Today @The Gathering we finished up our current series, “We Don’t Do Fear,” with a talk entitled “Let’s Make A Ding In The Universe.”
The mantra that was introduced is the branding statement for The Gathering, or what we want people to be able to say is simply, “The Gathering is a great church I love going to.”
In order to fulfill that goal we have to define what a great church is.
Today we defined a great church according to the teachings in the book of Acts.
1. A great church is about new life. It’s transformative. People can’t go without being changed for good.
2. A great church is about anonymous generosity. Remember the story of Ananias and Sapphira when they lied about their giving in order to make themselves seem more important. God doesn’t tolerate pride in or out of His church.
3. A great church is about engaging the outsider. It’s amazing how many times in the book of Acts it talks about great multitudes and great numbers of people being converted. The most important people in any church are the people who are not there yet.
4. A great church is about being misunderstood. Early church was. That’s what brought about their persecution. Are churches understood today or even taken seriously? Statistics tell us most churches have no impact on current culture. They simply can’t be misunderstood. It’s too sad when the only time we make headlines is through a controversy, a split, or a blow-up.
5. A great church is about numbers. This is controversial for most people. I heard someone say this past week, “I don’t like mega-churches. They’re too big.” And then they followed that up by saying, “I go to a church that is a nice size.” And then I wondered, “What size is that?” What if we took that attitude in our churches and we turned people away because we’re already at a “nice size.” Bottom line: No one can determine how big a local church is going to be; not marketing, not a great speaker, not wonderful organization; only God through His Holy Spirit as He draws people together. Let’s quit worrying about how many is too many, or how few is too few and let’s start worrying about numbers because numbers represent people, and people always count with God.
We finished up with our three goals of a great church.
• Goal #1: To be the church gathered in worship.
• Goal #2: To build the kingdom as we’re scattered in service.
• Goal #3: To r<font color=”#00ff00″>un to the battle. And remember that the battle is not political, educational, philosophical, or social. It is for the hearts and souls of men and women. It is profoundly a spiritual battle. And to say it’s a spiritual battle doesn’t lessen its importance.
Next week we’ll begin a brand new series called “Chasing Balance,” seven positive principles for your pressure-packed life.