Setting up a church/charity according to biblical principles

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fisherman
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Setting up a church/charity according to biblical principles

Post by fisherman » Sat May 05, 2018 3:34 am

We set up a chapter of the 'seafarers mission' locally, it is a registered charity,we hold an AGM ,governed by an elected Board of Directors and our books are audited and open to scruteny....everything is above board ,no secrets. Although we are part of an international organization, each local group is autonomous ,has its own Board of Directors ( plurality of leadership, qualifed and working in conjunction with each other) .....there is no 'Universal Leader'...every city is run on 'individual excercise '...

Our mandate is to preach the gospel and provide a tangible 'benefit to the community' ( in our case the crews from the cruise ships that come in here ,they are away from their families for 8 to 10 months at a time and we provide a place for them to contact their families by way of free Wi Fi, and just a place to go when they get off the ship. A Chaplin meets every ship and is there to offer help if needed, we serve everybody without prejudice,nationality or religeon,and by the increase in repeat crew visits every year, it is well received.( all are welcome, nobody had to be vetted first before coming in)

Why we set it up this way ,on biblical principals according to Pauls ministry is very simple,an autonomous organization is insulated should something go terribly wrong,unlike the EB, the damage is contained to that one locality...there are no world wide implications .

Do you think maybe Paul got it right when he detailed assembly governance ? Why can't the EB be set up according to scriptural principals ?....no money in it of course...

The Questioner
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Re: Setting up a church/charity according to biblical principles

Post by The Questioner » Sat May 05, 2018 7:33 am

.A Chaplin meets every ship and is there to offer help if needed,
Sound like a comedy time.

Jill Mytton
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Re: Setting up a church/charity according to biblical principles

Post by Jill Mytton » Sat May 05, 2018 9:06 am

Or part of a Gilbert and Sullivan opera

But yes on a serious note this is a good point Fisherman. Assembly governance. But that could only work if the group concerned was not cultic. From your description your chapter is as far from being cultic as possible I would say!

The Questioner
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Re: Setting up a church/charity according to biblical principles

Post by The Questioner » Sat May 05, 2018 10:08 am

Yes - sorry for being flippant. Fisherman is quite right: the main thing about biblical principles is not so much exactly how something is done - there is a certain amount of vagueness in the NT about church order - but that there is accountability.

The EB are very particular about their liturgy although they deny having one, but have no understanding of accountability.

fisherman
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Re: Setting up a church/charity according to biblical principles

Post by fisherman » Sat May 05, 2018 2:41 pm

Yes, 'a Chaplin meets every ship to welcome the crew to our city and offers help if needed'...'religeon' is not pushed on anybody,the mandate is to serve ,not cut notches in someones bible.Sometimes visiting youth groups come down to sing or play instruments or just provide friendship, in some seamans missions the big drawing card is pool tables -rolling decks are not conducive to playing pool!) I'm not sure if the numbers but having 40 or 50 crew in the facility at a time is pretty routine which is a good indicator we are providing a 'benefit to the community' (uh, isn't that what a church is SUPPOSED to be doing-not just a 'tack on' to qualify for a tax exemption?)

You have to remember that on many if these ships there are no labour laws and sexual harrassment of female crew members is not unknown( many of our volunteers are women who female crews find easier to talk to) ,plus being away from family for a good part of the year is a huge sacrifice people from third world countries make to provide for their family back home.Wifi is the only way they can stay in touch, and the cruise ships charge exorbident rates so providing free Wifi is a very practical ministry to these people.

We have many volunteers from local church groups ( think about the EB sharing a ministry with others in 'Christendom' !)who go down to the mission to chat ,or take people out for drive around the city ,or even come home for tea (think about the black ladies being taken to one of our homes and served tea by one of the white ladies originally from South Africa...it just doesn't happen where they come from) so there is a huge opportunity to show practical Christianity and yes,share the gospel ,for as someone said -'we should always be preaching the gospel and occasionally use some words'

The intent of this ministry was NOT to gain any financial advantage ,( its run on a shoestring,no taxpayers subsidies or grants and our main expense is the very modest salary we pay the Chaplin who devotes a good part of his day during the cruising season) nor provide a venue to stoke someone's ego..we deliberately set it up with plurality of leadership,and accountability, complete transparency and each mission around the world is autonomous...,the unfortunate fact is,people are people and while you try to prevent it, sometimes stuff goes horribly wrong, best to reduce the possability to start with by accountability and qualifications and then contain the damage by being autonomous...

think about it, had the brethren been set up this way, with local administration ,plurality of leadership and each Assemby autonomous the huge world wide conflicts and divisions we experianced would have never happened..we got it wrong...'an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure' ...if you set it up right ,the brethren were ill equipped to deal with all the issues that plagued them because 'such things ARE named amongst us'-you can't stop it but you CAN limit the damage by creating firewalls ,the EB had none ,it wasn't 'if' but 'when' and 'how bad',and given the circumstances and human nature, becoming a cult should be no surprise to anybody..

The Erect Vessel
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Location: Snidey

Re: Setting up a church/charity according to biblical principles

Post by The Erect Vessel » Sun May 06, 2018 11:53 am

I think it is a lovely good cause you are involved with Fisherman. The problem is with the peebs that it is a cult and it took me a while to understand after I left the cult, it always was and always will be a cult.

Power.

Sex.

Money.

Brucie has been busted big time on the power and money elements; I await the sex one. JT Jr got busted on all 3. Piggyboy slithered through but was guilty on all 3 but non proven on number 2. (I just happen to know he was guilty on 2 as well, but the subject who could tell, is also upstairs now,so that goes to the grave.)

fisherman
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Re: Setting up a church/charity according to biblical principles

Post by fisherman » Sun May 06, 2018 2:30 pm

The best way to avoid becoming a cult is to set it up correctly to start with-accountability , plurality of leadership and local autonomy( funny how all cults denounce that) going a long way which unfortionately brethren never did have,it was low hanging fruit for the charltans who were quick to exploit proper naivety rammed home with demands of 'Obediance' ....human nature is human nature and rather than denouncing we promoted and accepted all the wrong traits in leaders, no wonder it became a train wreck .I totally understand the cynicism by people victimized by such abberent cults whose leaders ran amok..it was NOTHING to do with emulating the life and teachings of Jesus - 'humility and EB' just don't go in the same sentence ...but conversely many ex EB or their children went on to serve in many capacities,both locally and internationally.

I do know one thing for sure and that is any organization, church ,charity or otherwise is set up any way in such a manner as to allow one man to take over without qualifcation or accountability,my antennae is up ,I wouldn't touch if with a ten foot pole,been there-done that..

Funny thing about these abberent cults though, as you say, often it's just a case of giving them enough rope..Warren Jeffs of the FLDS ( so close to EB you could change the name and not know which cult you were talking about) is serving a 30 year sentance ,the judge just didn't buy his claim of being 'Divinely Accredited' nor being a 'Pure Man' even if his followers did...

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