Just as the human body is needs a balanced diet consisting of the 5 food groups (grain, vegetables, fruit, meat, and dairy) in order to be healthy and strong, there are four things that keep the church body strong. Thankfully, God gives us the blueprint for building a healthy and balanced church:
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
The five pillars that support the church and give us nourishment for growth are:
- Shared Convictions – The scripture conveys that the New Testament Christians devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching. God’s church must be filled with disciples who have developed strong personal biblical convictions. The scriptures must fill our hearts, our homes, our fellowship, and ultimately direct our daily lives.
- Shared Responsibility – In addition to the apostles teaching, the NT Christians were devoted to the fellowship. They understood that relationships don’t just happen; they need to be developed, invested in, and maintained daily. Relationship health is attained through openness and honesty, when all the members share the responsibility to help each other overcome sins and weaknesses. This will produce the depth that we desire in our relationships. This is imperative for our marriages, families, friendships, and dating relationships to grow and to influence the communities around us.
- Shared Commitment – Devotion to the breaking of bread refers to the call Jesus gave at his last supper to remember his sacrifice for us. We shouldn’t limit our gratitude and remembrance of the cross to only Sunday mornings, but daily. Cross commitment is shared commitment; we are all equally responsible for the health of the church. This begins with us making a daily commitment to the cross.
- Incomparable Power – No one can live the life of a NT Christian without the help of God. Prayer allows us to connect with God, and is the source of all our power. Many of us will need to redefine our relationship with God; it can no longer be based on emotions but by truly relying on God. We can no longer limit our relationship with God to only spending some time with him in the morning, but rather through an ongoing consistency throughout the day.
- Growth – All healthy churches that are built with this balance produce fruit. The scripture states: “The Lord added to their number daily.” Lasting church growth will never happen by human effort, but is a result of God’s blessing and work when health and balance are sustained.
Being a healthy and balanced church requires that every single member not only be involved in the process of restoring balance to the whole group, but also their individual lives. However, achieving balance in our personal lives can prove to be an elusive goal. What parent has not struggled with juggling a career, marriage, children, extended family, church, finances, etc…as the list continues? Which young person has cruised through life knowing exactly what to do in each stage of life such as high school, college, career, and dating, etc.?
It’s safe to say that every person has an imbalance of some kind. Too often we neglect the areas of our lives that desperately need our attention and focus too much on the areas that are already running smoothly. The same can happen in the church.
Therefore, we will not accept imbalance any longer. As a church we have decided to be different by bringing a healthy balance of the five pillars to our church. Join us in our quest to build a church like the one in Acts 2, filled with inspired members who share convictions, responsibility, commitment, and incomparable power through prayer. And may God add to our number daily.