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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         14
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

Cameron Giovanelli Resigns From Golden State Baptist College


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Individuals. ( James 1:14)

But the church can put safeguards in place. First admit that all men (and women) are sexual beings. Stop isolating pastors and preachers from the congregation by considering them to be "God's annointed"(because all saved individuals are anointed)and quit fearing to question them or hold them accountable. Trust no man. Let all pastors, preachers and any other church leaders know this and make it known publicly that you require leaders to have someone with them at all times when with a member of the opposite sex. And, really, stop the "counseling" stuff with females. If a female needs counseling, set her up to meet with a Godly older woman (Titus 2:3-5)

As far as the congregation goes, stop teaching that men are to be "leaders" in the home. They're not. The Bible uses words like "rule", "head", "authority" for men and the home and by trying to be "politically correct" you're just conforming to the world. The Bible calls BOTH the husband and the wife to be, effectively, leaders. Why? Because if the wife is failing spiritually, the husband can "win" her  by loving and honoring her and, likewise, if the husband is doing poorly spiritually the wife can bring him back in line by "submitting" and living Godly before him. (1 Peter 3:1-7) Teach the women to honor and respect their husbands and, back to the sexual thing, teach BOTH husband and wife that temptation can be averted/controlled by not "defrauding". (1 Corinthians 7:1-5}

1 Corintians 7: 1Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 3Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 4The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. 5Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. 

Some like to let the men have it with both barrels on Father's Day; but I dare them to try preaching things like "submission", "authority", "rule" and "reverence" on Mother's Day. That would certainly be a shake-up. Actually, you SHOULD honor the Mothers on Mother's Day AND the Fathers on Father's day. There are around 150 other Sundays, Sunday nights and Wednesday nights during the year to do the other and when Paul did it, he spoke to BOTH at the same time and by doing that, Paul let us know that we're all in this thing together!. What can happen if we could do that simple thing and quit putting the men, the patriarchs of the home, down like the WORLD does? We can see wives respecting their husbands more and husbands loving their wives more and we can see LESS temptation happening in our churches. Just by simply doing it the Bible way, we can see a lot less homes and lives destroyed.

 

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18 minutes ago, heartstrings said:

Individuals. ( James 1:14)

But the church can put safeguards in place. First admit that all men (and women) are sexual beings. Stop isolating pastors and preachers from the congregation by considering them to be "God's annointed"(because all saved individuals are anointed)and quit fearing to question them or hold them accountable. Trust no man. Let all pastors, preachers and any other church leaders know this and make it known publicly that you require leaders to have someone with them at all times when with a member of the opposite sex. And, really, stop the "counseling" stuff with females. If a female needs counseling, set her up to meet with a Godly older woman (Titus 2:3-5)

Safeguards such as these should be taught as part of the normal teaching routine of our churches. This teaching is not novel or new, it is part of proper Bible study. Pastors that neglect to preach and teach things of this nature are not preaching the whole Word of God.

I remember as a young Christian learning this and making it a part of my belief system on a personal scale. I was taught that this kind of behavior on the part of both men and women was paramount and never to be neglected. It is not just for church staff, but should be practiced by all Christians, both male and female.

I do know that this kind of thing is not always convenient and can be cumbersome at times. But it really doesn't take much effort to ask another church member to be present when we are brought into a situation were we might have to be alone with either someone of the opposite sex or children, including teens.

Also this kind of safeguard should not be confined to church buildings and church members. It is vitally important that this be a prerequisite for witnessing door to door. Going out two by two is Scriptural by Biblical example. We never know who is going to answer the door and it can be dangerous, both morally as well as personally if we are alone in situations such as this.

This should come  naturally to church members, we should not even have to give it conscious thought, it should be an automatic response to situations that could have any tendency to bring reproach on our testimony or person.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Yes, I was taught this soon after I was saved 32 years ago, but it doesn't hurt to remind us all from time to time. I remember, when i had a bus ministry, always having my wife with me. There was one time, when a woman wanted me to take her home during service, so I had someone else ride with us. When I do VBS, I always make certain another adult is with me when I'm with the kids. And it's not that I have any proclivities for kids, it's just that it doesn't look good and you never want to leave the door open for an accusation or doubt in anyone's mind. My Wife an I are sometimes scheduled to keep the nursery and I do the same there. I was once in a Sunday School room and everyone walked out for a few minutes, leaving me alone with a young woman; I got up and walked out too. Of course this is not jist for pastors and other leaders. But the point is, no adult(male or female) should be alone with the opposite sex or with other people's kids.

