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 Vol. 4, No. 1 

 

January, 2002

  

~ Page 14 ~

 

What Constitues a Great Church?

By Roger Rush

Roger Rush We live in the age of the mega church. These churches have thousands of members, mulit-million dollar campuses and resemble a shopping mall more than a meetinghouse for Christians. They sometimes include bowling allies, coffee shops and gymnasiums. One even added a fast food restaurant to its facility. The focus is not salvation but self-help, softball and socializing, and they pack them in on Sunday. Success is measured by the size of the crowd and the contribution. But, is this what New Testament Christianity is all about?

If big crowds and large contributions are all that is important, then I suggest that there are better ways to accomplish both. Major league sporting events, for the most part, can draw crowds and raise money. And, when the event is over a large number of folks go home quite satisfied with the outcome (assuming their team won). Surely there is more to Christianity than crowds and contributions! A great church is not great because of its budget or its big crowds.

Great churches are great because of their faith in the greatness of God. Paul commended the church at Colosse for its "faith in Christ Jesus" (Colossians 1:4). Great churches put their trust in the Gospel, not in gimmicks. It is the Gospel which is God's power to save (Romans 1:16). Great churches are great because of their love. The church at Philippi was a loving church. They were encouraged to abound in love (Philippians 1:9). Great churches have members who love God with all their hearts, souls and minds (Matthew 22:37). Great churches are filled with folks who love the truth and will not compromise it (Psalm 119:24, 97). Great churches are made up of those who love the lost and reach out to them with the saving message of Jesus (John 3:16; James 5:20).

Great churches consist of Christians who live their faith every day. We cannot be God's children while living like the devil's offspring. Our conduct must reflect our relationship to Christ. We are called to live a life becoming of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:27). In great churches, sin is exposed and the saints are called to live distinctive lives in Christ (Titus 2:12).

Great churches do not cater to the felt needs of the masses. Instead, great churches address the real needs of the lost. A sick man doesn't need a doctor to tell him that he is well. He needs one who will diagnose his problem and provide a cure. Man's problem is sin, and Jesus Christ is the only remedy. Spiritual problems are not solved with softball and socializing. They call for faith, repentance, baptism and godly living! And great churches will preach that message faithfully.

The Case for the Existence of God
by Bert Thompson & Wayne Jackson
paperback, 82 pages
$4.95 + S&H           Order: rushmore@gospelgazette.com

Copyright 2002 Louis Rushmore. All Rights Reserved.
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