God can speak to a specific part of His church through any Scripture, any time. However, there are some fundamentals, especially in the teaching of Jesus, which can be held to apply generally – a baseline for any church anchored on a biblical theology.
THE GREAT COMMANDMENT PRINCIPLE
Love God, love one another, love others
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’’”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers… (Good Samaritan parable)
THE GREAT KINGDOM PROCLAMATION PRINCIPLE
Team up and go out to proclaim the kingdom
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
5 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.
8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.
THE GREAT COMMISSION PRINCIPLE
Disciples are those who who make disciples
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
THE GREAT EMPOWERING PRINCIPLE
Acts 1:8 etc
The Holy Spirit empowers us to witness
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
THE GREAT REVELATION PRINCIPLE
Revelation – God revealing His purpose to His people – is what characterises the Church
In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
THE GREAT INTENTION PRINCIPLE
The Early Church was intentional about fellowship, discipleship, worship, ministry and evangelism
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Church
“If you will concentrate on building people, God will build the church.”
- Warmer through fellowship
- Deeper through discipleship
- Stronger through worship
- Broader through ministry, and
- Larger through evangelism.
A slogan from Mike Pilavachi, Soul Survivor
Biblically-based, Cross-centred, Spirit-led
Crowd to core illustration
(Purpose Driven Church)
These principles arise naturally from the foundational Bible passages above.
A church that...
- loves unconditionally
- is on a mission – a going church
- is formed of disciples, making disciples
- loves and submits to God in worship
- fosters collaboration as partners
- seeks and relies on the presence of Jesus
- exercises spiritual authority
- has nothing to prove except a servant nature
- sets out to do the works of Jesus
- is devoted to reconciliation
- is available to God
- prays together
- is seeking empowerment
- demonstrates faithfulness
- is intentional about God's purposes
- is characterised by joy
- has Father, Son, Holy Spirit and action in balance
- that knows it has been placed by God for a reason
- seeking to live in revelation.