There is a very short time frame that a church has to make a good impression on a visitor. It is vital that the church is working hard to make sure that each area of the church is working to its full potential to reach its members. In this paper, I will be covering how worship, preaching, prayer, missions, fellowship, discipleship, and accountability are fundamental to the life of a church.

Worship is not just about the actual music, although many people think that it is when attending a new church the music aspect of it does play a huge role. There are different factors that play into the success of a worship service. One of the main parts f having a successful worship service is by learning what the point of worship is. It is not only about seeing God for who he is, his power, his strength, his love, it is also about seeing ourselves and how God sees us. Most Christians can agree about the healing that takes place during worship.

Everyone has had the experience of coming into a service not wanting to be there and having a total transformation during those few songs. When worship becomes more about putting on a show with fancy lights and intense stage set up, people become more focused on these than the actual changes that are taking place internally. 1 Chronicles 16:23-24 says, “Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. “ That is what every worship service should say, we are singing to the lord, and declaring his truths and his glory.

The preaching is one of the things that is at the actual core of a church’s success. If the message that is being preached every week is not strong, there will be problems. The preaching must be sound. 2 Timothy 1:13 says, “What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.” Pastors, or those that are preaching the word of God, are commanded by God to preach the truth, not their own view of the truth. All preaching needs to lead people to God,  it is not meant to lead people to other people, but to the actual creator.

There is also a fine line between preaching the word and overwhelming people with scriptures without explaining it. Giving someone a bible and not teaching them how to read it is like giving someone a gun without teaching them to shoot, it will not end well. I know for me I also respond better to preachers that I can relate to, it is so hard to listen to a service if it is not made personal in some way.

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Prayer is the foundation of a church. Prayer is talking to God, it is humble and personal, and it is extremely important in the church. This is where God often teaches us and shows us things; it is where we go to god to grow our relationship with Him. It is essential in our daily life. Every day we are in a battle with the enemy, we need to be o our news asking God to not only protect us but our families and other brothers and sisters in Christ.

People should always feel that they can get prayer at their church; in fact, it should be the place that they seek when they need it. Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” We need to always make our request known to God.

Missions are a topic that is extremely important in the church, and there is sometimes some controversy over it. When people think of missions they usually think of big trips over to third world countries, and while I do think that these trips are so important, this is not the only type of missions there are. Missions can be something as large as a trip to Cambodia, or as close as a trip to a local city and helping there.

The main point of missions is going out and actively spreading God’s word and showing his love to everyone. The church is more than the actual building, the church is all believers, and we are called to tell others. Matthew 28:19-20 tells us, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

The church that you attend should be actively pouring into community and missions in some way, whether it be actually sending teams to other countries or supporting other people that are called to places. It does not end there though, each church should be actively taking steps to make their building a place that the community feels welcomed at and knows they will be helped and loved.

It does not matter if you have a strong preacher, great worship, and large numbers, if you are not welcoming to those that need help, you are missing a major part of the call that God has given us. We are called to over everyone, that is not just those that we decided to love, it is those that live a lifestyle we might not agree with, those that have a different faith, or might be a little rough around the edges, we are to show His love to all.

Fellowship in a church also has ties in missions, reaching out to the community should naturally lead to fellowship. Every Sunday after church should not be a race to leave the building as soon as church is over. People should be naturally craving the relationships with fellow believers.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” By have an active social calendar and providing all people the opportunity and chances to meet with other believers, you are encouraging them to build each other up.  All Christians should have other Christian friends where they can be lifted up.

historic churches

Along with social opportunities, people should have discipleship opportunities at their church. Small groups and Sunday school is an amazing opportunity for this. If a church does not have a thriving children’s ministry, it will be harder to have a thriving church.  Children should be actively learning the word on Sundays, it should be looked at as babysitting, but providing the foundation so they can grow their walk with Christ as they got older.

Seeds should not only be planted but also sowed into every time a child comes into the building. John 6:45 says, “It is written in the prophets, ‘and they shall all be taught of God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.”

Small groups are a great way for people to learn the word of God. If a church is able, they should be offering classes for people to grow their faith in different levels. New believers should able to take a class where they are taught how to get into the word, along with the basic foundation of Christianity, More mature Christians should be teaching these, or in more advanced classes. There is always room to grow your faith; no one should become stagnant in their learning. Small groups also encourage fellowship and relationships to grow among believers with similar likes as you.

Everyone should be accountable to someone. The church is no different. Each church board should have its own rules of accountability and discipline in place, but it should absolutely be there. By encouraging people to have accountability partners or groups, you setting people up for success. Pastors should have boards and elders there to help keep them on the road to victory.  Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”

When one man is strong, he helps strengthen those around him.  Galatians 6:1-2 says, “Brothers if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Because we are human we will fail. We are not perfect. We are told to keep each other accountable, but when we do struggle to be handled with gentleness and not harshness. We are to help each other through hard times.

As Christians, everything we do is to bring glory to God and show his love to others. Building up the local church is one of the ways to do that. We need be making sure that we are setting up ourselves to be receiving of others, providing opportunities for people to learn, grow our own personal faith, and teach others. Worship should be sung to the Lord, preaching should be sound, prayer should be personal and humble, there need to be missions pouring into the community. There needs to opportunities for people to learn through discipleship, and relationships with fellowship, all with loving, but firm accountability in place. If these things are strong blocks, the church will thrive.