Kevin de Young said it well once when he affirmed,
“There are many things a church can do, but there are only a few things a church must do”[paraphrased from memory]
That is true. A church that does everything it can possibly do, but neglects to do the few things it really must do, cannot honestly be considering a true Christian church. Likewise, a church that cannot really do must, but at the very least is faithful to the few things required by Christ, can truly accomplish the work among the Christians and the world that our Lord intended.
First and foremost, a church must worship God.
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: … in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.1 Peter 4:10-11
Acts 2:42 lists a few other musts for a church to be a church, namely a dedication to the teachings of the Apostles (make much of the NT), fellowship, the Lord’s Supper, and prayer.
So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. … And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saveActs 2:41-42, 47
The last few items on the list of what a church must do are singing to praise God and to remind ourselves of what we believe (Col 3:16), Bible reading (1 Tim 4:13), and giving as thanksgiving and for the work of the Lord (2 Cor 9:7).
Be a Christian who values, more than anything else, the following in your church:
- Worship God
- Study the New Testament
- Fellowship to build up the saints
- Remember the Cross through Communion
- Bring your burdens and praises to the Lord in prayer
- Exalt the Lord and testify to the faith through singing
- Read all of the Scriptures clearly
- Give to the work of ministry as the Lord has blessed you