Vol.VII No.I Pg.2
March 1970

Skimming The Cream

Robert F. Turner

New conservative congregations are springing up all over the country, for which we are most grateful. Most of these seem to be the result of migrations — faithful brethren move into a community and plant the cause of undenominational (and we trust, of non-sectarian) Christianity by designating a place for assembling, and working diligently to find kindred spirits and convert others to Christ.

Other new churches come about as liberal minded brethren become more liberal, and the folly of digression becomes more apparent to those who previously refused to see where the social gospel and churchhood projects were leading them. They ask for Bible authority for their practices, are branded as Antis, and find that exponents of love can be bitter opponents indeed.

And perhaps most encouraging of all — in that it shows growth of the churches standing for Bible authority in work and worship — are those cases where a sound church has increased in size to the point that saints who have buses from distant parts of the city, may now swarm and establish churches in their section of town without crippling the original work. We rejoice to report an increase in such swarms, and yet experience prompts us to offer an observation and advice. When planning such a new work we usually recognize the need for a core or nucleus of experienced men — some stable leaders, about whom the new church can grow in good health. This means taking cream away from the original church; and we rejoice that such men have been developed, and that they have the courage to accept the responsibilities of the new field.

But cream is more difficult to replace, and takes much more time to develop, and a new crop of novice saints. The original church may soon grow back to its original number — and enthusiastic members may feel it is time to do it again — have another swarm — when in reality there is not the cream to spare. Little has been accomplished — perhaps even harm done — if our desire for congregations in all communities represented, leads us to cripple seriously the original work.

To some degree the same effect is found in places that urge all men who can make a talk to leave home on preaching appointments. We need lots of preachers — but we also need sound men at home, developing as bishops of the local flock. WE CAN SKIM CREAM UNTIL NOTHING IS LEFT BUT BLUE-JOHN !!