing each other and join your right hands. Minister to Groom: Do you ------------------------------------- covenant with ------------------------------------------------------------------------, whose hand you hold, to be her husband to join yourself to her as one flesh, to love her as Christ loves the Church, to cherish her, protect and provide for her, forsaking all others and cleaving only to her, until death separates you? Groom : Yes I do. Minister: Please repeat after me. I ----------------------------------------------------------------------- , take you -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- , to be my lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, from this day forward until death do us part. I promise to care for you, lead you and guide you in paths of righteousness and provide for your needs in this life. I do hereby separate myself from my mother and father, and covenant with you to be a faithful husband to you as long as we both shall live. Personalised vow (optional) Minister to Bride: Do you, -------------------------------------------------, covenant with ------------------------------------------------------------ whose hand you now hold, to be his wife, to join yourself to him as one flesh, to love him, to honour him, submit to him as head of your household, to care for him, forsaking all others and cleaving only to him, until death separates you?
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I, --------------------------------------------------------, take you, -------------------------------------------------------------, to be my lawfully wedded husband, my constant friend, my faithful partner and my love from this day forward. In the presence of God, our family and friends, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honour and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live. I take you now as my husband. Where you go I will go; where you lodge I will lodge. Your people are my people and your God is my God. I do hereby separate myself from my mother and father and covenant with you to be a faithful wife to you until death separates us. Personalised vow (optional) Exchange of Rings Minister: Are there any tokens of this union? (Ring bearer presents rings to the Minister.) Minister (to the groom): Please take each others left hand. Minister (Handing the brides ring to the groom) Place this ring upon --------------------------------------, finger and say to her: Groom: With this ring I thee wed, and all my worldly goods I thee endow. Let this ring be a symbol of my promises to you and a reminder of my devotion to you. It is a token of my love for you and my covenant before Jesus Christ and these witnesses to be a loyal, loving and faithful husband. I am honoured to call you my wife. I give you this ring as a sign of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have: I honour you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Minister (Handing grooms ring to the bride) Place this ring upon ----------------------------------------------- finger and say to him: Bride: With this ring I thee wed and all my worldly goods I thee endow. Because this ring is perfectly symmetrical, it signifies the perfection of true love. As I place it on your finger, I give you all that I am and ever hope to be. The ring has no beginning and no ending, which symbolises that the love between us will never cease. I place it on your finger as a visible sign of the vows which have made us husband and wife. May this ring be a token of my love for you and my covenant before Jesus Christ and these witnesses to be a loyal, loving and faithful wife. Drinking the Covenant Cup (Optional) Minister: The blood represented the spirit and life force within the body. The blood covenant represents a covenant which can not be annulled transgenerationally as it brought both parties into an eternal covenant relationship. Minister (to all): This cup represents the blood of Christ. The bread represents the body of Christ broken for the healing of all including your marriage. Minister (to both): The bread represents that though you are two yet you are one body as you partake of one loaf. This cup represents that through the blood of
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covenant you enter into a covenant that involves Christ. The Bible says a threefold cord cannot be broken. Declaration of Marriage In view of the spoken covenant and the exchange of promises between you, ------------------------------------- and -------------------------------------------------, by the authority vested in me by Almighty God as a minister of the Gospel, and by the state of the Republic of Zimbabwe, in the sight of God and these witnesses, I now pronounce you husband and wife, in the Name of the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen. What God has joined together, let no man put asunder. Unveiling of the Bride The groom may now unveil and kiss the bride until all the cameras flash. Signing the Register In covenant terms the parties would plant a memorial tree that would serve as a testimony to the covenant. According to the State of Zimbabwe this marriage is accompanied by signed certificates which will serve as the memorial tree to this covenant. It serves as a permanent record of this union. I therefore invite the bride and groom accompanied by their witnesses to come and sign the register. (Minister leads the bride and groom accompanied by their witnesses to a table for signing of register) The Changing of Names The blood covenant ceremony often includes a change of names. The families would often assume the others name. This change of names indicated that the two families had now become one new family. In a marriage covenant, the wife would exchange her maiden name to take upon the name of her husband. This again goes along with the realization of the new identity but also becomes a verbal memorial of the covenant. Minister to the Groom and Bride: Please turn and face the congregation. It is my great pleasure and honour to introduce Mr and Mrs -----------------------------. heirs together of the grace of life. Pastors Present: To pray a blessing over the couple The Covenant Meal The covenant meal of peace was a feast which followed after the covenant ceremony. It was to be partaken by all to celebrate the covenant and to encourage the spreading of peace between all members of the newly joined family. It is meant to be a time of fun and joy so that all might have lasting memories of this day which we have been invited to celebrate together. Minister (to all): Please join us to celebrate this marriage covenant by partaking of the covenant meal of peace. The party will be held ..... The Bride and Groom begin to make their exit.

