I ran across a very helpful article on the “Provocations and Pantings” blog titled, “Irreducible Minimums of the Local Church.”  In that article, the writer presents a list of necessary things for a local church to be what it ought to be.  It challenged me to consider our own situation, and it reminded me of a few things I had not thought about for a while.  Here is the list he presented:

1.  Expository Preaching – topical preaching or story telling are no substitutes; God’s Church and God’s Word cannot be separated

2.  Baptism and Lord’s Supper – the two ordinances are simply non-negotiable

3.  Regenerate Church Membership– this is kind of redundant because the Church is comprised of regenerate believers, but we live in a day where many are members of churches are at best baptized pagans with moralism as their gospel.

4.  Church Discipline – goes with #3 and is necessary for the purity and visibility of the Church

5.  Evangelism and Missions – the Great Commission is inherent in the Church’s existence; Christ will build His Church, and He will do it through His people

6.  Prayer – God’s people are a praying people, individually and corporately, and anywhere Christ dwells is a house of prayer

7.  Fellowship/Service/Discipleship– the Bible’s “one another’s” reflect the interpersonal and intricate relationship believers have with one another

8.  Sound Doctrine/Biblical Theology – the Church is the pillar and buttress of truth, and truth must be emphasized to mark false teachers and those who apostasize as well as instruct believers in the faith once for all handed down to the saints

9.  Confession of Faith – springs off #8 as a concise statement to promote clarity and unity

10.  Unity – Christ prayed for it, Paul pleaded for it, and we must have it

11.  Benevolence/Mercy Ministry – pure and undefiled religion, remembering the poor, doing unto the least of these . . . the Church must show the love and compassion of Christ through her deeds and actions as well as her words.

You can read the entire article here.

I intend to keep this list close at hand and refer to it as we work together to see God build His Church here in Dunkerton.  I welcome your thoughts on the matter.