Summary: What is the REAL evidence of a successful church.
The Marks Of A Successful Church
In church life there are certain things that we use as indicators of success. I went to an Evangelism Conference earlier this week. Any time you get a group of preachers together you are going to hear certain questions: Where do you pastor? How many are you running? Are you growing? As Pastors and leaders we often seem to have measures of success concerning the church. But sometimes these "measures" are superficial in nature.
You can have a church with:
o The most members,
o The highest Sunday school attendance,
o Plenty of transfer growth,
o Tons of money
o And give more to missions than anyone else .....You can have all of this and not be a successful church.
Someone asked a certain man what his church preference was, he responded, "Red brick." - Source Unknown.
Often we judge an assembly based on is appearance. Friend, God can do great things:
o In a metal building
o In a brick building
o In a storefront
o In a warehouse
o In an abandoned movie theater
o In a house
o In a big church
o In a little church
o In a mega church
God is not limited to the facilities of a church. On the flip side, you can have a massive, state of the art, brick mega church and not be a success for God. (if you don't believe me I can show you a few)
I want Stockdale Baptist to be a successful church.
o I want us to grow
o I want to see people saved
o I want to baptize people every week
o I want to increase our mission giving
I want all of those things that we normally look at as successful. But if we are to be successful we cannot measure that success by comparing associational reports. We must measure our success based on what we read in the book of Acts. In v24 we see evidence of the power possessed by the early church.
In the midst of persecution and troubles we read that the word of God grew and multiplied ¨I want to look at the testimony of this church and preach on the subject "The Marks Of A Successful Church" What are the Marks of a Successful Church?¨
The early church possessed all of these things in the midst of some very difficult circumstances.In the midst of all this "let's look at these verses and see "The Marks Of A Successful Church"
MARK # 1 - UNITY- v5 ...prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him v12 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. ........Among all the persecution that they were facing this group was united. They were joined together for the cause of Christ.
Ecclesiastes 4:9 two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.10 if one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.11 Likewise; two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? 12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
In a Peanuts cartoon Lucy demanded that Linus change TV channels, threatening him with her fist if he didn't. What makes you think you can walk right in here and take over?" asks Linus. "These five fingers," says Lucy. "Individually they're nothing but when I curl them together like this into a single unit, they form a weapon that is terrible to behold." "Which channel do you want?" asks Linus. Turning away, he looks at his fingers and says, "Why can't you guys get organized like that?" Charles Schultz.
If the church would get together it could accomplish so much more for Jesus! All throughout the book of Acts we read that the church was in one accord¨
Satan's goal for the early church was destruction, that goal remains the same today. How will Satan attempt to destroy a church? By sowing seeds of discord! How can we be successful for God? By having unity!!! David said in - Psalms 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! .........The unity that they possessed was beneficial concerning the prayer that they prayed. Notice the 2nd Mark of a Successful Church:
MARK # 2 - PRAYER v5 ...prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him"
E. M Bounds said - What the Church needs today is not better machinery, not new organizations or more novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use--men of prayer, men mighty in prayer.