Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The most loving place - pt. 3: seven characteristics that define the church jesus had in mind

On pp.85-86 of Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges book The Most Loving Place in Town the fictitious "Pastor Mike" lists seven characteristics he believes define the church Jesus had in mind:
1. "Love was to be the distinct internal characteristic that guided the lives and relationships of the church community." Jn 13:34-35

2. "His church would be an everlasting community of interdependent people called in time and circumstance to glorify God."

3. "His church would have all the resources it required to fulfill its mission." Mt. 28:18-20

4. "His church would have prayer as the most distinctive practice of its daily life and relationship with Him." Mt. 21:13

5. "His church would have ongoing access to an unimpeachable source of knowledge, wisdom, and power to guide its actions." John 14:26; Acts 1:8

6. "His church would have His guidance." Mt. 18:20

7. "He would sustain the church." John 15:5

These would be summed up by focusing on three things:
  • Love of God's people for one another remains the defining characteristic of Jesus' church.
  • Love continues to be the foundation of His church's impact and reputation in the world.
  • Jesus is still actively at work refining His church, using imperfect people and leaders who are willing to surrender their weaknesses, pride, and fear to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.