Marks of a biblical church part 2 biblical churches in different contexts inspirational graduation quotes for students

A few years back I was going to our local theater to see a movie when I was a part of a church that met in that same theater. So I made a joke that we were “going to church” to see a movie. My 13-year old daughter said, “no, the church is the people.”

For example, a wonderful bible study that meets on a college campus and regularly draws together college students to worship, but does not function under biblical leadership or take part in the ordinances of the church is not a church. Inspirational quotes for my students it’s part of the universal church, yes, but not a normative biblical church as described in the new testament.

So, I am not writing a critique of what they do or in any particular disagreement. Some inspirational quotes for students I will lay out six marks and, when I am done, I think that 9 marks people would probably say that they line up pretty well and I just collapsed a few categories, but my intent is just to write about marks, not to write about 9 marks.

I come at conversations like this from a missiological lens, asking questions about how these things should be addressed in all cultures and throughout all of history. If a mark cannot be lived out in a biblically-driven church in kenya, it should not be called a mark. For a mark to be trans-cultural, it has to have clear biblical mandate and universal transcultural ability. Short inspirational quotes for students so, for example, a written membership covenant cannot be a mark since it requires literacy. However, covenant community can be. A house church of oral learning, muslim background believers in bangladesh can hold one another accountable in biblical community.

So, and this undergirds much of this series, we need a minimalist—but not a reductionist—definition of what the church is. In other words, if we are going to say this has to be true everywhere, we want to find the minimum standards by which we can rightly say, “this is a church,” but not take those minimum standards beyond the actual, biblical minimum.

The marks must be anchored in scripture, so that they are, just as the bible is, timeless. They should also avoid taking cues from the culture, so that they can apply anywhere in the world. (their application, which we will discuss later, will indeed be influenced by culture.)

However, these broad marks should also have local application. Inspirational quotes for children’s day for example, I say that covenant community is a mark, and in my church that is expressed in formal church membership (with an accompanying class and covenant), but in a house church meeting in cuba, that covenant community may not have a class or a written covenant, but the 15 people doing biblical church are just as covenanted with one another.

Hence, a covenant community is a biblical mark, but it is applied differently in different places. And, let me add, written membership covenants, following a class on membership, does not make sense in a some cultures—but it does mine. We need the mark, but we also need the flexibility to apply that mark.

So, a biblically faithful church, functioning within the marks, would look different in senegal than it would in selma, alabama or seattle, washington. Despite the different appearance and different context in which they exist, however, each biblically faithful church must bear the six marks of a biblical faithful church.

Ed stetzer, ph.D., holds the billy graham chair of church, mission, and evangelism at wheaton college and serves as executive director of the billy graham center. He has planted, revitalized, and pastored churches, trained pastors and church planters on six continents, holds two masters degrees and two doctorates, and has written a dozen books and hundreds of articles.

Stetzer is the north american regional director for the lausanne committee for world evangelization, a contributing editor for christianity today, a columnist for outreach magazine, and is frequently cited or interviewed in news outlets such as usatoday and CNN. He is the executive editor of the gospel project, a bible study curriculum used by more than one million individuals each week.

He is the co-host of the breakpoint this week radio program with john stonestreet. Inspirational educational quotes for elementary students he also serves as visiting professor of research and missiology at trinity evangelical divinity school, visiting research professor at southeastern baptist theological seminary, and has taught at many other colleges and seminaries.