What makes church effective?

Mark Noll in a Q&A about American Christian history and the church today:

My own historical sense is that churches that have been effective and have thrived mostly are concerned more about the communication of the Christian message. What turns out to be the most effective way of strengthening the organizations is not always looking at the organizations, but it’s looking at the message.

What is the church for? It’s to communicate the love of Christ and the doing of Christ’s work in the world. It seems to me that the effectiveness of institutions will depend upon, not clarity of thinking about institutions, but the success of church institutions will hinge upon the clarity of thinking about the message that they want to communicate.

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2 thoughts on “What makes church effective?

  1. Mr. Noll has certainly done more research than I have; but it seems that church effectiveness is a gift from God. The Lord promises that we will bear much fruit if we abide in him. (John 15:5). Perhaps our prayerful focus should be on abiding in Christ and obeying his commandments. Where leaders model abiding in Christ and lead their flocks to abide, the Holy Spirit brings revival. Revival brings effectiveness in the most important area, making disciples and the reconciliation of people to God through Christ. We err when we adopt formulas and techniques the promise that we can make the church effective. Church effectiveness is a gift of grace that none should boast.

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