Copyright Rev. Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. 1992



This is the second of the sections of my theology that I have gone through, to convert my class notes into book form. It has been a very joyful experience to review the greatness of the church, the body of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, yet I am discouraged to a point in what I see in so many local assemblies.

There is so little genuine caring for the lost, for the newcomers, or for the membership at times. There is so little genuine teaching being done. The preaching is not all that great at times either. I have discussed this with many church people and pastors and they feel that my observations are valid.

So, why is this the case when we have the Holy Spirit empowering us, teaching us, leading us and comforting us? So, why is this the case when we have Christ Himself in charge of the work?

I am confident there is no problem with the Lord Jesus, and I am just as confident that the Holy Spirit is doing His work properly and adequately. We must assume from logic then that it is not the Head nor the plan, nor the power source. That leaves only one answer.


We the people are the problem and there is nothing that can be done until we do it. Don't worry about your neighbor and how sinful he is, don't worry about your pastor and how uninteresting he is, and don't worry about the church membership and how worldly they are. You worry about you and your relationship to the Head of the church. You should be sure you are in a proper mode, and then pray that the Lord would bring about needed changes in the assembly.

There is one subject which is somewhat related to this thought of the church. I have not made comment on it as such but feel that it is important to do so.

If the church is Christ's body and if it is His desired vehicle for reaching the world, and I believe it to be, then why do we have para church organizations all over the world?

I am not condemning the para church groups for they are doing a job that the church is not doing, however that is not the point. They are not the church.

The church in our generation should begin to correct the problem that has developed over the years. Most of the groups give lip service to the thought of allowing the local churches to have a say in things. Most will say they are an extension of the local church however, the control that the church has seems to end at the purse strings.

There is no reason why the church shouldn't, indeed must, take steps to do the ministries of these groups. The groups ought also to take steps toward allowing church control. There are some that are already working on this by adding pastors and laymen to boards, by having yearly get togethers of supporting churches and mission leaders. These are good steps and should be continued, but more must be done.

Possibly one of the easiest ways for the corrections to begin is to see to it that new ministries become the extension of a local church or two, and see to it that the ministry remains under that control. This would place ministries under the control of spiritual men within the church that can lead and guide the ministry.

Moving on I would like to mention that the section concerning other types of church government was brief and intentionally so. There are other works that elaborate in detail these systems.

As I have moved in and out of churches over the years I have observed many problems. I have also discussed problems with pastors and laymen. The result is that I realize that the elder form of government can, if run properly, create a church environment which would eliminate many of these problems. There are many difficulties when we work with people however, the creator of these people has set forth a system for governing those people in the Word. If He has given these guidelines then it is logical they will be the best possible method of operation.

Even if a died in the wool congregationalist must reject the thought of accepting this form of government, at least give credence to the process of qualification. There must be a qualified leadership or the job is doomed to failure.

The principles set forth in this section can and do work. I have knowledge of a few churches that are operating with this form of government. As we see more and more churches becoming involved, I am personally confident that we will see some great results in the area of church relationships, as well as church growth. As we believers function Biblically, church growth will be automatic.

One final topic. The thought of a "paid" pastor is one that is currently accepted, yet it is not historically nor Biblically. The Bible allows for it and I am not saying get rid of paid pastors, however we need to consider the possibility of non-paid people running a church. Many of our small churches today are pastored by non-paid or poorly paid pastors. As observations go, I feel that often these men are considered less than normal. They, after all are not "full time" in their ministry.

There seems to be a real hierarchy developing in our church thinking. There are full time, there are part time, there are the laymen, there are janitors and then there are missionaries. My teaching has always included the thought that we are co-workers with Christ. If we are co-workers then there is no level of importance.

May we consider our developing problems in the church, get in touch with the Head and move on to solve the problems.

I did not go into the idea of fellowship, of what the church should be in the social realm, nor many of the other thoughts that relate to the church. I did include a section in appendix nine relating to how we view ourselves. Are we a society as believers, or are we really the "body" that the Lord wants us to be. Be sure to read this appendix.