A Church at It's Best
Dr. Blake Carroll
Acts 11:21-26 (KJV)
1. Several years ago, a religious research group conducted a survey asking "Baby boomers" what they expected to see in a church. The top answers included high quality preaching, good music, and social groups. Other answers included big meeting rooms, a quality kitchen, childcare, ample parking, and clean restrooms.
2. While all the things listed in that survey are good things for churches to have, they are by no means the measurement standards of a good church. The health and vitality of a church cannot be measured by the grandeur of her facilities, the number of her ministries, or the entertainment value of her services. It takes much more than a pretty building, a polished preacher, and peppy music for a congregation to become a strong and healthy body of believers.
3. So what makes a good church? When is a church at its best? One thing is for certain, the answer to that question is not found in the strategies of some of the so-called church-growth experts. Nor is it found in following the models of the SCRIPTURALLY COMPROMISING, new age churches that now dot the landscape of our nation.
4. No, the principles that build a strong, healthy, Christ-honoring church can only be found in the Word of God. It is when we examine the Bible that we find how a church can be its best, and reach its God-given potential.
5. In Acts, chapter 11, we read the account of a church that was started in the city of Antioch, in Syria. Antioch was one of the largest and busiest cities of its day. In that cosmopolitan and metropolitan city, God raised up one of the greatest churches in history. The story of the Church at Antioch is the story of a church built the right way. It was a church at its best.
6. As we study the work that God did in and through that first-century church, I believe we can learn some lessons that will help us as a part of the twenty-first century church.
7. When we observe the record of this church in chapter 11, we see three things that reveal a church at its best. What are they, and how do they apply to us today? Look with me at these three things. Notice first of all, that a church is at its best:
I. When It Is Gathered
1. Notice with me again in our text, in verse 26. It says that after Barnabas had brought Saul back to Antioch that "...it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church.…" Notice that word "assembled." It is translated from a word that means to come together. The idea is of a group of people that gather together in a specific place for a specific purpose.
2. Just as we have done today, the early church came together for the purpose of worship. One of the sources of their strength was the simple fact that they regularly and consistently came together in an assembly.
3. As we observe the gathering of this first-century church, we are reminded that one of the most critical aspects of a health ...
There are 15631 characters in the full content. This excerpt only shows a 3000 character sample of the full content.
Price:$4.99 or 1 credit
Sign up for a Free Trial with SermonSearch.com and download this sermon free today!
SermonSearch.com is an online resource for sermon outlines and preaching ideas. We offer 30,000+ sermon outlines and 10,000+ free sermon illustrations from top Christian pastors and communicators. You'll write powerful and fresh sermons every week with our sermon preparation tools on a number of sermon topics, including expository preaching.