The Challenge of Church Unity

After all, the cult of the Next Big Thing is always the assertion of a new generation of emerging adults.  Movements are largely youth-driven, whereas institutions are usually run by elders.  The challenge, especially in the church where we are drawn together in Christ from different ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, and generations, is to be “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 69

We Do Not Need More

In church today, we do not need more conferences, more programs, and more celebrities.  We need more churches where the Spirit is immersing sinners into Christ day by day, a living communion of the saints where we cannot simply jump to our favorite chapter or Google our momentary interest.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 34

Four Things in the Book of Acts About the Church that Amazed the Community

There are at least four things we find in the book of Acts about the church that “amazed” the community.  Each of these put the gospel on display.  Each of these will be present in a gospel-centered congregation.

  1. Love and unity in the church
  2. Generosity
  3. Joy in the midst of persecution
  4. Miraculous answer to prayer

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 229-

Three Qualities of a “Gospel-Centered” Church

I’m going to give you three qualities of a “gospel-centered” church.  Unfortunately, I think the examples of churches who model all three are very few:

  1. In a gospel-centered church, preaching the message of the gospel is the priority.
  2. In a gospel-centered church, the emphasis of the message is more on what Christ has done than what we are to do.
  3. In a gospel-centered church, the members demonstrate the beauty of the gospel in the community.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 221-228

What You Should be Doing for God…

So here are a few thoughts to help you get started in what you should be doing for God:

  1. Start with the needs right in front of you.
  2. Carefully evaluate how your vocational talents can be leveraged for God’s Kingdom
  3. Ask what your local church is doing that you can be involved in.
  4. Consider whether there is some area of passion or interest growing in you.
  5. Listen to what other believers say about your giftedness.
  6. Be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 216-217

Grace vs. Retaliation

Christ loved the church by receiving her hurtful blows and offering only love in response.  His grace toward the church did not find, but made, the church beautiful.  This produced in the church a love for Him that could never have been produced through retaliation.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 118