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Components of a Strong Congregation
Bible study on the church and local congregations.

A congregation is a local group of Christians who assemble and work together.

What are some of the individual elements of a strong congregation, that set it apart from a weak congregation?

Love God
A strong congregation is composed of Christians who love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mk. 12:30).

A strong congregation obeys God from the heart, and doesn't feel that obedience is burdensome, because of their love and devotion to God.

Love God's Word
A strong congregation is composed of Christians who love God's word because they love God. One of the key differences between people who are lost and people who are saved, is that saved people love the truth (2 Th. 2:10).

A strong congregation bases every decision upon God's word, which is truth (Jn. 17:17). As a result, the congregation worships in truth (Jn. 4:24).

A strong congregation also works according to the faith taught in God's word (Rom. 10:17). Therefore, God performs His work through them, as they faithfully assemble for worship and cooperate in the Lord's work (1 Th. 2:13; Rom. 1:16).

Rejoice in the Lord
Christians in a strong congregation rejoice in the Lord, since they love God and His word.

Life isn't necessarily perfect for the Christians of the congregation, but they are content, having learned to be content in every circumstance (Phil. 4:11-13), counting it all joy when falling into trials, know that the testing of their faith makes them stronger (Jas. 1:2-4; Rom. 5:3-5).

Growing and Working
A strong congregation is composed of people who are at different levels of maturity. Some of the members are strong and mature, while others are babes in Christ.

There are elders, teachers, and evangelists, equipping the saints "for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ" (Eph. 4:11-12). Therefore the congregation is growing as each member does his share of the work, in love (Eph. 4:16).

The members are "steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord," knowing their "toil is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Cor. 15:58).

Elders Leading, and Deacons Serving
A strong congregation has elders who are faithfully leading the church, and deacons who are faithfully serving in the performance of their work.

The elders shepherd and oversee the congregation (Acts 20:17, 28) as they lead by example (1 Pet. 5:1-2), watching over each member (Acts 20:28-29). The deacons serve the congregation under the leadership of the elders, doing the things that are necessary, as we work together in service to God (e.g., Acts 6:1-4).

Of course, some strong congregations do not have qualified men who serve as elders and deacons. But, faithful men see that the work is accomplished, although it's more difficult without men serving in these leadership positions.

Not Satisfied
A strong congregation is composed of Christians who aren't satisfied with themselves, and their service to God -- they want to become better Christians and a better congregation.

Because they want to be stronger and serve God more, they "long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it" they "may grow in respect to salvation," (1 Pet. 2:2). They are serious Bible students, at church and in their personal lives.

What About Our Congregation?
As I write this article, I can't help but think about our congregation.

Personally, I think we are a strong congregation.

  • We love God and His word.
  • We rejoice, giving thanks to God for the blessings we enjoy, while petitioning Him on behalf of our members experiencing difficulties.
  • We are committed to doing the work God ordained in His word. We're committed to obeying Him as we worship in truth, and work according to the faith revealed in His word.
  • We have elders and deacons who work very hard to lead and serve the congregation.
  • We aren't satisfied with our work and service to God. We constantly work to improve, individually and as a congregation.

What do you think about our congregation? Why do you think it?

But more importantly, when considering everything God says in His word, what does God think about our congregation?