by James Merritt

A Model Church for a Modern World
James Merritt
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10


1. I do not like the word average. Someone has defined average as ''being a step above the worst and a step below the best.'' Well I certainly do not want to be the worst, and I see no reason why not to be the best.

2. Let me give you the picture of an average southern Baptist church. The average southern Baptist church has 381 members. But of those 381 members, 110, or 29%, do not live in the nearby community. It takes 411 of those southern Baptist church members to win one person a year to Christ. The average southern Baptist church baptizes 9 people a year. On the average it takes 5 average southern Baptist churches to support one missionary.

3. I am not interested in being an average southern Baptist church. Quite frankly, my major concern is not that we are a southern Baptist church, I am much more concerned that we are a New Testament church. Now there was a church in the New Testament that evidently was a model church,

4. Paul spoke of the church at Thessalonica as being a pattern for all churches to follow. In fact, he said of that church in v17 that they were 'examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe.'' The word example is the word that gives us our word type, it literally means pattern. This church was a model church. It was a church that set the pattern that set the mold.

5. That is the kind of church that I want us to become. I want us to set patterns, not just follow them. But the first thing we must decide is, what is our mission? Why are we here? Where are we headed? And how do we intend to get there?

6. One of the greatest military generals of all time was General George Patton. Whenever General Patton was given an assignment to carry out, he would gather together his men, he would train each man in what he was to do, and then just before they would embark on their journey, he would ask the men this question: ''What is your mission?' ...

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