Theology Position Papers

Episode 709

As you reach people for Jesus, inevitably they are going to ask what the church believes about a particular point of theology – and a pastor better be prepared to explain. Host Ed Stetzer talks with Trevin Wax and Colby Garman about why theology position papers matter in a practical way for a church planter.

In This Episode, You’ll Discover:

  • Why a pastor should be the church’s resident theologian
  • How a position paper helps a church unify around how it will carry out ministry
  • Some ways a theology position paper can be used
  • What level of agreement members should be expected to have
  • Some pressing issues of our day on which a church may need to clearly articulate a view

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Sharable Quotes (#NewChurches):

Someone’s going to be the resident theologian of your church. It ought to be you, because God has given you the responsibility of being the dominant theological voice in that congregation and because healthy doctrine matters. You ought to care about the unity of the church. @TrevinWax

A well thought-out and clearly articulated position statement – on some important subject in the life of the church – draws out where the Bible touches on the subject and how we actually live that out in the in the context of the local church. @ColbyGarman

I have seen pastors use position papers in the hiring process. I’ve seen churches get blown up because they bring on pastoral staff and find out they are not on the same page about a doctrinal issue and how you work out that issue. @TrevinWax

We have a real opportunity as pastors here to teach our churches how to gather around core historic Christian doctrine, while at the same time creating space for people in their discipleship to grow and develop and become more nuanced. @ColbyGarman

Clarity is good. People ask if it is unkind to lay out details. No, quite the opposite. It’s kind to tell people this is where we are on what sometimes may be difficult issues. @EdStetzer

Position papers really are useful when the the culture around us or the shared assumptions we might have change. If we don’t somehow articulate them, we move into categories of talking about those topics that are driven primarily by the culture. @ColbyGarman

Statement papers enable you to thoughtfully, convictionally, biblically, winsomely lay out what you believe. I say to people, “Take a look at that and then let’s talk through if you have additional questions.” @EdStetzer

Published October 13, 2022

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