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PRACTICAL PASTORING
Celebration CollegePastoral Development Programme

Session Fourteen

Marriage Position Paper


Source Material: This paper is a draft paper being considered by leadership at CMI which was drafted by Dr T. A. Makoni and Pastor Kamba in 2007 1. What is marriage? 1.1. The origin of marriage Marriage is a divine institution established by God in the beginning of human history before the fall when He created man (Adam) and woman (Eve) in the garden. God saw everything that He created and indeed it was very good. (Genesis 1:31). This scripture shows that God had created the woman and He presented her to the man, an act that continues until today. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24). The act of marriage consisted of leaving, cleaving and becoming one flesh. Christ sanctified it by His presence at the wedding feast in Cana (John 2). 1.2. The Oneness of Marriage The first marriage was monogamous. God intended the marriage of Adam and Eve to be the pattern for all future marriages. Jesus Christ endorsed this original pattern in Matthew 19: 4-6 which reads, Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate. 1.3. Marriage as a Covenant The core precept of Christian marriage is the actual union of a man and woman who become united by God through a marriage covenant. The union is secured by sacred vows and covenant and consummated by physical union. This union is considered holy, set apart as consecrated and representative of the perfect union between the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. In Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12 a statement is made about the union of man and woman that a threefold cord is not easily broken (v12). Marriage is a covenant to which God is a witness. In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, indwells believers and
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is available to help the married couple. He becomes part of the marriage team. At the institution of a marriage covenant man (husband) and woman (wife) make public vows (promises under oath) of faithfulness to each other before witnesses (Malachi 2:14). The two partners will no longer live independent lives, but will be inter-dependant and one in their relationship. 1.4. Marriage is a lifelong commitment Marriage is a lifelong commitment of husband and wife to each other and between the couple and God. (Mark 10: 2-9; Romans 7:2). Apostle Paul indicates that the commitment which Christ has for the church is a model of the relationship between husband and wife in Ephesians 5: 30-32. God intended the marriage relationship to be as permanent as Christs relationship with the Church.

1.5. Marriage is an exclusive relationship Sexual intimacy within marriage is a sacred gift from God to the human family. All sexual relations must therefore be shared exclusively by the husband and wife. (Genesis 2:24; Proverbs 5:5-20). It promotes ever-increasing closeness, happiness, security and provides for the perpetuation of the human race. In addition to being a monogamous marriage, as instituted by God, it is a heterosexual relationship (Matthew 19:4-5). 1.6. Equality in Marriage Women in a covenant marriage are considered equal to men, but unique in their roles as mothers, homemakers or working professionals. Both the man and woman are loved equally by God and are objects of His love. (Ephesians 5:2128). Marriage, a union for life, is a symbol of the union between Christ and His Church. The husband is to cherish his wife as Christ cherishes the church. The wife is to respect and love her husband and the wife pledges her submission to her husband as the spiritual head of the family. The husband and wife pledge their love, faithfulness and trust to each other. The wife pledges her submission to her husband as the spiritual head of the family. There is no room for followers of Christ for tyranny and abuse per Matthew 20:25-28, Ephesians 6: 4 1.7. Marriage and the State Marriage is viewed as a threefold covenant, first between God, man and woman, second, as a contract between the couple and the state, and third, as a pledge of faithfulness between the two being married. In Zimbabwe marriage can be solemnized under the Marriages Act (Chapter 5:11) or Customary Marriages Act (Chapter 5:07). The other marriages recognised by Law in Zimbabwe are (i) The unregistered customary marriage union and (ii) Co-habitation or living together (Mapoto) The Marriages solemnized under the Marriages Act are under a monogamous regime while the Customary Marriages are potentially polygamous unions. The most prevalent situation among the African community are non registered and registered customary marriage unions. A good number of couples come into the faith married under this marriage regime. The Marriages Act (chapter 5:11)
