Over the next few weeks, the Lord willing, we will be discussing habits of highly effective churches. When I developed this series a few years ago, it entailed seven habits. It subsequently expanded to eight habits. Who knows? By the time we finish discussing it here, we may come up with a few additional habits of highly effective churches. You should know that I’ve drawn from several sources in putting this series together. I’ll share these as we move forward in our discussions.
There are several reasons why this conversation seems to be needed:
- The church, Christ’s body, the kingdom of God, is His chosen instrument through which His redemptive and sanctifying work continues. (cf. Ephesians 4:1-16; Philippians 1:3-6; and Colossians 1:15-23)
- Ineffective churches fall short of their heavenly calling and deny Christ the glory due Him! (cf. Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:10; 3:9-10; 3:13-19; 3:20-21 and Revelation 2:1-7)
- There are so many misconceptions, we must be sure we are fulfilling our kingdom calling and walking in step with the Spirit:
- Many have bought into the prevalent “Bigger is Better” philosophy.
- Some believe the way to be effective is to “give the people what they want.”
- Others, choose the counter-course, intimating that cutting-edge churches must surely be doing something wrong.
What is an “effective” church?
First, the word effective might connote unintended ideas. This is not a “how to get the results you want” series. We are not merely questing for quantifiable results, which are reflected by bigger buildings and budgets. Instead, we want to look at this idea qualitatively.
What does the Bible say are some of the identifiable and reproducible practices of God-honoring, life-changing, soul-saving, mission-minded and disciple-making churches?
Two thought provoking examples:
What made these churches “effective”? Obviously, we can’t speak with absolute certainty. But, it does seem there are some observables here. Among them are:
- Vital connectedness with God
- Healthy relationships with one another
- Humble service to others
- Faithful witness to the world
In short, effective churches are characterized by healthy environment which fosters spiritual formation and are continuously cultivating a missional mentality with respect to the world.
Well, that’s a start. Before we dive into the discussion of the habits, we will spend a little time talking about some of our greatest challenges (or obstacles), when it comes to forming highly effective churches. What do you think so far?
© Bill Williams