Signs Of A Good Church According To Jesus -- By: Ronald F. Satta

Journal: Journal of Ministry and Theology
Volume: JMAT 12:2 (Fall 2008)
Article: Signs Of A Good Church According To Jesus
Author: Ronald F. Satta

Signs Of A Good Church According To Jesus

Ronald F. Satta

Pastor, Webster Bible Church

Webster, New York

The evangelical church in America seems infected with mega-church mania. With the emergence of huge churches like Willow Creek, Saddleback Community, and Thomas Road, many pastors may feel insignificant in their work. Church “experts” often emphasize numerical and budgetary growth as key indicators of success. But if such factors signal effectiveness, then the Mormon Church or the Catholic Church should be ranked among the best of all churches. Yet, few evangelicals would envy their prosperity.

Although fundamental leaders rightly celebrate the blessings of God upon faithful mega-churches, size and wealth are poor criteria for evaluating good churches. The assessment offered by Christ of the seven churches in Revelation reveals different standards. Since Jesus Christ purchased the church with his own blood, he alone has the right to declare what constitutes its success. What are the signs of a good church according to Jesus? This article seeks to partly answer that question, while offering encouragement to the many pastors and church leaders who labor faithfully in congregations not quite mega-sized.

In Revelation 2 and 3, Jesus identifies a number of important qualities of a good church: doctrinal integrity, discerning love, dedication to God’s standards, dependency upon the power of God, and devoted worship.1 It is both sobering and sanctifying to realize

that Jesus knows precisely what is happening in his church (Rev 2:2, 9, 13, 19, 3:1, 8, and 15) because he stands in the midst of it (Rev 1:13 and 20) and cares deeply about it.

Doctrinal Integrity

The first characteristic Jesus praises is doctrinal integrity. This is featured in his commendation to the church at Ephesus as well as in his condemnation of Pergamos. The Ephesus congregation tested the false claims of pseudo-apostles, exposing their lies (Rev 2:2). They also examined the actions of the Nicolaitans, denouncing them as decidedly o...

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