Summary: A series looking at many aspects of a healthy church.
What Makes a Church Effective
September 13, 2015
Over the next several weeks we’re going to be looking at the church. We’re going to look at how the church works, what makes a church effective, how to deal with conflict, commitment; and issues of giving time and money.
My hope in this series is that it will grab you and get your spirit, heart, mind and body excited about the church. In some ways, it’s not easy to preach about the church because we all come at the church in many different ways . . . with many different backgrounds and attitudes about the church. But there are some factors that cannot be denied.
So . . . with that in mind, today I’m asking this question ~
What makes a church effective?
It’s really a simple question and the answer is not as complicated as we think! Of course, we complicate the answer! So — what’s makes a church effective?
Is it having perfect biblical doctrine?
Is it dotting all of our I’s and crossing all of our T’s?
Is it making sure we read the correct version of the Bible?
Is it having the proper church governance and by-laws?
Is it making sure we have a perfectly paved parking lot?
Is it making sure every sermon leads us to laughter and tears?
Is it making sure every worship has a song everyone knows?
What is it that makes a church effective?
Maybe if your pastor is wearing a nice spiffy suit?
Or could your pastor be just as effective preaching the Word of God in a pair of ripped up jeans?
I can ask lots and lots of questions, in fact this entire message can be question after question — — — about what makes a church effective. Today, I’m going to answer that question. I really think it’s pretty simple. It’s not rocket science. Although some try to make it into rocket science, but honestly it’s not. I can give you the answer and we can leave. YES? No!
Yet, the answer is packed with more potential issues because . . . afer all . . . we’re human and we’re sinners . . . and we mess up more often than we think we do. Let’s look at one of the reminders we have from Paul about the church.
In Ephesians 4 ~ Paul writes . . .
1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,
2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call —
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
You’ll notice the most prominent word in this passage! It is the word ONE. A simple, short little, yet powerful word. Unfortunately in the church the word ONE is often misused. One becomes the focus of too many people in the church, not the ONENESS of the church, but the wants of the one member or attendee. The church then becomes a battleground because people are fighting for what ONE person wants, as opposed to the good of the entire church. They don’t look at the church as ONE body, as Paul refers to it, instead it is viewed with ONE person in mind.
As a result, the church suffers, and when the church suffers, the kingdom suffers, and oftentimes the world around us hears about the issues of the ONE and thinks to themselves, “No way do I want to be associated with that church,” and even worse, “No way do I want to be associated with that God they worship.”
Paul is very clear, in fact he uses the word ONE 8 times in this section. He calls for the unity of the church because of what?
Because our theology is Calvinist, or Armenian, or Orthodox, or Liberal, or Conservative, or Greek Orthodox?
Because we all agree the carpet in the sanctuary should be a nice powder blue?
Because we all agree on the signs and timing of the rapture?
NO! NO! NO!
I really don’t think God is going to look at us when we die and ask what our theology of the End Times is going to be . . . He’s not going to ask ~
Well, Michael . . . Were you
Pre-millenial Pre-trib / post trib
OR . . .
Michael — did you agree with baptism by immersion or infant baptism?