• Chris Steele

The True Measure of a Church

Be Strong, Be Well — Sunday, January 24, 2021

Foreign missions often report how eager people are to hear and obey the gospel. It’s hard to imagine the large number of those baptized and new congregations established. We hear of campaigns on the home front with many baptisms as well. Even now in the world-wide pandemic, the church grows, but at a slower pace.

The true strength of a congregation is not measured by large numbers, the size of the contribution, or the beautiful building the church owns and maintains. The true measure and strength of a congregation is spiritual and made by God through His word. Whatever we do in this process, He alone deserves the praise, honor and glory!

We sometimes pride ourselves in an increase in our attendance or contribution, but we must understand our true strength as a congregation is measured by the spiritual development of every individual Christian. Each one of us together make up the church.

“For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ...Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually” (1 Corinthians 12:12, 27).

After speaking of edification and unity within the body, the church, Paul said, “but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:15–16).

He also said, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).

We should be careful not to get caught up in the business of comparing ourselves with other congregations. Instead, for those who work and worship together here in this place, why don’t we express our gratitude to God and one another as we strive for peace and harmony in the body of Christ.

Real church growth is keeping busy in spiritual matters, studying the word and growing in faith, and frequently expressing our love and appreciation for one another. May we “...grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18). —Chris

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