PATHWAYS TO FAITH

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Helping Your Church Be Successful!

We have looked often at why so many local churches are perceived to be failing. It is true that many local churches are losing members and seeing decreased attendance by their remaining members. This is due to many factors we have discussed in earlier articles concerning why churches fail. According to Dr. Richard J. Krejcir the three principle reason for the local churches losing the support of their members are (1) the members do not know the Bible, (2) members are not involved in the works of the ministry, and (3) members are not spiritually affected by the teachings of Christ. Dr. Krejcir is emphatic when stressing that the local churches are not teaching the Bible in a relevant way and the members are not showing visitors and each other the kind of love and hospitality demonstrated by Christ when He lived here in the earth. You as a church member can help your church be successful in achieving God’s mission given to the church. Now let’s turn our attention to the churches that are experiencing success. When these 1,000 churches were studied, Dr. Krejcir found that the successful churches were Christ-centered with their doctrine and practices focused on leading people to Christ while showing them the Christ in us. This wonderful study concludes with seven significant factors that were evident in the successful churches. “1. The number one reason people come and bring other people to a church is the love, compassion and the genuine display of Christian values. (This is why the Mormon Church grows, even with aberrant and cultic doctrine; people will look past that when they feel really loved. 2. The number two reason people stay a part of a church is the teaching aptitude of the pastor to stimulate spiritual knowledge and growth. The best growing churches in the world have solid, biblical preaching at their core. 3. The number one reason people will stop going to any church is because of conflict within the body and gossip about others among the members! Healthy churches have a plan to recognize and then resolve conflict and to address the sin of members through the teaching and preaching of the pure word of God. 4. The number one reason people are stimulated to serve (in ministry) is because the Bible is taught in a real, effectual, relevant and applicable way. They want to relate to God’s word and apply it in a real way to their lives. 5. The primary reason individuals grow spiritually is by being encouraged to read through the Bible, do devotions, and practice the disciplines of the faith as modeled by the early church leadership. These churches equip and disciple their people, not just in the basics of the faith, but also in how to live as Christians in their daily lives. They are taught to live their lives to give glory to Almighty God! The pastors and leaders strive to teach and model passionate Spirituality. 6. The reason a church is effective in its outreach and missions is because of its real, authentic, teaching, praise and worship. Churches that genuinely worship God in Spirit and truth are also deeply involved in leading others to Christ through intensive outreach ministry and discipleship. There is a direct correlation between authentic ministry, service and authentic worship! 7. Healthy churches that are growing in Christ have prayer as a primary focus from the pulpit to the boardroom and deeply imbedded in their personal lives. These churches operate in and with an organized and intensive focus on prayer as an integral part of their faith. These healthy churches are prayerful in all aspects of church life and ministry. They are reliant upon God’s power and the authority of His Word to minister well to His sheep. When we evaluate the success or failure of our local churches, I believe Dr. Krejcir’s “Significant Seven” provides an excellent set of indicators we can use to evaluate the Spiritual and natural health of our local congregational churches.

Dr. Holley is the Senior Pastor at Pathways Christian Fellowship in Bradenton, Florida. Contact Dr. Holley at Wholley777@aol.com. WWW.Pathcfc.org.

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