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Summary:

* Let God's character be your standard and source for how your church defines greatness. Many churches fall into the trap of thinking that greatness is found in large numbers. David wrote, "Thine is the greatness and the power and the glory and victory and the majesty." (I Chron. 28:11,12) Ask the Lord to help you bring people to worship the Lord for His greatness and they will help your church be great.

* Avoid the temptations to follow the world's standards of great programs to entertain people. It is easy to think that your church is great because people are turning out to see your fabulous entertainment. The first century church did not have great entertainment, but met the spiritual needs of people in contextual ways that provided essential services. Ask the Lord to help you distinguish between essential services and entertaining programs that merely provide titillating emotions.

* Trust the Lord to help your members find their greatness in their unity of purpose, identity, and empowerment found in the Holy Spirit. There are many fellowships that find their unity in their ethnicity, their history or their mutual interests. The first century church found their unity through the apostles teaching, prayer and sharing their possessions with one another. Ask the Lord to help you build unity through what you have in the body of Christ rather than mere human common denominators.

* Realize that your church is in the process of becoming great by speaking the truth in love in a way that allows people to grow in all aspects into Christ. Success is never ending and failure is never final. Too many fellowships try to rely on past greatness or the greatness of the Pastor or a successful evangelistic crusade. The early church walked in the light and enjoyed fellowship with one another in the midst of great persecutions from the Roman rulers. They knew that God's Holy Spirit is in the continual process of making them great individually as well as corporately.

* Thank God that your church can be great through the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control of your people. Many large fellowships are cold to visitors since the members bask in the thought that they belong to a great church. Ask the Lord to help you to be involved with a fellowship of people that is great because of the overflowing fruitfulness of the Spirit's qualitative fruit.

* Learn to measure the greatness of your church when it is growing quantitatively because of how the Spirit of God enables people to help fulfill the great commission. Do not have the mis-perception that your church can be small and still great if the members are not seeking to obey all that Christ commanded. Ask the Lord to help your people grow in their willing to obey Christ's great commandment (Luke 10:27) and His great commission. (Matt. 28:18-20) Remember that Jesus promised, "Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men." God has called us to fishers of men not just keepers of the aquarium.

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