Of all the many churches I have visited, within the first few minutes, it has always been obvious which ones were doing well.
You can’t hide contentment. It is the first thing that you will see in the eyes of the brethren that you meet as you enter a church building. For them, church assembly is a good place to be, because everything is theirs to enjoy.
Enter the Bible class of a good church and you will feel that sense of familiarity inherent in a loving family. Brothers and sisters might have their own favourite ideas, but everyone is on the same page as the teacher. He is not expected to be an expert, but he is expected to know what he is talking about—good churches encourage that.
Well, churches sing well. The number of voices is irrelevant to the quality of praise that comes forth from grateful hearts. That powerful oneness is a foretaste of heaven.
Healthy preaching—healthy church! Sound churches know what they believe and require that it be communicated effectively as a matter of course. Such churches enjoy Biblical, inviting, and helpful Gospel sermons. Who doesn’t want that?
Nowhere is fellowship more personal than in communion. The Lord’s Supper unites us in our faith in Jesus Christ.
Great churches pray great prayers. The brothers have obviously tested their hearts before they speak. Aware that God hears them as they lead us in giving thanks and glory to Him. They also communicate the urgency and concern of the hurting and those beset by temptation.
Generous churches give open-handedly. They naturally share the blessings that God has delivered over to their stewardship.
No congregation is perfect; we all have a long way to go. Different aspects of a church’s character will strike each of us differently. But what is always present in a good church is the sense that everyone speaks well of each other’s faith.
Good churches are good people – “Lord, make me one!”