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accommodates the fundamental biblical principles and teachings of a Christian marriage. The highest courts in Zimbabwe, on the basis of judgements passed, recognise the Marriages Act as a superior law in marriage. Section 12 of the Customary Marriages Act (5:07) provides for the situation where people who are in a customary marriage wish to civilise their marriage. For a couple to upgrade or civilise their marriage, this would require the surrender of the certificate, if any, under the Customary union upon marriage under Chapter 5:11. The church will promote and encourage all marriages under Chapter 5:11 of the Marriages Act. Those married under customary marriages will be encouraged to have their marriages in church thus upgrading to Chapter 5:11. 1.8. Marriage and children We believe that children are a blessing from the Lord. We hold all human life as sacred and worthy of protection from the moment of conception to the time of natural death. 1.9. Lobola The payment of lobola, though foreign to the western mindset, is clearly not new to the biblical record or to the Hebrew mindset. This, in our opinion should be maintained, however, this should be with a clear understanding that it is not purchasing a wife but is a token and act of appreciation. Lobola upholds the biblical tradition of marriage and maintains peace between the families of the parties that marry. If Christian parents are releasing their daughter in marriage they should be careful not to use the payment of lobola as a wealth creation mechanism. 2.0. Premarital Counselling Christian marriage should not be entered into without counsel and wisdom. Members face lifelong decisions when engaging in marriage. The church at the instruction of God has made resources available to people wishing to get married. 2.1. Why premarital counselling? As discussed above Christian marriage should be entered into after counsel and with wisdom. Besides being a lifelong commitment, statistics point to a high percentage of Christian marriages that are failing although problems could have been avoided. The first one is sexual problems. Some frank premarital counselling in this area should be a priority. The second one is dealing with finances. Every couple has a finite amount of money. Regardless of how wealthy two people come into a union, potential conflict usually arises due to different value systems in the two. It is important to set up what those values are before a couple enters into a marriage. The question of in-laws is also important. When one is marrying another person they are taking on a family, not an individual. It is important to have some understanding of the value system he or she grew up with as well as to seek to develop relationships with the spouses-to-bes family. The other issues dealt with at premarital counselling are issues to do with
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children, health status and employment/career plans. With the problem of HIV, couples wishing to marry should undergo an HIV test and disclose and discuss their results with each other. It is their choice to proceed with the marriage should the outcome be unfavourable on either or both the parties side(s). A key issue to discuss on children is if a couple cannot conceive a child the marriage remains valid. Would they consider adoption?

2.2. The Procedure Counselling is done to couples who wish to get married and have been members of the church and cell groups for a period of not less than six months. Counselling should be done before any plans to marry have been put in place including the payment of lobola if applicable. The procedure starts with a request for premarital counselling to their cell leader. The cell leader will facilitate the filling in of premarital survey forms, which are forwarded to their District Pastor. It is the duty of the District Pastor to assign this couple to premarital counsellors in their district. ii. At what point is premarital counselling done? Immediately couples are serious about their relationship they should avail themselves for premarital counselling. This will make room for accountability to take place over their relationship. iii. Who should do premarital Counselling? Married pastors, section leaders and selected members from the congregation who have done the Successful Marriages Course and a premarital counselling course conducted by the Department of Training Counselling and Equipping (TEC) may do premarital counselling. 3.0. Biblical View on white weddings It is evident that both the white wedding and the customary weddings are steeped in deep superstitious traditions. One can argue that these can be redeemed for Kingdom purposes while abandoning demonic activities. The best way is probably to view a wedding from a covenant perspective. A God-honouring wedding should show the realities of what the Bible teaches us about marriage and covenants. The following may help us gain some biblical perspectives for a Christian wedding. 3.1. Weddings are worship events It is God who created marriage. He made the person who will be an appropriate companion for us. It is God who is the prime witness to the covenant (Mal 2:14). It is God who is the ultimate example of covenant loyalty. While our culture has often made a wedding the brides day, it is really Gods, and He is honoured when a bride and groom commit themselves in loyalty and purity to a new life together as long as they both shall live. Every part of a wedding ceremony should be evaluated by how it fits into this larger sense of worship. 3.2. Weddings have spiritual meaning A wedding is a spiritual event, much larger than simply two people talking to each other. God is present and the covenant is witnessed by heaven and earth alike. Wedding ceremonies should always be carefully planned to reflect this spiritual significance. Pre-marital counselling is one form of preparation that should be done by all couples anticipating their wedding day. 3.3. Vows are the centre of the event The nature of the commitment is central (e.g. Gen 31:48-54). While the beauty of
