What you see on my “second desk” are back issues, or should I say “WAY BACK” issues of The Gospel Advocate. These issues are from 1954 – 1955. One of the issues mentions three baptisms in Gallipolis, Ohio. One of those nameless three is my father. Another issue seems to be a special issue on the topic of The Church. Among the article titles are: Establishment of the Church; The Identity of the Church; How to Enter the Church; Does the Church Save?; How to Live in the Church; Church Autonomy; The Greatness of the Church; The Strength of the Church; and The Weakness of the Church. Authors include: H. Leo Boles, C. R. Nichol, N. B. Hardeman, F. B. Srygley, L. O. Sanderson, B. C. Goodpasture, R. L. Whiteside, John T. Lewis, among others.
One article by C. A. Norred covers the topic, “Building Up Local Congregations.” He gives six factors to build up the local church: 1) Personal Consecration and Individual Activity, 2) Study of the Bible, 3) Giving, 4) Attendance Upon the Meetings of the Church, 5) Prayer, and 6) The Preaching of the Word.
This article foreshadows a promised special issue of The Gospel Advocate for August, 19, 1954. This then forthcoming special issue would discuss “How to Build Up the Church.” I am going to look for a digital copy of this issue because the articles discuss some ideas and ministries that we can still use today. The promised articles I am interested in are:
- Building up the Church through Pulpit Preaching.
- Building It up through the Bible Class Teaching.
- Building It up through Personal Work.
- Building It up through Improved Singing.
- Building It up through More Spiritual Worship.
- Building It up through Benevolent Works.
- Building It up through Nurturing Young Christians.
- Building It up through Prayer Meetings.
I think these ideas still work.
6 thoughts on “Building Up the Church – Old School”
if you find the digital copy of that next issue, please post a link – always very encouraging thoughts, brother
I will look around when I get through studying today. Trying at the moment to pick one sermon idea from the first four chapters of Galatians. Such a small but deep book . . .
Scott I am really enjoying your blog. I look forward to your thought.
Keith, Thanks for reading my blog thoughts and for being both a friend and mentor through the years.
What struck me in this post is the repeated use of the word “church.” It struck me because as we continually move toward a privatized Christianity (is it just me, or do we hear a lot about “quite times” and other individual aspects of faith?), to contrast today’s evangelical climate to the 1950s is striking.
Yes, there is quite a difference, but also notice the emphasis on responsibility of the individual Christian within the concept of what the Church is to be.