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I have been ponders what qualities make up a good church.  I am refering here to the congregation one joins with on Sunday morning. 

What qualities do you look for?

Is it the character of the leadership?  How they handle their authority?

The prescence or abscence of bible based preaching?  New Testament only...or both Testaments.

The freindliness of the people and how they treat each other and the pastors?

The denomination or maybe even lack of denomination...oversight by a board or elders?  Who do the Pastors anwer too, if anyone?

The style/length of the song service if there is one?

Baptism of Holy Spirit and other languages...views on the gifts of the spirit... prophetc words.

( I know this last one could be touchy.  I am not trying to start a doctrinal debate...so please refrain and put those comments in a different discussion if you feel you must go there.)

Which of these qualities do you find important in a church?  Why?

 

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     The Church or Ekklesia is the called out ones of God.  There is so much that can be said about the subject matter, but I think this is a good starting point.  I think a good Church is communicating God's love for people through Christians loving one another in the Church and reaching out to the world with God's love through Jesus Christ.  Churches tend to have different things that they specialize in, the Church that I am a technically a member of but rarely attend has a really good homeless ministry.  The Church that I attended yesterday(EkKlesia) is a relatively new Church with a lot of potential.  I think the best thing they are doing is discipleship groups, they are still experimenting and trying to do something that works.  Tommorrow I'm going to a discipleship group meeting that is part of Life Remodeled, a one week reality tv show construction project like Extreme Makeover or Habitat for Humanity.  I was considering the marketing discipleship group, because I also have a background in finance and I am trying to market a movie over the internet, but I think the Church in general is to much into modern marketing techniques and should be more focused in worshipping God in spirit and in truth and leave the numbers increase up to God.  As far as spiritual gifts, considering what is taught in scripture,  how could there be a church without them?  When I was living in California in 2002 I went to one of these storefront churches, the pastor(I can't remember his name) just started this new church.  He had a very interesting testimony, he was a pastor of a Baptist church enjoying all the perks of being a professional holy man, like long martini lunches etc... but his speciality was speaking out against the baptism of the holy spirit-not for us any more, then God got a hold of him and brought him to his knees and humbled him and he received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Besides for the church he is a pastor of, he is a professor of theology at San Francisco State University and he teaches on the baptism of the holy spirit at this secular university.

     If you want to gain greater insight into the Church, I think the book of Ephesians is a good book to read.  Paul's letters are usually about correcting heresy and other things that do not conform to sound doctrine, Ephesians is about the institution of the Church and also has practical instruction for Christian living.  

What ya all think of Mega Churches?
I don't like them...nor we churches that try to imitate them.
     I think mega churches can be very impersonal.  When I think of mega churches I think of the emperor Constantine.  When he supposedly became a Christian he had massive buildings built for him to worship God in, he also had Greek demagogue orators brought in to preach Christian messages to him.  Protestant Christianity is patterned after this-the mega church is an expansion of this.  Being a disciple of Jesus Christ and discipling others, is more of an apprenticeship.  The early church assembled in peoples homes and occasionly rented buildings for bigger gatherings.  

James said:
What ya all think of Mega Churches?
I think megga churches can be so big they are impersonal.   That is great only when one wants to get lost and not bond with anyone. Gee I can accomplish the same thing by staying home and listening to them on the radio or downloading an online sermon.  A lot of the cutting edge stuff comes out of megga churches.  This would be good if they were balanced and Biblically sound.  Unfortunately many are not.  Sometimes wee little churchs try to immitate this cutting edge stuff...get careless about the truth and get themselves in hot water. 

 For the most part I agree. Mega Churches are some of the fastest growing churches in America.The leaders waste many hundreds of millions of dollars living like kings by telling the faithful to pour there life savings down a rabbit hole. Makes me sick.


Steve Belttari said:

     I think mega churches can be very impersonal.  When I think of mega churches I think of the emperor Constantine.  When he supposedly became a Christian he had massive buildings built for him to worship God in, he also had Greek demagogue orators brought in to preach Christian messages to him.  Protestant Christianity is patterned after this-the mega church is an expansion of this.  Being a disciple of Jesus Christ and discipling others, is more of an apprenticeship.  The early church assembled in peoples homes and occasionly rented buildings for bigger gatherings.  

James said:
What ya all think of Mega Churches?
     Jesus said you can't serve God and mammon, for you will either hate the one and love the other.  The mega church kings serve mammon and are far from the apostle Paul who preached the Gospel for free, so that he would not abuse his power in the Gospel(1 Cor 9 vs 18).     
James said:

 For the most part I agree. Mega Churches are some of the fastest growing churches in America.The leaders waste many hundreds of millions of dollars living like kings by telling the faithful to pour there life savings down a rabbit hole. Makes me sick.


Steve Belttari said:

     I think mega churches can be very impersonal.  When I think of mega churches I think of the emperor Constantine.  When he supposedly became a Christian he had massive buildings built for him to worship God in, he also had Greek demagogue orators brought in to preach Christian messages to him.  Protestant Christianity is patterned after this-the mega church is an expansion of this.  Being a disciple of Jesus Christ and discipling others, is more of an apprenticeship.  The early church assembled in peoples homes and occasionly rented buildings for bigger gatherings.  

James said:
What ya all think of Mega Churches?

Steve, James Amen!

I'm curious James...if the far out thing happened and you darkened the door of a church what would you want it to be like?

James I understand you point about the mega churches and I think most fall exactly where you say. However, I can't argue with the quality of worship music coming out of Hillsong....could they be like one of the 7 churches in Revelations, very strong in one or more areas and missing it in others? I think most churches fall there.

What I would look for in a good church...

   * Biblical accuracy

   * Good sermons

   * Leadership with vision

   * Congregration that is connected and open to including new people

 

Today I was thinking of doing a post on Ecclesia/Church/Fellowship/People of God.  I have lots o fthoughts and have been so busy I haven't had time to share.

This is by Juanita. It fits so I copied it over.

I had a jaded eye when it came to mega church until I read the book Mega Church Myths. It was written by my good friend Warren Bird. He ghost wrote my husband's book. Warren is a really godly person who has complete integrity - he would never write something he did not believe. I came away from reading that book with a fresh way of looking at mega-churches. Yes, there have been abuses of power/wealth. But, the book also showed other cases/activities that have been blessing an incredible number of people.



My personal philosophy is this: WHERE EVER you have people, you have problems. That is why Jesus had to die for us, right? If we could simply just 'be' good people, he wouldn't have had to die. Whatever 'group' or 'organization' of people you look at - you ARE going to see problems. It is human nature. Right? That IS the good news - Christ came to help us overcome this human nature we ALL struggle with. When we become a Christian, he gives us a new nature. As we mature as Christians, the new Christ nature becomes more evident in what we say and what we do. We mature at different rates; if we are not in good circumstances - surrounded by mature believers - this can also negatively impact how we mature.

Juanita,

  Thanks for your comments on the megga churches and on what you would look for in a church. 

I started this because I just left a church where I felt the leaders were at times controling, not open to feedback, and lacked (were not open to) oversight from other authorities in the faith.   Some with say this is misperception.  Regardless it would be easy for me to focus on just this one area and not look for other important qualities in a ministry.  You are so right that where there are people there will be problems.   Sometimes even the mature or the experienced blow it or get side tracked. 

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