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the event, the decorations and so on help to make it special, the vows themselves are what make the day. The vows should reflect careful thought and be given a central place in the ceremony. One of the major weaknesses of customary union and marriages is that they do not capture the exchange of vows and the verbalizing of the marriage commitment. Theologically, a couple is married after these vows are spoken before God and witnesses. Legally a couple is married when a marriage is officiated and a register signed and filed with the registrar of marriages. 3.4. Weddings are community events Witnesses are a normal part of covenant making in the Bible. Witnesses encourage covenant partners to maintain their part of the covenant. In the case of Gods covenants with humanity, often the heavens and the earth were the only appropriate witnesses (Deut 30:19). Weddings involve the community not simply as audience or spectators but as witnesses who commit themselves to encourage and pray for the new couple and provide some level of accountability. While it is not important for the wedding to be an expensive event, it is crucial wherever possible for a public demonstration before friends and family to be carried out. This demonstrates commitment while allowing the community of believers to celebrate the new couple. Small private events can be acceptable. It does not have to be huge and extravagant. Sections, Zones and Districts can gather around and help the few who could not finance the event and bless them. This can even take the form of a Zone social. It could even be done as a bring and share. 3.5. Weddings are celebration events Eating together, a common component of covenant-making, demonstrates the tone of the event. Joy should be the prevailing mood. The celebratory joy should come from the event and not from the extravagance of the flowers, location or reception, though all these can add to the enjoyment. Simplicity is more likely to keep the focus of the celebration on people and God rather than on the less important. Eating together showed that the new covenant partners were related in a new way. The reception should express the joyous tone of the day and recognize that Jesus is the honoured guest for the entire event. Both the ceremony and reception should recognize His central place. All the events of the day should be pleasing in His sight since He is there in the front row at the wedding and during the reception at the head table. The couple can share in the covenant meal of communion to seal their union in the presence of witnesses. 3.6. Symbols carefully chosen In biblical covenants, symbolic actions were often used to demonstrate the significance of the event. In more recent times, wedding symbols (a candle ceremony, exchange of rings, white dress, giving away the bride, etc.) have played a prominent role. Some of these symbols can continue to carry significant meaning while others may need revision. Should giving the bride away be replaced by a parental blessing, for example? Symbols should not be adopted simply because they are traditional, nor should they be rejected simply because they have been used often. Most of the white wedding symbols have superstitious roots as well as demonstrated above which can be used redemptively as long as the meaning of symbolism is clearly understood within this new Kingdom meaning
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4.0. Divorce and Remarriage 4.1. Biblical Teachings on Divorce Gods original Purpose - Divorce is contrary to Gods original purpose in creating marriage (Matt 19:3-8; Mark 10:2-9), but the Bible is not silent about it. Because divorce occurred as part of the fallen human experience, biblical legislation was given to limit the damage it caused (Deut 24: 1-4 & Matt 5:3132). The Bible consistently seeks to elevate marriage and to discourage divorce by describing the joy of married love and faithfulness (Prov. 5:18-20; Song of Sol 2:16; 4:9-16; 5:1), by referring to the marriage like relationship of God with His people (Is 54:5; Jer 3:11), by focusing on the possibilities of forgiveness and marital renewal (Hosea 3:1-3), and by indicating Gods abhorrence of divorce and the misery it causes (Mal 2:15,16). Jesus restored the creation view of marriage as a lifelong commitment between a man and woman and between the couples and God seeks to correct problems which tend to weaken or destroy the foundation of marriage (Eph 5:21-33; Heb 13:4; 1 Peter 3:7). 