Summary: 7 Qualities which make a church great. Link included to Formatted Text Version and Powerpoint, audio/video.
What Makes a Church Great?
"And with great power gave the apostles witness of the
resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them
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
and offered the Gospel to the Jews from many nations. The sermon
was simple, and his purpose was plain. He wanted to help people
get to Heaven.
II. THEY HAD GREAT PREACHING
Peter was an ordinary man and not really a great preacher,
but the content of his sermon was great preaching. Great preaching in the early church had a 3 fold characteristic: It exalted the Savior, it
edified the saints, and it exposed sin. These great
characteristics are present in all great sermons. [The last 2 are important: Make sure you can be lifted up by cutting the ties that hold you down.]
Three thousand people responded to the invitation and then five thousand, at a later sermon. No one can deny that this is great preaching!
III. THEY HAD GREAT POWER
The power at Pentecost was the same used at creation, to
divide the Red Sea, to keep Daniel safe in the lions’ den, and to
rescue the three Hebrew children from the fiery furnace. This
was also the same power that turned the water to wine, healed multitudes, fed the five thousand, gave sight to the blind man and raised Lazarus from the dead.
This great power is available to every Christian who will seek God