Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Marks of an Effective Church -- Sermon Outline

Introduction: Effective sports teams have well-defined roles for team members and a well-understood system in place. Team members on successful teams appreciate one another and eventually succeed in spite of adversity. Local churches are teams of people that can learn from the effective church at Antioch.

1. Effective churches engage in effective evangelism (Acts 11:19-24). They can appeal to diverse groups of people. Effective witnesses exhibit good moral character and are full of the Spirit and faith. Who we are and what we say are both important.

2. Effective churches engage in effective teaching (Acts 11:25-26). Paul and Barnabas taught many people for a whole year. Eventually, the changed lives of the people in the church brought them recognition from the surrounding community, and the church members were first called Christians there.

3. Effective churches are characterized by effective giving (Acts 11:29-30). They gather funds for needy people and allow trusted people in the church to distribute it.

4. Effective churches have effective preachers and teachers (Acts 13:1, 15:35). Teachers are reproduced so that many small groups can be taught.

5. Effective churches engage in effective missions work, including church planting (Acts 13:2-3, 14:26-28). Such churches both send out missionaries and receive reports from them.

Conclusion: Teams cannot preserve the status quo. New team members must be recruited and trained so that the church can be effective in the future.