Models of the Church

Speaker: Categories: Feb 06, 1993


[1hr, 15min, 37sec / 23min]


It may be that many church members in good and regular standing take for granted that the way the Seventh-day Adventist Church is organized, the way it's governed, and the way it is administered are all God ordained, perhaps even inspired! Others, more questioning, may wonder just how the church got the way it is!

Have you ever wondered just what the church is -- by definition -- not the building, but the organization?

Dr. Gary Patterson suggests that "What we think the church is governs how we build and operate it. Both its physical and programmatic structure first come from those concepts and then go on to perpetuate them."

He further contends, "These [the concepts which direct the church's physical and programmatic structure] often become the issues of personal assurance of salvation within a community, as well as the flash point of conflict with those who disagree."

He then notes, "A broader concept of what the church is improves the effectiveness of the church, and reduces the uninformed but lethal battles over issues which are not worth fighting over."

Have you witnessed any battles lately over church architecture, mission, or style of worship? Have you ever served on a church remodeling/building committee? How was the seating arrangement determined? Was the Bible used in making the decision?


A graduate of Walla Walla College (BA), Potomac University (MA), and Vanderbilt University (D. Min.), Gary Patterson has served as pastor and evangelist, chaplain and youth director, conference secretary and ministerial director, and conference president (Georgia Cumberland, 1980-85, and Pennsylvania, 1985-87). Since 1987 he has served as Administrative Assistant to the NAD President. He has authored numerous articles for SDA publications and has al so authored the book, Find It Fast in the Yellow Pages.

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