4.2. Marriage can be destroyed Marriage rests on principles of love, companionship, affection, loyalty, exclusiveness, comfort, trust and support upheld by both partners in obedience to God (Gen 2:24; Matt 19:6; 1 Cor 13; Eph 5:21-29; 1 Thess 4: 1-7). When these principles are violated, the marriage is endangered. Scripture acknowledges that tragic circumstances can destroy marriage. Grace - Divine grace is the only remedy for the brokenness of divorce. When marriage fails; former partners should be encouraged to examine their experience and to see Gods provides comfort to those who have been wounded. God also accepts the repentance of individual who commit the most destructive sins, even those that carry with them irreparable consequences (2 Sam 11; 12; Ps 34: 18; 86:5; Joel 2:12,13; John 8:2-11; 1 John 1:9). Grounds for divorce- Scripture recognises adultery and/or fornication (Matt 5:32) as well as abandonment by an unbelieving partner (1 Cor 7; 10-15) as grounds for divorce. The state law adds a dimension of irreconcilable differences and mental illnesses or continuous unconsciousness as grounds for divorce. 4.3. Biblical Teachings on Remarriage There is no direct teaching in Scripture regarding remarriage after divorce. However, there is a strong implication in Jesus words in Matthew 19:9 that would allow the remarriage of one who has remained faithful, but whose spouse has been unfaithful to the marriage vow. 4.4. Position on Divorce and Remarriage Acknowledging the teachings of the Bible on marriage, the church is aware that marriage relationships are less than ideal in many cases. The problem of divorce and remarriage can be seen in its true light only as it is viewed from Heavens viewpoint and against the background of the Garden of Eden. Central to Gods plan for mankind was creation made in His image and likeness who would multiply and replenish the earth and live together in purity, harmony, and happiness. He brought forth Eve from the side of Adam and gave her to Adam as
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his wife. Thus was marriage instituted- God the author of the institution, God was the officiator at the first marriage. After the Lord had revealed to Adam that Eve was very bone of his bone and flesh, there could never be a doubt in the minds of either that God had intended that their home endure forever.

The church adheres to this view of marriage and home without reservation, believing that any lowering of this high view is to that extent a lowering of the heavenly ideal. The belief that marriage is a divine institution rests upon the Holy Scriptures. Accordingly, all thinking and reasoning in the perplexing field of divorce and remarriage must constantly be harmonized with that holy ideal revealed in Eden. The church believes in the law of God; it also believes in the forgiving mercy of God. It believes that victory and salvation can as surely be found by those who have transgressed in the matter of divorce and remarriage as by those who have failed in any other of Gods holy standards. Nothing presented here is intended to minimise the mercy of God or the forgiveness of God. In the fear of the Lord, the Church here sets forth the principles and practises that should apply in this matter of marriage, divorce, and remarriage. Though marriage was first performed by God alone, it is recognized that people now live under civil governments on this earth; therefore, marriage has both a divine and a civil aspect and is governed by the laws of God, the civil by the laws of the state. In harmony with these teachings, the following statements set forth the position of the Celebration Churches International. 4.4.1. When Jesus said, Let not man put asunder, He established a rule of conduct for the church under the dispensation of grace which must transcend all civil enactments which would go beyond His interpretation of the divine law governing the marriage relation. Here He gives a rule to His followers who should adhere to it whether or not the state or prevailing custom allows larger liberty. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus declared plainly that there could be no dissolution of the marriage tie, except for unfaithfulness to the marriage vow (Matt 5:32; 19:9). 4.4.2. Unfaithfulness to the marriage vow has generally been seen to mean adultery and/or fornication. However, the New Testament word for fornication includes certain other sexual irregularities. (1Cor 6:9; 1 Tim 1:9,10; Rom1: 24-27). Therefore, sexual perversions, including incest, child sexual abuse, and homosexual practises are also recognised as a misuse of sexual powers and a violation of the divine intention in marriage. As such they are just cause for separation or divorce. Even though the scriptures allow divorce for the reasons mentioned above, as well as for abandonment by an unbelieving spouse (1Cor 7:10-15), earnest endeavours should be made by the church and those concerned to effect a reconciliation, urging the spouses to manifest toward each other a Christ-like spirit of forgiveness
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and restoration. The church is urged to relate lovingly and redemptively toward the couple in order to assist in the reconciliation process.

