They have testified to your love before the church. (3 John 1:6 NRSV)
Peter Wagner, a church growth expert, took a survey of hundreds of pastors. His intent was to compile a list of measurable factors in the life of congregations that said this is a quality church. Here are the twelve factors the survey turned up:
1. Bible knowledge. Church members are increasing in their grasp of the teachings of the Bible. They can integrate this with a theological system that enables them to apply the Bible's teachings to their life situation.
2. Personal devotions. Members spend time daily in prayer, Bible reading, meditation, and other personal spiritual exercises.
3. Worship. Members regularly participate in the worship services scheduled by the church.
4. Witnessing. Members regularly attempt to share their faith in Jesus Christ with unbelievers.
5. Lay ministry. The lay people of the church are engaged in such ministries as teaching and discipling. In some cases this happens through consciously discovering, developing, and using their spiritual gifts.
6. Missions. The church actively supports missions, organizing and sustaining a strong program for recruiting, sending, and financing home and foreign missionaries.
7. Giving. Members give an appropriate portion of their income to the local church and/or to other Christian causes.
8. Fellowship. Members are growing in their personal relationships with each other through regular participation in church fellowship groups of one kind or another.
9. Distinctive lifestyle. Members generally manifest their faith in Christ by living a lifestyle clearly and noticeable distinct from that of non-Christians in the same community.
10. Attitude toward religion. Church members regard their involvement in the church primarily as a service to God rather than a means to fulfill personal needs.
11. Social service. Members are serving others outside the congregation. This includes direct personal involvement with the poor and needy, or in programs designed to help the needy.
12. Social justice. Either through the congregation as a whole or through specialized Christian agencies, members are striving to make changes in sociopolitical structures that will contribute to a more moral and just society.
How are you and your church doing?
God of peace, help me to build a quality church. In Jesus name, Amen.
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