Becoming a Transformational Church1
Our vision at Living Faith is to be a transformational church, meaning that all of those who are part of our fellowship truly grow in the faith, breaking loose of the bondage of sin and destructive behavior, to become mature and fruitful followers of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:16-19; 4:13, Ephesians is a great epistle, we will have a preaching series in it after we finish the Romans series next year!).
It is the Lord’s aim that his children will grow up in him through the ministry of his church and so it is our goal and vision to be transformational. So, I want to share with you what I believe are the six(6) essentials of a transformational church, which we are pursuing in our fellowship that we might all arrive at maturity in Christ:
- Preaching and proclaiming the word. In his second letter to Timothy, Paul gave him this charge: “Preach the word.” When the word of God is preached, God’s people are exhorted, challenged, stirred, and prayerfully moved to go after the cause of Christ, to surrender their lives fully to Jesus, preaching is intended to move both our heads and our hearts.
- Teaching and explaining the word. Paul also instructed Timothy in his first letter to not neglect teaching the word, so this means that God’s people should be learners of scripture and that we should understand what the Lord is saying to us and why, how we should respond and why. This makes our faith strong and so it is not based only on emotions, while enabling us to share our faith effectively with others.
- Discipling. The great commission really centers on the call to “make disciples” (Matthew 28:19), in fact “baptizing” and “teaching them to obey” are the means Christ established for us to make disciples; but disciple-making is the goal. Sadly, few churches have a tradition of disciple-making and so unfortunately many of don’t know how to be discipled. Discipleship is not “discussion time” or even just Bible study, it is about a “discipler” pouring his or herself into the spiritual lives of those being “discipled.” This is life-on-life with the word of God, and we all need this if we are going to grow in Christ.
- Witnessing. In our church, we have recently talked about how Andrew brought his brother Simon to Jesus, and in Andrew’s example we see a wonderful model for each of us: we should naturally, joyfully, and comfortably share Christ with our family and friends. One way we share is in our actions, but it really also requires our verbally sharing the gospel to definitively lead people to Jesus and to help them know that if they see any virtue in us, it is really the character of our Savior they see.
- Serving. We are greatly impacted by service. When we serve us others, the love of Christ is shown through us and it makes us more like him, especially as we serve each other more and more. When we are served by others, the love of Christ is shown to us, which teaches us humility and reminds us that we don’t need to be self-sufficient, but the Lord is able to use others to minister to our needs.
There is certainly more to the Christian life than what is shown above, we can discuss the importance of prayer, the necessity of worship, fellowship time with the saints, and many other things; all of which are crucial to the Christian life! But the above six items, I feel were placed on my heart by the Holy Spirit, not because that they are all that’s necessary, but because I believe that as we give these six things priority, bathed in prayer and centered on worship, that we will witness the lives of our people being changed into the likeness of Jesus Christ. My sincere prayer is that you will look more and more like Him and that our church will be essential to your growth.
Serving you for Christ is my greatest privilege!
More in Perfect in Christ
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