4.4.3. In the event that reconciliation is not effected, the spouse who has remained faithful to the spouse who violated the marriage vow has the biblical right to secure a divorce and also to remarry if he /she so wishes. 4.4.4. A spouse who has violated the marriage vow (see sections 1. and 2 above) shall be subject to discipline by the local church. (see article of VIII of the constitution). If genuinely repentant, the spouse may be placed under censure for a stated period of time rather than removed from church membership. A spouse who gives no evidence of full and sincere repentance shall be removed from church membership. In case the violation has brought public reproach on the cause of God, the church, in order to maintain its high standards and good name, may remove the individual from church membership even if there is evidence of repentance. Any of these forms of discipline shall be applied by the local church in a manner that would seek to attain the two objectives of church discipline- to correct and redeem. In the gospel of Christ, the redemptive side of discipline is always tied to an authentic transformation of the sinner into a new creature in Jesus Christ. 4.4.5. A spouse who has violated the marriage vow and who is divorced does not have the moral right to marry another whilst the spouse who has been faithful to the marriage vow still lives and remains unmarried and chaste. The person who does so shall be removed from church membership. The person, whom he/she marries, if a member, shall also be removed from church membership. 4.4.6. It is recognised that sometimes marriage relations deteriorate to the point where it is better for a husband and wife to separate. To the married I give charge, not I but the Lord that the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband)- and that the husband should not divorce his wife. (1 Cor 7:10,11). In many such cases the custody of the children, the adjustments of property rights, or even personal protection may make necessary a change in marital status. In such cases it may be permissible to secure what is known in some countries as a legal separation. However, in some civil jurisdictions such a separation can be secured only by divorce. A separation or divorce which results from factors such as physical violence or in which unfaithfulness to the marriage vow (see sections 1. and 2 above) is not involved, does not give either one the scriptural right to remarry, unless in the meantime the other party has remarried, committed adultery or fornication, or died. Should a member who has been thus divorced remarry without these biblical grounds, he/she shall be removed from church membership. 4.4.7. A spouse who has violated the marriage vow and has been divorced and who has remarried, or a person who has been divorced on grounds other than those set forth in sections 1 and 2 above and has remarried, and who has been removed from church membership, shall be considered ineligible for membership except as hereinafter provided.

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5.0. Church Ministry for Families The church as a redemptive agency of Christ is to minister to its members in all of their needs and to nurture every one so that all may grow into a mature Christian experience. This is particularly true when members face lifelong decisions such as marriage and distressful experiences such as divorce. When a couples marriage is in danger of breaking down; every effort should be made by the partners and those in the church or family who minister to them to bring about their reconciliation in harmony with divine principles for restoring wounded relationships (Hosea 3:1-3; 1 Cor 7:10,11; 13:4-7; Gal 6:1). Resources are available through the local church, which can be of assistance to members in the development of a strong Christian home. These resources include (1) Premarital counselling (2) Successful marriages (3) Mountain Top marriages (4) Divorce care. Pastoral support is vital in the area of instruction and orientation in the case of marriage and healing and restoration in the case of divorce. The pastoral function in the latter case is both disciplinary and supportive. That function includes the sharing of information relevant to the case; however, the disclosure of sensitive information should be done with great discretion. Church members are called to forgive and accept those who have failed as God has forgiven them (Is 54:5-8; Matt 6:14,15; Eph 4:32). The Bible urges patience, compassion and forgiveness in the Christian care of those who have erred (Matt 18:10-20; Gal 6:1,2). During the time when individuals are under discipline, either by censure or by being removed from membership, the church as an instrument of Gods mission, shall make every effort to maintain caring and spiritually nurturing contact with them. In the case of individuals who have been removed from the membership of the church may, following repentance, subject to examination by two or more ordained pastors and on approval of their recommendation to the Spiritual Board, be restored to membership and participate in the life of the Church. 6.0. The position on polygamy Polygamy is not a biblical concept. The Christian view of marriage biblically and historically has regarded marriage as ordained by God for the lifelong union of one man and one woman as first articulated biblically in Genesis 2:24 and in item 1.4. above. Recorded cases of polygamy in the Bible are merely records of what transpired but do not imply that God endorses polygamy. It is therefore not anticipated that a Christian would knowingly enter into a polygamous relationship or even a potentially polygamous relationship. This point of avoiding potentially polygamous relationships by avoiding the Customary Marriage should be covered in the premarital counselling sessions. 6.1. Should the Church embrace polygamists? Where a person involved in a polygamous relationship gets born again, how does the church counsel and deal with the situation from a biblical perspective? Biblical Precedence
