“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42).
When I was in the corporate world, I loved to conduct performance appraisals.
Employees, not so much.
But for high performers, the appraisal process presented an occasion to affirm their performance and encourage them to make greater contributions to the team, taking satisfaction in what they were accomplishing as measured by pre-agreed metrics on essential components of their job.
Although we don’t think about it much, each local church – and its leaders – will be given a performance appraisal by the Chief Shepherd.
And we won’t be measured on building aesthetics, or style of music, or social programs, or availability of parking. Our performance will be measured by the essential activities that so dominantly characterized the early church.
Therefore, our Bethel Action Statement spells out how we want to be measuring ourselves. It says:
We are intentional about becoming a healthy faith-community of Christ-followers, committed to manufacturing disciples by living out 4 New Testament principles:
•upholding the authority of the Bible in our lives. This will be demonstrated by preaching, teaching, and studying the Word of God. We are dedicated as individuals– and a corporate body – to applying and obeying God’s truth in our lives, marriages, and families.
•committing to fellowship, sharing life together horizontally because of our vertical bond to Christ. Because we recognize Christ as Head, we support the delegated authority of our elders and deacons, and seek to utilize our spiritual gifts and abilities to serve each other and reflect the Lord Jesus to our world.
•engaging in individual and corporate worship of God, including the weekly observance and participation in the Lord’s Supper, to specifically remember the Lord Jesus as He has instructed.
•demonstrating an individual and corporate commitment to prayer, recognizing the power of the Holy Spirit is needed for us to accomplish our purpose as a New Testament local church, and to achieve our Bethel Vision.
Takeaway: I recognize that I am so influenced by our consumeristic culture that I am capable of missing the mark in what I want for our faith community. Are these core activities what I value and strive to uphold?? Are they how I measure my church?