The spiritual life of a Christian is never stagnant; if it is not growing, then it is decreasing. There is no middle ground where a Christian’s spiritual life can remain at one point, there must be movement. This movement is determined by our actions. Peter writes of the spiritual maturing process…
“For this very reason, “make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1.5-8; ESV)
As a member of the body of Christ, when we are growing spiritually it will naturally affect others. When we grow we begin sharing the burdens of others (Galatians 6.1; Romans 15.1), we edify one another (Hebrews 3.13), we teach others (Titus 2) and we begin sharing the word with others because we cannot help but speak of Jesus (Acts 4.12).
Because our spiritual growth affects others, here is a list below of “Four Marks of a Maturing Congregation” for your consideration.
What would you add to the list?
Four Marks of a Maturing Congregation:
Fellowship – Members know each other outside of Sundays and Wednesday.
Assistance – Because the members are bearing one another’s burdens, have knowledge of each other, and progress towards the same goal, assistance is given without a shocking announcement to the congregation. (Galatians 6.1; Romans 15.1)
Attendance – The numbers game is a difficult one to play with attendance, but a maturing congregation will have high attendance based on membership because people are coming (1) to worship and study God’s word, (2) to edify the brothers and sisters and (3) to continue on their spiritual process of growing closer to God. (Note: Hebrews 10.24-25 – Remember verse 24 is the beginning and reason for verse 25)
Finances – The church in Macedonia gave “beyond their means of their own accord” (2 Corinthians 8.3). The church in Macedonia knew how much they could give and they gave beyond it. I believe this is a sign of maturity because the Macedonians knew there was a greater purpose to finances than physical stuff.
What other marks would you add to the list?
Just some thoughts,