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What Makes a Church Great?

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Sermon shared by Jerry Shirley

May 2005
Summary: 7 Qualities which make a church great. Link included to Formatted Text Version and Powerpoint, audio/video.
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
What Makes a Church Great?
Acts 4:33

http://gbcdecatur.org/sermons/GreatChurch.html

"And with great power gave the apostles witness of the
resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them
all."--Acts 4:33.

I believe this is a great church! God is doing great things! But there is greater still to come…revival is in progress, but it needs to continue and grow…mercy drops need to give way to showers of blessing!

What is a great church? Some like a big church, some a small church. [you have to wonder about the ones who want to stay small, not reaching out!] Some like a country church, some a city church…I’ve been in both. I’m glad we have all types around here and all are welcome!

You might be in a country church if:
The Call to Worship is ,"Y’all come on in!"
The Preacher says, "I’d like to ask Bubba to pray for the
offering" - and five guys stand up.
Opening day of deer hunting season is recognized as an
official church holiday.
A member requests to be buried in his truck
because, "I ain’t never been in a hole it couldn’t get me out of".
Never in its entire 100-year history has one of its pastors had
to buy any meat or vegetables.
A singing group is known as "The O.K. Chorale."
There’s dried tobacco juice down both sides of the church van.
The church directory doesn’t have last names.
The only time people lock their cars in the parking lot is during the
summer and only so no one leaves them another bag of tomatoes!
Baptism is referred to as "branding."
There is a special fund-raiser for a new septic tank.
Finding and returning lost sheep is not just a parable.
High notes on the organ set dogs in the parking lot to howling.
People wonder when Jesus fed the 5,000 whether the two
fish were bass or catfish.

This great church at Jerusalem is our God-given example of
"how to do it." These folk got in touch with Heaven, received
their orders and the power to carry them out and please God. In
this day, when hundreds of churches are like dead batteries,
giving out their sermonettes to Christianettes by preacherettes
so they can get out and smoke their cigarettes, we need some
“prophets” who will stand up like the Rock of Gibraltar and build a
mighty fortress for God.
Let me share with you seven things that made the early New
Testament church one of the greatest the world has ever known.

I. THEY HAD A GREAT PURPOSE
Their purpose was to obey the Savior. Jesus had asked them
to tarry in the Upper Room. He said, "But tarry ye in the city
of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high" (Luke
24:49). Obedience is always a vital link to power and blessing
from God. Someone has said, "Ours is not to reason why; ours is but to do or die."
Then, their purpose was to obtain the promise. The promise,
of course, was the blessed Holy Spirit. Jesus had promised in
Acts 1:8, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost
is come upon you . . ." This promise is made to every person
who desires to receive it from the Lord.
Their purpose was to offer the Gospel. They were to be
witnesses . . ."both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in
Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8).
Peter stood before the great crowd in the streets of Jerusalem
Comments and Shared Ideas
William Bray
July 26, 2014
I'm bringing the discussion back to life! The joke was funny then, and still funny now! Great sermon, and though the NT church of Paul's time, was not the greatest, something tells me they are still a usable example to get the point across, I really enjoy your sermons and insights Bro. Jerry, if your still with us, then keep up the good work!
The opening joke played well at my church because we are regular ''country folk'', blue collar. It may be offensive in some venues...

May 13, 2011
As an active member of a very small rural church in WV, the comments made are insulting to the multiple thousands that serve for years in their communities. Our church of 26 (read that means less than 6 actually work!)regularly run outreaches that touch over 300 people in our community. The points may be good, but generalizations are never.
Bro. Jerry - This sermon will have its place in Sermon Central Hall of Fame. I''m so glad you began with a Church needing to know its purpose. This is why many Churches do not minister for Jesus any longer.
Bro. Jerry - This sermon will have its place in Sermon Central Hall of Fame. I''m so glad you began with a Church needing to know its purpose. This is why many Churches do not minister for Jesus any longer.
The early church would not have been considered "great" in Paul''s estimation. Why else would he write to them about a man sleeping with his step mom, eating idol meat, sexual immorality, divisions in the church, taking each other to court. As my seminary prof said, people should stop lifting up the NT church as the ideal because it was nowhere near perfect.
The early church would not have been considered "great" in Paul''s estimation. Why else would he write to them about a man sleeping with his step mom, eating idol meat, sexual immorality, divisions in the church, taking each other to court. As my seminary prof said, people should stop lifting up the NT church as the ideal because it was nowhere near perfect.
Hal Tevebaugh
March 15, 2011
Jerry, as usual your sermon was excellent. Your 7 points, humor, stories, everything...keep up the great work my friend!!!
Charles Harelson
January 14, 2011
Your my kind of preacher, truefull and honest. The points don''t hurt if you sitting in the right place. Thanks Jerry
Anthony Skala of Ebenezer United Baptist Church
October 11, 2010
Your Comments As a former pastor of a small country church I take exception to your humor. Even though the church was small they did big things to serve the community it was in.
Shane Lewis
January 19, 2008
Jerry, God has given you a tremendous gift of balance in your preaching content. It is my privilege to count you as my friend. Great sermon!
Revd Dr P. Frederick Sathia Samuel
October 20, 2007
This Sermon makes the Church a missional and meaningful.Let us take a pledge to rekindle the fire of the Church back once again!
Keith Elliott
August 17, 2007
I thought your humor was a little too much in the beginning. Your seven points were exceptional.
Dr. Kenne Whitson
August 7, 2007
Great sermon and illustrations.
Dan Gottwerth
October 9, 2006
loved the opening joke. More importantly, the content was rich and biblical and practical!!

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