This Is the Church
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. ACTS 2:42
I hope you’re already part of a church family—not as a spectator but as a committed, involved participant in a community of followers of Jesus Christ. But if you’re not, here are five things you should look for as you consider establishing yourself in a church. If you’re already an active member and any of these things are lacking in your congregation, consider what you can do and how you can be praying for these characteristics to blossom there:
1. Is it anchored in the Scriptures? Is the Bible clearly taught as the authoritative Word of God? Is the gospel of Jesus Christ the anchor, motivating you to live and proclaim the transforming grace of God in every area of
2. Does it have a sense of community? Is there a connectedness between people when the service is over on Sunday morning? Does there seem to be authenticity and honesty in the relationships?
3. Is it characterized by worship? Today’s culture is incredibly self-centered. You need an interruption in your week to jerk you out of that stream and say, “There’s something much bigger than me going on here. Life is not about me; it’s about who God is and what He’s doing.”
4. Is there opportunity for involvement? Is this a church where you’re encouraged to minister to others? One of the greatest joys of life is to be used by the Lord God Almighty in another human being’s life.
5. Does it build men? I’m not minimizing ministry to women and children, but a lot of the struggles in our families and culture could become points of victory if men were equipped with a vision for manhood and
were living it out.
Give your church—or the church you are considering—a letter grade in each of these five areas. Compare grades and talk about how you can help your church become more effective.
Pray that God will make your church experience one filled with blessing, opportunity and community.