Monday, November 21, 2022
1 Peter 4:17 “For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God;”
Some people believe that the measuring stick of success for a church is attendance. Others believe it is finances. Still others believe it’s facility. All are wrong because all are based on man’s perspective. If we are to use the right standard to measure the success of the church, we must use the one Christ designed. After all, He is the Head of the church.
There are many indicators of church health. If it were up to me, a successful church would be measured by the preaching of truth. But that would not be a complete analysis because it eliminates so many other aspects of body life. Not everyone is an eye. Not everyone is a nose, although far too many are nosey.
However, after considering all the characteristics of a healthy church like faithfulness, humility, servant-hearted people with sacrificial spirits, great teaching, cheerful generosity, effective programs, inspiring worship, Godly leadership, and countless others, I must confess that there are two that stick out above all the rest. The reason is that they were the commands of Jesus for every individual in His church. I’m talking about His Great Commandment and His Great Commission.
One day Jesus was in a conversation with some teachers of the law. Attempting to trap Him, one of them asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” Jesus responded by saying this – “The most important one is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Let me repeat – there is no commandment greater than these.
Then, as Jesus prepared to leave this earth and go back to the right hand of His Father from where He now reigns supreme, He gave His followers another command. This command does not supplant the previous ones. It is the living expression of the first two. He said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
My dear friends, all the plans you have for your church will be of absolutely NO SIGNIFICANCE if we are not as individuals completely surrendered to Jesus Christ so that He lives in and through us. Only then will we be healthy and able to fulfill the Great Commandment and Great Commission. There has never been nor will there ever be any other measuring stick for the health of a church.
It is my prayer that for the rest of this week, as a prelude to the rest of your life, that you will fall on your knees before Jesus Christ, the Lord of your life, and renew your commitment to His commands and commission. When we come together as the Body of Christ we do so as a people who live for the glory of Jesus and do His work of connecting others to God by loving them, serving them, and growing them.