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On ‎5‎/‎21‎/‎2018 at 8:13 PM, Jim_Alaska said:

What would be right is to address the allegations and if needed apologize. 

We probably all remember Jimmy Swaggart's apology on TV. I don't agree with the Churches of God but, I don't believe it was helpful for any ministry. 

I missed the video but, Satan and his hoard of demons are attacking more fervently every day; he is after every testimony and every testifier. It is difficult for men, women, and children as the Day of Christs return draws nearer. In this flesh we all know we must be careful lest we fall. 

 

Edited by 1Timothy115
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On ‎5‎/‎23‎/‎2018 at 11:57 AM, heartstrings said:

Not saying this was the case here, but how does a regular diet of teaching that the men/husbands in the church are not measuring up and not "leading the home" affect women of the church? If they're hearing things like "if you would lead, your wife would follow".  I mean, the only real leader must be the pastor if the "pew warmer" men are failing. And apparently, some women are attracted to such strong spiritual men who "have it all together". Where, in the Bible, does it say that the husband is to be the "leader" anyway? And this thing about "counseling women"; where is that in the Bible? I do find things like "the elder women teaching the younger" etc. Why aren't the older women doing this? What about making it a practice to never allow yourself to be in a compromising or questionable situation by NEVER being alone with another woman, teenager etc. besides your wife, daughter, mother or grandma?

Some of the points you mention above never get stale. I think it would be worthwhile to appear in another thread for Bible inputs, discussion and questions. Such as...home leadership & responsibilities, and best practice for counseling, etc. These things need to be refreshed frequently. We are in the cross hairs of Satan and his demons every minute. I've heard some things from Paul's epistles on these subjects but would love to hear them again. I hope you start a thread.

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10 hours ago, Jamie Lynn said:

I grew up with Cameron and sadly attended the Baptist School his parents led for some time. This does not surprise many of us, due to the sick and twisted idealogies we were subjected to as children. 

Hello Jamie and welcome to Online Baptist. I'm curious to what these sick and twisted ideologies were. I'm only asking so that I can get a clearer understanding on the thinking of people who get involved in this.

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On 5/24/2018 at 8:08 PM, 1Timothy115 said:

Some of the points you mention above never get stale. I think it would be worthwhile to appear in another thread for Bible inputs, discussion and questions. Such as...home leadership & responsibilities, and best practice for counseling, etc. These things need to be refreshed frequently. We are in the cross hairs of Satan and his demons every minute. I've heard some things from Paul's epistles on these subjects but would love to hear them again. I hope you start a thread.

Sounds good, Brother, where do you think it should be started?

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On ‎5‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 6:10 PM, heartstrings said:

Sounds good, Brother, where do you think it should be started?

We don't have a 'Bible-based Behavior' forum. what about 'Christian Living' forum under 'Relationships and Family? Maybe the Questions For Baptists or The Lounge?

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On ‎5‎/‎23‎/‎2018 at 11:57 PM, heartstrings said:

Where, in the Bible, does it say that the husband is to be the "leader" anyway?

Now, don't get me wrong here - I am not disagreeing with your general points, but to answer this specific question:

1Ti 3:4-5  One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (5)  (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
 

I know this is specific to Pastors, but it makes that point that a man should "rule his house well". This is talking about rank and position - the Man is the "ruler" or "leader" of his house.

Before I get a big backlash and a pummelling from all and sundry, this general issue is one that I have long been concerned about - so many men do not how to "rule their house well" in a genuinely Biblical sense.

It is not for a man to a totalitarian ruler, and a man certainly doesn't rule alone - He is after all part of "one flesh" formed at marriage.

And a man should always remember that he rules his house in (Biblical) love.

And I also agree with you that there seems to be a huge "Man bashing" sentiment going around in certain preaching. 

Without a doubt, there needs to be BIBLICAL teaching on marriage relationships and family relationships, and much of what is passed off as "Family teaching" and "Marriage teaching" is not very biblical at all.

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On 6/2/2018 at 9:18 AM, DaveW said:

Now, don't get me wrong here - I am not disagreeing with your general points, but to answer this specific question:

1Ti 3:4-5  One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (5)  (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
 

I know this is specific to Pastors, but it makes that point that a man should "rule his house well". This is talking about rank and position - the Man is the "ruler" or "leader" of his house.

