Not sensationalism! Not gimmicks! Nor more committees, or more programs, or a “fun & games” emphasis! These things may be “right-on” for civic clubs, social clubs, and country clubs, but not for the Lord’s church!
What does it take to build a strong church? I believe the following things are essential!
1. Strong Bible preaching and teaching! God’s word, when it is disseminated plainly, forcefully, uncompromisingly, and yet kindly, will BUILD UP! Paul said, I commend you unto God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up…” Acts 20:32.
2. Exemplary leadership! Men who make themselves “examples to the flock,” and who are careful in tending it. I Peter 5:2-3. To grow, the church must have quality leadership-men who know how to lead and will do so!
3. Christian living on the part of every member! Unimpeachable conduct clearly evidenced in the lives of Christians will illuminate the way for many in the realm of darkness. Read Matthew 5:16 and Philippians 2:15.
4. Congregational warmth and love! The fellowship of the Lord’s church should be so sweet and precious that the whole community takes notice, and observes. “See how they love each other!” Without this a congregation will never be what God would have it to be!
5. Compassionate hearts! The church of Christ needs to be know as the most tender-hearted bunch of people in all the world...ready and willing to help all, and especially those of the household of faith. Galatians 6:9-10.
6. Evangelistic fervor! The emphasis of the early church was soul-winning! The church will grow when we cease not to “teach and to preach Jesus as the Christ” every day, whenever we have the opportunity! Read Acts 5:42
7. An “I want to serve” attitude permeating the congregation! People serving the Lord because they love Him, and they want to serve, and not out of a spirit of drudgery!
8. An atmosphere of happiness, friendliness, cordiality, and hospitality! No stranger should ever come into the midst of the Lord’s church without being graciously greeted and welcomed by a happy, friendly membership! We must reach out to others, and not just “visit” with friends only.
It is my conviction that these eight ingredients will build a strong church! I pray fervently that all eight will become a reality in every congregation, more than ever before.
Maxie B. Boren
(Borrowed from the Cherokee Hills Church of Christ bulletin)