"What marks a 'healthy' church? Crucial to the answer is Mt. 18:20: 'For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst…' Christ Himself must be the central focus-not a pastor, gripping sermons, a strong missionary emphasis, exciting youth programs, compatible fellow members, or even agreeable doctrines, important as all these factors are. A fervent love for Christ and a heartfelt corporate worship of His Person must be the primary mark of a healthy church. It isn't primarily a matter of my need, my edification, my enjoyment, or my spiritual satisfaction, but of His worth in my eyes and the eyes of the church." - Dave Hunt (in The Berean Call, Feb. 1993)
"A Zulu proverb says that when a thorn pierces the foot, the whole body must bend over to pull it out. This kind of interdependence is a basic characteristic of the church." - Larry Miller, executive secretary of the Mennonite World Conference (quoted in Salt, Jul/Aug 1994)
"Church ministries fall into two categories - obligations, opportunities."
"While the calendar says it is 1996, we are living in the 21st century. The calendar simply has not kept up with the culture. And in terms of the mission and ministry opportunities before the church, the 21st century is going to be more like the first century than most of the 2,000 intervening years." - NetFax, Apr. 15, 1996 (pg. 1)
"A church is no stronger than its fellowship and no bigger than its visitation." - anonymous
"God never intended His church to be a refrigerator in which to preserve perishable piety. He intended it to be an incubator in which to hatch the faithful." - anonymous
"Someone suggested that in most communities the Christian movement is there to negotiate peace with the devil and God and just keep everything quiet. They represent, for the most part, a gentle God, who has a soft word to say against this world of sin. And yet, the facts are, we represent a hostile God who is totally opposed to this world's system, and who is not open to negotiate for no peace with the devil. He's not gentle toward evil." - E.V. Hill
"Anyone can love the ideal church. The challenge is to love the real church." - Bishop Joseph McKinney
"I am not content to believe that it was the plan of God that the church should begin in a flame of fire and end up in a fizzle of faithlessness. Jesus Christ is the same today! He is the Unchanging Overcomer in us and through our obedience to Him we become habitual overcomers!" - Jack Taylor
"To the extent that the church has touched others with the exciting good news, to that degree it has been blessed with the abundance of God. And to the degree the church has busied itself about other things to the exclusion of this great work, it has become little more than a secular force for good…if that." - George Fuller
"One who ignores the church is like a man who builds a house without windows and then blames God because he has to live in the dark! - anonymous
"I believe more profoundly in the church every hour that I live. A man can make his testimony go further through the church than through any independent movements. He can make his money, his testimony, and all his work go further. He can do more constructive work through the church than any other way in the world. That is my deepest conviction. I have watched all kinds of independent movements, and my conviction steadily deepens that a Christian is doing the wisest thing possible when he links his life with the church." - G. W. Truett
"The means and end of building the household of faith are distinctively ordained by God and not discovered through sociological analysis or psychological profiles. The latest trends and popular expectations do not change the church's agenda or alter its course. The Church remains focused on eternal truths. It is sustained not by numbers or worldly recognition - which may in fact be detrimental to its effectiveness - but by the Word and the Spirit of God. - Douglas D. Webster, in Selling Jesus: What's Wrong with Marketing the Church"
"I love Thy kingdom, Lord,
The house of Thine abode,
The church our blest Redeemer saved
With His own precious blood.
I love Thy church, O God:
Her walls before Thee stand,
Dear as the apple of Thine eye,
And graven on Thy hand.
For her my tears shall fall,
For her my prayers ascend;
To her my cares and toils be giv'n,
Till toils and cares shall end."
- Timothy Dwight (1752-1817)
"What would my church be if all the members were just like me?" - anonymous
"The church does not exist to ask what needs doing to keep the world running smoothly and then to motivate our people to go do it. The Church is not to be judged by how useful we are as a 'supportive institution' and our clergy as members of a 'helping profession.' The Church has its own reason for being, hid within its own mandate and not found in the world." - Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon in Resident Aliens
"In the beginning the church was a fellowship of men and women centering on the living Christ. Then the church moved to Greece, where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome, where it became an institution. Next, it moved to Europe, where it became a culture. And finally, it moved to America, where it became an enterprise." - Richard Halverson, former chaplain of the U.S. Senate (quoted in The Awesome Power of Shared Beliefs, Word, 1995)
"The church is like the ark. You wouldn't be able to stand the stink inside if it weren't for the storm outside." Neil Anderson at the Global Conference on Prayer Evangelism (Nov 1995)
"The Church of God apart from the Person of Christ is a useless structure. However ornate it may be in its organization, however perfect in all its arrangements, however rich and increased with goods, if the Church is not revealing the Person, lifting Him to the height where all men can see Him, then the Church becomes an impertinence and a sham, a blasphemy and a fraud, and the sooner the world is rid of it, the better." - G. Campbell Morgan in Giant Steps
"Jesus Christ has called His church to set a standard, not to gain a following. If in setting that standard, the church does gain a following, all the better. If, however, the church fails to set the standard and then gains a following, it will be to her detriment." - Joseph Webb, in Till Death Do Us Part? 1992
"I look at the 350,000 religious congregations in this country - with an average membership of roughly 100 people each - and I think of what those 35 million Christians could accomplish. The potential is awesome. We have five times more churches than post offices and 35 times more churches than McDonald's restaurants. The church is clearly the most sustainable local organization, yet I hear so little about the role the church and its members can play in the process of reconciling and healing lives." - Dr. Virgil Gulker
"We'd have a hard time coming up with a topic that creates more bitterness and strife in the church than the doctrine of the church. Isn't that cozy?" - Pastor Steve Schlissel, in Chalcedon Report, Jan 1997, page 7
"It is surprising how easily we can see the place of the church community in terms of social reform in some directions but not in others. The Church stands usually against liquor and the liquor 'interests,' that is, the business of liquor. The church community is always against organized vice, against narcotics. In the past the Church as such took a stand against slavery and felt called upon to speak out against child labor even when such speaking hurt profits. We accept these victories over injustice in former days as assumptions of the position of the Church in our own day; it is harder to see in our contemporary scene just what it is that the Church is called upon to do." - Addison Leitch, Oct. 15, 1956
"If you are too busy or too tired to attend worship services regularly, you are just too busy to die; but you will anyway." - anonymous