Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 6, 1956

Is It A Good Idea?

Charles E. Crouch, Columbus, Mississippi

In the July 26, 1956, issue of the Gospel Advocate, the following item appears under the heading, "It's A Good Idea," by Willard and Ruth Collins:

During the school term, on the first Monday of every month, preachers in the Brownfield, Texas, area come together for a day of fellowship and study. This was started by John McCoy, minister of the Crescent Hill church of Christ, Brownfield, Texas, several months ago. Preachers of the entire area are invited. They come to the Crescent Hill church building at 10:00 A.M. The schedule is: 10:00 A.M., opening prayer; 10:00-10:45, round-table discussion; 11:45-1:00, lunch in one of the local cafes; 1:00-2:30, round' table discussion.

Subjects for the discussions are assigned one month in advance. One brother speaks briefly, introducing the subject, and then serves as guide of the discussion to see that one person speaks at a time and that all who wish to participate have a chance to do so. He summarizes what has been said when the discussion is over. Fifteen or twenty usually come; they have had as many as thirty-five in attendance.

Certain subjects used are "The Responsibility the Preacher Assumes in a Marriage Ceremony," "When Does an Example in the New Testament become Binding?", "Should A Church Member Be Recognized As A Part of the Congregation Without Placing Membership ?", "Terms, Phrases, and Statements Often Heard and Used — Are They Scriptural in the Way We Use Them?" and "The Meaning of Fellowship."

When I read the above item, it appeared to me that there was something about it which did not sound like "a good idea." I suppose the Father of mercies has not blessed me as He has some of my brethren. At least, with reference to the Gospel Advocate, I am unable to say, "It has pleased the Father of mercies to make me fully agreed with all your policies. Your treatment of the truth has always been according to the best feelings of my heart and this feeling has not been purchased by any sacrifice of independence on my part." (Gospel Advocate, August 23, 1956, front page.)

After thinking over the matter of preachers' meetings for a while, I happened to remember another piece which I read in the Gospel Advocate a few years ago. So I will just let the following item from the Gospel Advocate, November 19, 1925, page 1109, be an answer to my question, "Is Is A Good Idea?"

Attention, Brother Preachers!

There will be a preachers' meeting at Bartlesville, Okla., in February. All preachers, elders, and song leaders are invited. Watch for further announcements. The exact date will be given later. Begin now to make preparations to attend.

Santa Fe Avenue Church Of Christ

Will W. Slater, Minister.

Brother Slater is an able gospel preacher and is a great and good man. But we wish to say that to have a "preachers' meeting" is a step in the wrong direction. Any meeting that is larger than the meeting of a local congregation is sinful. We recognize that visitors may attend the meetings of a congregation. We also recognize that in some senses there is nothing wrong in a company of preachers getting together and enjoying one another's company. But popery started with that small a beginning, and it is dangerous. Brethren, stop it!


A faithful comparison of the two above reports reveals at least three things: (1) Having a preachers' meeting is not a new thing; (2) Having the preachers' meeting announced in the Gospel Advocate is not a new thing; but (3) in 1925 the Gospel Advocate had a front page editor who was willing to say, "Brethren, stop it!" Come to think of it, maybe that is what is needed today!