Before I get a big backlash and a pummelling from all and sundry, this general issue is one that I have long been concerned about - so many men do not how to "rule their house well" in a genuinely Biblical sense.

It is not for a man to a totalitarian ruler, and a man certainly doesn't rule alone - He is after all part of "one flesh" formed at marriage.

And a man should always remember that he rules his house in (Biblical) love.

And I also agree with you that there seems to be a huge "Man bashing" sentiment going around in certain preaching. 

Without a doubt, there needs to be BIBLICAL teaching on marriage relationships and family relationships, and much of what is passed off as "Family teaching" and "Marriage teaching" is not very biblical at all.

This is part of my point. The Bible uses the word "rule" but men have softened it to "leader". Yes, I agree that it is to be in love and is not to be totalitarian, but it seems to me that the word "rule" conveys much more "authority" than "leader" does. A husband should not HAVE to impose a dictatorial rule over his house if the rest of the family do their part. I hear this all the time(paraphrasing): "If the husband will "lead" the wife will automatically just follow". That is simply not true. It takes both, working together with the same goal: to unify and solidify the family. Many women say "How do I get my husband to "lead?" And men say "my wife won't submit". Someone needs to SHOW them how!

Years ago, when I was a young Christian, my Wife and I were invited to our pastor's home for dinner. During the meal, the pastor scolded his wife about the something he found wrong with the meatloaf. But then thsi same pastor would chide men from the pulpit about "not leading their homes"! Wouldn't it be best to show them HOW? You don't do that by cutting down her meatloaf if front of the guests. Read 1 Peter chapter 3...the whole chapter. It explains what the husband and wife are supposed to do. But it's up to Christians to LIVE it out before others so they can see HOW. Yes, the husband is supposed to be the RULER of the house, but it will never happen if he isn't shown how to love and the order of the home will never be right if the wife isn't taught how to submit or, heaven forbid the phrase, "be in subjection". Contrary to what the world thinks, neither is a bad thing! And you don't have to call the husband a mere "leader" when God's word says he's to be the "ruler". I will start a thread when I get time. Must get back to work.

One more thing, I would add, and it's very important. When the pastor scolded his wife in front of us, I don't recall her talking back or saying anything other than maybe "I'm sorry". She was a Godly Christian lady, who always had a smile, and everyone loved her. You will find the Godly way she behaved mentioned in 1 Peter chapter 3, particularly verses 1 and 2.  SHE was being the "leader" that day.

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One of my biggest complaints when something like this happens to a preacher that they just go to another church/ministry. I'm not following this case too closely, but I hoping that is not the case here. (I've only heard one side of the story here so I'm kinda leaning toward that). 

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I believe Mr Giovanelli landed in Jacksonville Florida (Pastor Greg Neal) at Immanuel Baptist, and was positioned to lead their new Bible College that I believe was to open in 2020.  If this is all true, it truly saddens me, as between this and the guy at the church in Hammond give IFB a bad name.

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Since this topic has risen once again, I habe heard that there's news on the topic, but habent heard what it is.

I never have my thoughts on this, but I believe that first off, NVBC did right in how they handled it on their end; the offense did not occur at their church or school, and a careful investigation was made to ensure nothing had occurred with the students. As well Giovanelli was immediately removed from all duties once the issue was made known to them, and they began their investigation into it. I know Shiflett didn't find this to be enough in his eyes, but since the allegations were made by only one witness, scripturally what do we see? 1 Timothy 5:19 KJV
"Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses."

So with only one witness, and that shakey, I think, having waited how many years to say anything, and at this point I still don't even know what the accusation was, it was correct how the church proceeded. 

As for what he is doing now, the allegations are public, his current church knows about it, and as far as I understand Giovanelli has submitted himself to authorities while the investigation continues.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
  • 1 month later...
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On 1/9/2020 at 7:39 PM, HappyChristian said:

Yes, I saw that. I see that he was removed off North Florida Baptist College website and not listed on the church staff either. I don't understand why a church would hire him during the investigation. 

Part of the agreement is that Giovanelli does not have to register as a sex offender. If he did do what was claimed, he got off way to easy.

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Never, ever be alone with the opposite sex or someone else's children/grandchildren. That way you are far less likely to be falsely accused. And never leave your kids alone with someone else, even a preacher or deacon: If a preacher or deacon is what he ought to be, he will insist on that as well. Our church always has two attendants in the nursery, and "children's church" at all times.

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