1. The conversion of the members. The new birth consists of more than baptism. One has to be born of the Spirit and water. Those of us who have been baptized must have been led to believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Lord of our life. So many Christians seem to take a casual approach to Christianity. Conversion is, in reality, a matter of surrender of one’s life and commitment to Jesus Christ as the Lord of ourselves.
2. Regular Attendance. Yes, it takes more than attendance to be a Christian, but there is no way to be a Christian and develop the Christ-like life without regular worship and Bible study.
3. Sanctification. There must be a clear-cut distinction between Christians and the world. The meshing of the church with the world is one of the greatest problems facing the twenty-first century.
4. Liberality. The Lord’s people are learning more and more about sacrifice and generosity. For the first time in our modern history, churches are planning big things in the name of the Lord. It is not special contributions that will make liberal givers in the long run. But it is the commitment of regular, weekly, giving-as-prospered contributions that the church needs to develop liberality.
5. Unity. Many congregations are marred by schism, faction, and disharmony. The church must believe the same thing and work for the same goals. The work of the church must be so challenging that they require the unity of all to succeed.
6. Informed leadership. Leaders must be first of all committed to what the Bible says. Leaders must also know the people. They need to know how to lead and where to go. It is not so much “who’s getting to run the church” as it is seeking to give preeminence to God. —Gus Nichols (deceased)
“So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed” (Acts 19:20).