God is great and greatly to be praised!
He alone deserves the praise for all that He is doing in the worldwide Body of Christ. But what great things is God doing in your local church?
Let’s talk about how GREAT He wants your church to become, in terms of quality and excellence.
The myth that says bigger is always better is an uninformed assumption. I believe your local church only deserves to be bigger if it is also getting better.
What does it look like for a local Bible-believing church to get better? A great local church focuses on growing obedience to the GREAT principles of the New Testament, which lead to better health. What will it take for your local church to go from good to great?
Let’s realize these four GREATS for optimal health.
The Great Commandment is to love God and others. You can learn about it from Matthew 22:34–40.
The Sadducees tried, and now the Pharisees have stepped up. Their trickery results in Jesus summarizing all of the Law and the Prophets in two commandments. The totality of the Old Testament is to love God and love others. It all hangs on these two.
With that, Jesus hangs us all out to dry with conviction. Christ is calling us to a wholehearted love. It’s a no-matter-what kind of love. We are told to love God with all we have and love others like we love ourselves. It’s such a tall order that we must have the Holy Spirit’s help.
However, please remember that love and church discipline go together. Loving others does not mean they get a free reign to behave however they please. That’s called enabling. Love without discipline leads to enabling poor behavior. Discipline without love leads to abuse.
The Great Commission is to make disciples and baptize each disciple. Read about this from Matthew 28:16–20.
Can you believe this?! They’ve been interacting with the resurrected Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and some people still have doubts. He got up out of the grave! Regardless of how well you think your church is doing, there will always be a few doubters and critics around. But you can just keep a made up mind to love them no matter what and keep growing.
Evangelism is not specifically mentioned in the Great Commission. It’s a presumed part of making disciples. We must reach them before we can teach them. Water Baptism is not presumed but specifically stated in our Commission. Great Churches don’t have dry baptisteries. However, the point is to understand that reaching them is only the beginning. Evangelism alone is not sufficient to fulfill the Great Commission. We must teach them to be fully obedient followers of Christ.
The Great Completion is to mature believers for ministry work. I challenge you to review the JB Phillips for wisdom from Ephesians 4:11–13.
Hopefully, you see the need for a church staffed with pastors, ministry directors, and many servants of God. The various leadership gifts are given by Christ. One of the biggest mistake we have made in recent history is getting too hung up on the titles associated with these gifts. We should be more concerned with the purpose of these gifts than the positions they hold.
The gifts are given to help Christ followers grow up and do the work of the ministry. This call is for gifted Christian leaders to empower believers using mentoring, imparting, and discipling. When the equipping ministry is functioning properly, the Great Physician uses these gifts to make any and all necessary adjustments so His Church will not be out of joint. The ongoing goal is complete maturity, which results in unity.
The Great Commitment is to pray everywhere and for everyone. Your final reading assignment comes from 1 Timothy 2:1–7.
Without this fourth great, your church cannot be the healthy church God has called it to be. The first three cannot be accomplished without this commitment.
This “first of all” helps us to see the priority of prayer. The most important meetings your church has should be regularly scheduled prayer meetings. Prayer meetings are usually the least attended while they are the most important of all. Hear what the Spirit is saying in this hour. If your local church ceases to depend on prayer, God’s blessings on your ministry efforts will begin to cease. This means prayer meetings should be well promoted and well attended.
Let me wrap this up.
If you and your leadership focus on these four, the Holy Spirit will help your church to become better and give glory to Jesus Christ.
This is what you can do to help your church grow. Get involved! Your presence matters. Regardless of what size your local church becomes, chase after the goal to become a spiritually healthy church.
I’ll leave you with a responsible word from one of my favorite childhood authors, Theodor Geisel. You probably know Him best by the recognizable handle of Dr. Seuss. He wrote, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”