I have had quite a crazy couple of months. In all, I have traveled over 10,000 miles, been to about a dozen different states, and candidated at a number of churches. In the end, God lead me to pastor the Willseyville Community Baptist Church in Willseyville, NY. But, what I have learned along the way has been invaluable. I have come to discover that there are really three key ingredients that are necessary for a church to thrive and grow:
1. Faith – We must have our beliefs grounded in the Word of God. If our message isn’t right, then all of the church’s efforts are in vain.
2. Family – We, as Christians, must understand that we are all part of the family of God. And, with that, we ought to act like a family, not like enemies. Very few things will deter people from a church quicker than the reputation of backbiters and gossipers in the church. We must have unity and function as a close knit family.
3. Friendship – We must show ourselves friendly to those who are not part of the church. I have found that most people won’t care what you have to say until have built a relationship with them. The better the relationship, the more open they are to hearing what you have to say.
All three of these ingredients are necessary for a thriving church and I believe you can see this patterned in the New Testament. If you lack faith, your efforts are in vain. If you lack family, the institution will self destruct. If you lack friendship, your outreach will be crippled and the great cause of Christ suffers.
May we, as Christians, strive to follow the example of Christ and exhibit a Christ-like spirit in all that we do and say!!