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(1 Tim 3:2) Then it behoves the overseer to be without reproach, husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, well ordered, hospitable, apt at teaching. This scripture seems to imply that within the church were polygamous relationships, which can be viewed as people who got born again after they were already in the situation. The Scripture is recognizing that some people were polygamous when they came to the faith. But these were not excluded but were allowed membership. They were only not allowed to be leaders. It follows that polygamy is accommodated if one was in that situation when he got born again. This should follow from the fact that people are saved from all kinds of backgrounds, some of which may be easy to disentangle from, while others may not. By nature of the marriage the husband has responsibility over both wives and all the children. Can and will faith in God result in him ceasing to provide fatherhood responsibility over them? Lets draw some principles from a similar situation of having unsaved spouses: (1Cor 7:12-24) But to the rest I speak, not the Lord, if any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is pleased to dwell with him, do not let him put her away. And the woman who has a husband, who does not believe, if he is pleased to dwell with her, do not let her leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; else your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. But if the unbelieving one separates, let him be separated. A brother or a sister is not in bondage in such cases, but God has called us in peace. But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so I ordain in all churches. Was any called having been circumcised? Do not be uncircumcised. Was anyone called in uncircumcision? Do not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. Let each one remain in the calling in which he was called. Were you called as a slave? It does not matter to you, but if you are able to become free, use it rather. For he who is called a slave in the Lord is a freed man of the Lord. And likewise, he who is called a free man is a slave of Christ. You are bought with a price, do not be the slaves of men. Each in whatever way he was called, brothers, in this remain with God. It seems to imply that salvation does not rule out ones responsibility if the polygamous marriage was contracted during the times of ignorance which God has overlooked. So he remains in the station in which he was called. Just like someone who was a slave when they got born again they do not have to demand release but if it is possible they can. This implies that if the occasion arises for someone to be free they should take it. Similarly if one was in a polygamous relationship and gets born again he should only release the unsaved wife if she is not prepared to stay with a believer and she abandons the relationship. But he cannot abandon her himself. Even in the case of the wife abandoning the relationship then he should still be responsible both financially and to provide fatherhood to the children. If one was to abandon the second wife together with the children what view of God are we giving? Seeking to dissolve the relationship is not part of repentance but part of restitution. Repentance is commanded but restitution is recommended where applicable. There are times when restitution is not advisable or practical. How about a scenario where all three parties in the polygamous relationship get born again? If they are happy to stay together, then they should but they cannot be allowed into leadership positions. If one of the wives is no longer happy to stay then she is free to

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leave but she should be entitled to all the financial support that a normal husband would provide, particularly if there are children involved.

References Pastors Franz and Lorraine Krynauw: Course Notes on Practical Pastoring for LDP Class of Celebration College, 2007. Dr T. A. Makoni and Pastor R. Kamba: Position Paper on Marriage Preseneted to Spiritual Board of Celebartion Borrowdale, 2007. Dr T. A. Makoni. Various Sample Documents on Church Functions, Celebration Bulawayo Bill Scheidler. Course Notes on Pastoral Ministry. City Life Church School of Ministry Dr Kevin Smith. Crossroads Notes. South African Theological Seminary Pastor Loxley Ford and Andre Mostert: Course Notes on Practical Pastoring Course of the LDP: Celebration College, 2009.

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