Every New Year’s Sunday I like to preach a “State of the Union” message – examining who we are as a church family, how we need to change and where we want to go, Lord willing, in the coming year.
Because of the amount of growth we have experienced over the past year, I decided to broaden that topic a little and look at Grace Fellowship Church as a whole, asking the question, “Why do we do church the way we do?”
The obvious Scripture to teach from was Acts 2:42-47. Although the characteristics listed here are not exhaustive, they do make a neat summary of 6 foundational marks of an authentic church. A church, of course, is a group of saved people... but they are a people that are devoted to something (or should we say, Someone?).
They are devoted to doctrine, fellowship, frequent observance of the Lord’s Supper, all kinds of praying, a developing and genuine personal spirituality in each member and evangelism.
With all the distractions of conferences, activities, "purposes," "days," events and such, it is no wonder that in many churches these foundational things are the very essentials that are missing! Give me a group of people committed to truly living lives devoted to these 6 activities and I say, “Watch out!”
Let me encourage you – seek to do a few excellent, essential things well, rather than a lot of decent things poorly! And structure your church so that these things become a priority in the lives of all the members.