I’ve been trying to come up with a check list by which a church can be assessed by those outside that church, and by which a church can make an assessment of its own spiritual health. As a consequence, I have come up with a provisional list of thirty-six questions, for which I would want answers, to see whether a church adheres to a biblical model of faith or not.

BELIEFS:

1. Does the church believe in God the creator?

2. Does the church believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God: that he was born, died and resurrected from the grave?

3. Does the church believe in the Holy Spirit?

4. Does the church accept that all mankind has sinned, and fallen short of the expectations of God?

5. Does the church believe that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was necessary for our salvation?

6. Does the church believe that we are saved by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and not by our works?

7. Does the church believe that the Holy Spirit is the giver of gifts to every believer?

8. Does the church believe in God’s church universal?

PRACTICES:

9. Is the church engaged in evangelism?

10. Is the church engaged in supporting mission outside its area?

11. Does the church accept the biblical view of marriage—in terms of the universal gift of marriage to mankind (unencumbered by the need for a ceremony)?

12. Does the church conform to the biblical list of acceptable and prohibited relationships?

13. Does the church practice believers’ baptism (which may include the baptism of children of believers)?

14. Does the church prioritise the practice of biblical beliefs over local traditions and customs?

STRUCTURES:

15. Does the church have a paid minister? And if so, does the church still practice the ministry of all believers?

16. Does the church celebrate Holy Communion within the context of a shared meal?

17. Is the church a welcoming church?

18. Does the church clearly advertise its services, etc?

19. Are decisions in the church always made through prayer (seeking a consensus from God)?

BUILDINGS

20. If the church has any buildings, are any of the building consecrated? And if they are, are the buildings used strictly for sacred purposes?

21. Do the building(s) meet the needs of the congregation?

FINANCES:

22. Is the church funded totally by the members of its congregation?

23. Does the church have a policy of not engaging in raffles, seeking donations from those outside the church, and applying for government funding?

SERVICES:

24. Do the church’s services include prayer: Confession, Adoration, Intercessions, and Thanksgiving?

25. Is the Bible read?

26. Is the Gospel preached?

27. Are the congregation encouraged to participate in worship services?

PROGRAMMES:

28. Does the church care for its ministers?

29. Does the church engage in pastoral care to the members of its congregation?

30. Does the church have Bible studies and/or small groups?

31. Does the church engage in ministry to the aged?

32. Does the church engage in ministry to the young?

OUTSIDE ACTIVITIES:

33. Is the church involved in welfare to the greater community? If so, does it limit itself to using only its own resources (people, funds, etc.)?

34. Is the church involved in the running of a hospital or nursing home? If so, does it limit itself to using only its own resources (people, funds, etc.)?

35. Is the church involved in the running of a school? If so, is the Christian faith taught as an integral part of each subject?

36. What is the churches relationship with the local community?

Now of course, this list is a work in progress. And many of the questions may seem at odds with the practices of the church today. But then, at its heart is the idea that the church needs to return to its biblical roots—rather than to continue the wayward path inherited from previous generations.

Posted: 23rd October 2018
© 2018, Brian A Curtis
www.brianacurtis.com.au

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