A church is like a ship, there is no success if it wanders aimlessly. It has to have goals of places to go, things to accomplish. So our goals are very important to define from the authority of Scripture, not pragmatically with what “appears” to work.
What is Success? (coming) – We begin here with defining what the church is to accomplish, which in a nutshell is the work of God, the will of God. First the work of God. The work of God is the salvation of the world. God doesn’t force anybody to be saved. Likewise his workers must voluntarily do his work. Success for us is not the same as the world. Fame, money, big structures and lots of people are not our goals. Fidelity to God’s doctrine and pattern of working are the essential elements of success for us. False prophets have always been condemned in Scripture, even though they have large followings and a measure of worldly success.
Size Matters – So many pastors are setting their goals in terms of size. Big is best. What they don’t admit is that big means lots of income and in their thinking, luxury for them personally, and easiness in terms of their own church budget. But this is wrong thinking. A church needs to consider how well it does God’s will.
I know I am a missionary and people will fault me for this, but big churches should proportion their budgets to certain level, and when they are over that level, invest in the salvation of souls wholly. By this, they should be supporting hundreds of missionaries, and not in small insignificant amounts. They should also have groups of evangelists on staff that do nothing more than go out in their area to win people to the Lord. Likewise they should identify smaller churches that are struggling and throw 3-4 evangelists into those works to just win souls for Christ.
Methods Matter (coming) – Many people say methods are neutral and God doesn’t care how we do his work as long as we do it. This is wrong. Moses fell for this lie from the devil, and he struck the rock instead of speaking to it. God chastised him for it.
The Indigenous Church (coming) – As hinted at above, this is the three selfs. A church has to support itself financially; it has to reproduce itself; it has to govern itself. Denominations were set up to control churches offering financial help among other kinds of help in return to slavery. This is not the biblical pattern.
Making of a man of God (coming) – We need to understand thoroughly the process of making of a man of God. We need to work the principles, and desire and pray for the making of true men of God to carry forward the work of the Lord.
Marks of a Biblical Church – One of our best attacks against false prophets and one of our best guiding principles is to always keep a focus on what is a biblical church versus what is an unbiblical church.
Marks of an unbiblical Church – Here we look at the inverse of the above point. We define what we DON’T want to become.
Leaving a Bad Church – As a pastor, I want my people to clearly know what a biblical pastor and church should be, defining it as exactly as Scripture allows, and to target and attack what is a wrong, or bad church. Our people move to other churches with time, and our own church leadership changes over time as people retire and die, and our people need to know when to leave a church.
Before you join a Church – Following the above point, once a person leaves a church for whatever reason, they need to know what to look for in a good church, and they need criteria for judging what a church is according to the Bible.
Spiritual Watchcare – Spiritual watchcare is the local church leadership caring for the flock of God under their care. This includes a personal one-on-one level of examination of a Christian’s problems, and resolving them with that person.
Church Growth – The Church Growth movement is insane, unhealthy, and stark raving mad simply put. They abandon what God says and the examples of church functioning and growth in the New Testament to establish their own hairbrain ideas. A biblical church needs to return to Scripture to get a grip on how it should be growing.
Christian Maturity – One of the goals of the church is to develop mature Christians. We need to define what this is, how to recognize it, how to achieve it, etc.
Pastoral Removal – Our understanding is incomplete and faulty if we think that Satan will not get his men into the pastor position of a church. We need an apparatus of how to biblically remove such a person.