By: Waylon Bailey ~
I love the church, and I often think about what it needs.
I am currently preaching through Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians. It is fascinating to see what he believed the church needed.
It is also interesting to see how he emphasized the unity of the church along with church health and maturity. The wise pastor must be about the unity, health, and maturity of the church.
What is it that is essential to the life and ministry of the church? Here are three “musts” I see that every church needs.
First, the church needs to be soundly built on Christ and His Word.
Many people would say that it’s hard to be a church that doesn’t base itself on Scripture and make Christ it’s Lord. I would be one of those who would say it is impossible to be the church without Christ at the center and the work of God at the heart of the church.
Only when we focus on God’s Word do we understand what God wants and expects of the church and why all of this matters deeply to God.
Second, every church needs to welcome all people to the fellowship of the people of God.
Jesus established His church for a reason. He wanted you to be the fellowship of the people of God and to live together with Christ as the head of the church.
God desires that all should be saved and that no one should perish. This implies that the church must be about people who are yet to know God personally.
Jesus did not establish his church to be a clique. He established it to take the gospel to all the world and to all people everywhere.
Finally, I believe it is essential for every church to have a central purpose and a long term perspective.
Having a purpose statement helps the people of the church stay on the same page.
For example, the purpose statement of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, is: “We exist to help people know and accept Jesus Christ and through Him to experience life changing relationships.”
When people know and appropriate the purpose of the church, the unity of the church is built up.
The long-term perspective is equally important. It means that you look for what God can do through the church for the kingdom of God. The long-term perspective helps you not get lost in the moment but looking always toward the future.
Churches have to always be reminded of what God is doing and how He wants us to work with Him to accomplish His purpose.
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Have great week!