Sunday, we are starting a series at North Side entitled “Church Matters.” During the summer, we are going to look at what the New Testament says about what a church is and is not.
Much confusion exists today on what a church is and what a church should be doing. We hope to clarify that. Not with our opinions or thoughts, but the Word of God.
We recently got some church members together to talk about how being a part of North Side has changed their lives. It was incredible to listen to their stories:
The following questions come from Chuck Lawless’ post on “Eight Diagnostic Questions for a Church’s Health.” It is a great tool to evaluate how a church is doing:
- Is the church’s teaching based on the Bible? Ultimately, a local church is a group of believers who proclaim, teach, and live out the gospel of Jesus Christ. Where that gospel is not taught, something less than the New Testament church exists.
- Is the church a praying church? Legitimate church growth is a gift of God, who empowers His followers and draws others unto Himself. Another danger in church consulting is that we will offer solutions that are based on our ingenuity rather than God’s power.
- Is the church driven by a Great Commission focus? Many churches have become so inwardly focused that church is more about protecting the status quo than about reaching out beyond themselves.
- Is the church reaching non-believers? If the church is growing, is the growth conversion growth (nonbelievers meeting Christ) or transfer growth (“swapping sheep”)?
- Is the church keeping and discipling new believers who join? Does the church have a poor strategy for discipling new members?
- Is the church both locally and globally minded? At the risk of understatement, the world is always bigger than any local church. As many as 1.7 billion people in the world have little access to the gospel. Who will reach the unreached if the local church is focused only on itself?
- Does the church have a strategic plan for future growth? One reason the Enemy so readily succeeds in attacking churches is because he is often a better planner (Eph. 6:11) than most church leaders are. He methodically and strategically attacks the church while most churches operate from Sunday to Sunday. We are not prepared for his attacks. In the same way, most churches would not be prepared for significant growth if God were to grant it.
- Are the leaders committed to the ministry of the church? By far, the most common problem we see in unhealthy churches is poor or unfocused leadership. Leaders who are not committed to a long tenure at a church seldom lead a church to lasting growth.