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  • Writer's pictureJohn Allan

What is needed for a church to be strong...

What is needed for a church to be strong, vibrant, and fruitful?

Of course, the simple answer to that question is “Follow the Bible.” But explaining all the details of following the Bible can take awhile. You’d certainly need more room than a short article.

Over the years I’ve found three guiding principles I’m convinced will help a congregation be lively and productive. These principles aren’t “the last word” on the matter, but they offer good guideposts to help any congregation that wants to be faithful to the Lord and fruitful in his service.

The three principles are simplicity, sincerity, and scripture.

First, a congregation will thrive when it is characterized by simplicity. Things are awfully complicated in the religious world. Hundreds of denominations all claim to follow Jesus but teach very different doctrines. In the Lord’s Church congregations sometimes bog themselves down with so many programs that their people and their financial resources are both exhausted.

A congregation determined to “keep it simple” will appeal to folks who simply want to know and follow the truth.

Second, a congregation needs sincerity in her members. “Going through the motions” in our worship, pretending to be happy to see people if we don’t really care for them, and hypocrisy in our lifestyles will not produce a healthy congregation.

There’s already enough insincerity in the world. Christians don’t need to add to the supply! If we are sincere in our actions and engage our hearts diligently in the Lord’s work, good things will happen!

Third, we simply must be committed to scripture. The gospel is God’s power to salvation for everyone who believes (Romans 1:16). The Lord’s word is the standard by which we will be judged (John 12:48). Respecting and following God’s word is non-negotiable. We simply must do it.

The way out of both secular and spiritual confusion is to acknowledge the authority of God’s word, and follow it faithfully. Christians must insist on going back to the Bible ourselves and encouraging others to come with us on the trip.

May we all embrace the challenge to strive for simplicity, act with sincerity, and point ourselves and others to scripture.

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