Saturday, January 26, 2013

What makes a great church?

That’s a question all Christians should ask themselves. Not just pastors, not just worship leaders, not just the most gifted volunteers, but every Christian. And we need to be asking this question because God has some specific ideas about what it means to be a great church.

Many of us think we go to a great church. After all, nobody ever sets out on a spiritual journey to find the most mediocre, lukewarm church around. No, when most us of describe a great church, a successful church, what we are really talking about is a church that meets our needs.

The church has preaching that makes us feel good or challenges us just a little, but not too much. The music is pleasing to us, meaning the church has drums or doesn’t have drums (depending on which we prefer). The church has a program or two that is right up our alley and makes us feel as if we have a place to serve.

And there is nothing wrong with good preaching, good music, and well-run programs. But these things do not define a successful church. We are on dangerous ground when we seek to define a successful church. We are on dangerous ground when we seek to define the worth of a church by how it meets our felt needs. Instead, we have to start defining success of a church based on God’s criteria.

Then we don’t run the risk of spending every Sunday for the rest of our lives completely missing the heart of God. A great church, a healthy church, is one in which Jesus Christ is found in word and deed. The emphasis here is on the word “and.” A healthy church isn’t just a preaching church. A successful church isn’t simply a hub for social justice. A God-honoring, gospel-loving church is one where the Word of God is the primary motivator for doing the work of God. From: For the City: Proclaiming and Living Out the Gospel.  Zondervan

What do you think? What makes a great church? Share your thoughts!