An Effective Church (part 1)

August 22, 2011 — 3 Comments

Churches need to play a significant role in our community in order to save lost souls.

To serve lost souls churches must be effective, but what makes up an effective church? There are a few things that I believe the church should be and do in order to play a key role in saving souls and helping people authentically live as Christ followers. From my own personal experience of what God has done in my life, from reading the Bible, and from observing my own church, I believe there are three core elements that allow a church to be effective. I believe a church needs to be led well, it should have solid Bible-based teaching, and it should show love to the community. These three elements of an effective church in a community can be deduced from a small passage in the book of Acts that shows us how the early church performed ministry in an effective way. Let us start by taking a look into the early Christian church in chapter six of Acts.

In the book of Acts there is a lot happening. Jesus has died, risen from the dead, been taken up into heaven, the day of Pentecost comes and with it comes the Holy Spirit, and the apostle Peter delivers an amazing sermon that saves 3,000 souls. Then, the early apostles begin to experience some opposition from religious leaders.[1] The result is that the religious leaders release the apostles, and we can now read what they do after being released starting in Acts 5:42:[2]

And every day, in the Temple and from house to house, they continued to teach and preach this message: “Jesus is the Messiah.” But as the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. The Greek-speaking believers complained about the Hebrew-speaking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers. They said, “We apostles should spend out time teaching the word of God, not running a food program. And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility. Then we apostles can spend our time in prayer and teaching the word.” Everyone liked this idea, and they chose the following: Stephen (a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit), Phillip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas of Antioch (an earlier convert to the Jewish faith). These seven where presented to the apostles, who prayed for them as they laid their hands on them. So God’s message continued to spread. The number of believers greatly increased in Jerusalem, and many of the Jewish priests were converted too.[3]

This passage of scripture contains massive implications for local churches today if we study it. When studying this passage it shows us 1) how and why the church should be led well; 2) how important biblical teaching is; and 3) how the combination of a well led church with solid teaching allows God’s love to be shown in the community. Rather than you simply trusting me about each these three observations from Acts, let us take some time to examine each of them. The starting point of the church ministering effectively to the community is by being led well.


[1] Please note that when I use the word “apostles,” I am using it in the context of the 12 disciples (minus Judas) that are now the current leaders of the early church.

[2] The passage of scripture we are studying is Acts 5:42 through Acts 6:7. However, for simplicity sake, throughout this paper I will refer to the passage as “chapter six of Acts.”

[3] Acts 5:42-6:7 (New Living Translation)

 

Christopher L. Scott

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Christopher Scott is Small Groups Pastor at Rocky Hilly Community Church in Exeter, CA. He has more than ten years of experience leading volunteers, running nonprofit programs, and teaching the Bible in small group settings. He holds a bachelor's degree from Fresno Pacific University and master's degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I also may have received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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