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A Word from the Pastor - January 2015
As I was preparing my newsletter article for this month, I came across an article about a great church. What does it take to make a great church? Dr. Charles Ashcraft, a former Executive Director of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention writes about it:
"A GREAT CHURCH is not identified by its size, membership, budget, or staff. It takes more than a big crowd, a big building, a big budget and a big staff to comprise a great church. A small church can be a great church."
"A CHURCH CAN BE GREAT to the degree it reflects the nature, person, character, and the spirit of its founder and head. A church is great in the degree, by word, precept, example, and lifestyle it presents the theology and message of Jesus. A church is great in the degree it personifies, embodies, and puts flesh, blood, bone and sinew to the life and ministry of Jesus, who indwells and lives within."
"A GREAT CHURCH IS to the degree it grows disciples and develops the gifts of the Holy Spirit dispersed within the household of faith. A church is great to the degree it penetrates its village, hamlet, or city with the principles, precepts, behavioral patterns of righteousness, and the full essence of Godliness."
"A CHURCH IS GREAT in the degree of its sensitivity to the almost forgotten four classifications of people Christ mentioned often - the last, the least, the lowest and the lost. A church is great to the degree of its retention, nourishment, and completion of these three functions - light, salt, and leaven."
"A CHURCH IS GREAT in as much and to the degree it responds, adapts, adjusts, and keeps step with God's march across the generations and across the centuries on this most cherished, priority determination to consummate all things in Christ by mission, enterprise, and Christ-like lifestyle."
"THE EARLY CHURCH for at least the first three centuries of its beginning was strangely bereft of meeting places, trained staff, affluence and prestige; however, they had power, power enough to attract the attention of the masses high and low. There is a difference between prestige and power. They did not have enough prestige and influence to keep the pastor out of jail, but they had enough power to pray the walls down (Acts 16:25-26). They did not have the clout to buck the system, but they had the power of the risen Lord to open closed doors (Acts 5:18-20)."
I pray that God will make FBC into a great church. This next year, will you commit to reflecting the nature, person, character, and spirit of Jesus? Will you commit yourself to be on mission with the head of the church? My prayer for each of us is that we will answer yes to both of these questions in our heart and in our actions.