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"What do you think about commissioned preacher without a position in the local church? What does the bible say about that and what is the present brotherhood practice?" - Christian

Can a commissioned preacher be a preacher without a church? There are some who do not believe a preacher should be assigned to a church while others believe he must be assigned to a church. What does the Bible say?

The Bible gives several examples. For instance, in Acts 8, we see Philip preaching in Samaria, then on the road to Gaza, then in Azotus, then in Caesarea (Acts 8:40). Years later, in Acts 21:8, Paul visits Philip at his house in Caesarea. Philip apparently had settled in one place and was still preaching.

Paul was a traveling preacher. However, there were times when he was connected to a particular church. Paul stayed in Ephesus nearly three years (Acts 18-20), and in Corinth a year and a half (Acts 18:11).

Timothy was a young preacher who stayed in Ephesus (1 Tim 1:3), and Titus stayed in Crete (Titus 1:5). But if you follow Timothy's ministry in Acts 16 - 20, you will find that he spent time traveling and preaching as well.

There is a reason we find both the traveling preacher and the located preacher in the New Testament. It has to do with the nature of the commission to preach (Acts 13:1-2; 1 Tim 4:14; 2 Tim 1:6). The appointment to preach usually seems to be for the ministry of preaching rather than to a particular church. Since the emphasis of the appointment was to the ministry rather than a church, it makes sense that we have examples both of preachers who traveled and who stayed in one place. The brotherhood practice reflects this.

John Telgren
P.O. Box 452
Leavenworth, KS 66048
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