As a church planter, I’ve learned that what you win people with you win people to. As Christians, we should be won only to three things: The Gospel, the Bible, and the Body of Christ. With that said, Christians around the world are still struggling to find a local church that meets their spiritual needs. But how should we be evaluating a church? What makes one church community more fruitful than another? In this episode, Dale and Veronica look at seven scripturally-centered criteria that can help you determine if your church is a fruitful church.
The Seven Criteria For Finding A Good Church
- Expository Teaching over Topical Teaching
- Biblical Authority over Cultural Celebrity
- Small and Strong Community over Big and Loud Community
- Biblical Elders over Financial Donors
- Discipleship Focus over Evangelism Focus
- Family Integrated over Age Segregated
- Spiritual Fruitfulness over Physical Productiveness
Key Takeaways From This Episode
- Just because a pastor has the gifts of the spirit doesn’t mean he has the fruits of the spirit. Never confuse spiritual giftedness with spiritual maturity. There are many captivating pastors who preach spiritual truths they have failed to teach themselves. Jesus called them hypocrites.
- You’re not looking for consumer Christianity. You’re looking for contributor Christianity.
- When you have committed community, you don’t need the crowds. Crowds aren’t necessarily bad but they do make it easier to hide and more difficult to connect. It’s amazing that churches across America are aiming for crowds and then wonder why nobody feels close.
- The Western Church has turned the internal meeting of the saints into external work of evangelism.
- When churches become seeker focused, they typically become doctrinally unfocused.
- We can confuse spiritual activity with spiritual fruitfulness. Just because a church has lots of programs and classes and people doesn’t mean it’s yielding good fruit.
- Acts 20:26-27 “Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.”
- James 5:16 “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
- Hebrews 13:17 “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”
- Ephesians 4:11-12 “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ…”
- 1 Corinthians 14:26 “How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.”
- Ephesians 6:4 “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
- The National Center for Family Integrated Churches.
- Is Youth Ministry Biblical? Or, Is It An Experiment That’s Hurting The Church?
Ultimately, we each have to take the responsibility and time for finding the church that God has for us. After watching or listening to this episode, what is your opinion? Do you have any questions or comments? Maybe you have something to add to the discussion? If so, let us know in the comments below.