Lasting churches are built on things that last.
Churches that are built on fads or trends will not last because they have to rely on the next big thing, and the next big thing is uncertain. When will it show up? How long will it be popular? Who will it attract? We need to build on solid principles that are proven and lasting.
The best foundation is Christ and His Word, the Bible.
Here are some principles from His Word that build lasting churches.
1. The dynamic hub.
Approach every consideration in this way: Work from the whole to the part, and from the part back to the whole. Remember that the body corporate exists to express the life of God in community, as well as to release and benefit individual believers. Each believer exists to express the life of God, as well as to benefit the corporate good.
2. The objective rules the subjective.
Subjectivity without biblical truth is dangerous because its roots are in us—our experiences, moods, gifting or spiritual biases. Subjectivity can be confused with prophetic feelings or the voice of the inner person, when in reality it is simply a strong opinion, view or desire. We must allow the Word of God to have the final say in all things. Subjective thoughts and ideas cannot be allowed to prevail.
3. The clear interprets the obscure.
The Bible has a very simple, forthright, redemptive message. When a teacher or preacher uses confusing types, shadows or metaphors to establish an obscure plan of God, that teacher is violating Christ’s model. When Christ established His mission, vision and strategy, He preached a clear message from clear biblical passages.
4. The major emphasis rules the minor.
The major emphases of Scripture are easily found throughout the Bible. When leaders begin to slip away from the major truths to focus on minor truths, they run the risk of imbalance and possible spiritual shipwreck. Sound doctrine should be the foundation for pastoral preaching and local church theology.