Today, our church had what I felt was a particularly good assembly.
Considering some of our small group were absent, I found this especially intriguing.
In a small congregation, each person tends to be valued and appreciated more and, when they are absent, their absence tends to be more noticeable than in larger congregations. Such is the case in our group.
But today's experience got me to thinking, "What are the top keys to effective church meetings?"
While we might be able to list several items, here are what I believe to be the top three keys to effective church meetings.
Key #1: Teach the truth—all of the truth.
If the church is to be effective, first and foremost, it must teach the truth.
There are a lot of congregations around this planet that do a great job in other areas, but they fail to teach the truth, the whole truth and nothing added to the truth.
Other groups effectively create an atmosphere where attendees feel great, led to bow their hearts before GOD, yet fail to provide substantial teaching or promotion of holy, Christ-like living.
By contrast, effective church assemblies include a healthy dose of GOD's word.
No section of Scripture is off limits or ignored, and topical teachings seek to include all of what the Scriptures say on the given topic.
Key #2: Ensure attendees feel genuinely loved.
With effective church meetings, the folks who are present consistently know that the others they are assembling with sincerely love them and have their best interest at heart.
I've been in congregations where people gave no indication that they were happy to be there together or that they were excited about GOD and their collective worship and what GOD has done for them.
And I've been in some congregations where people would greet you, but there was this shallow, superficial feel that pervaded the atmosphere.
And I've also been blessed to participate in some church meetings where you knew without a doubt that the people there loved GOD and loved each other deeply.
When the church meets and the atmosphere is warm and love is felt, people feel better about themselves, the group and their collective work. It's a big key to effective congregations.
Key #3: People leave having been spiritually strengthened.
When truth is taught and people are loved in a Christ-like manner, the result is edification.
The word edify means to build up, like constructing a building.
When Christians meet together over GOD's word, the Scriptures have a powerful, inherent ability to strengthen our faith. GOD's power is manifest in the effect that His word has on good and honest hearts.
The days between assemblies can be really tough.
The world is really tough at times.
Christians need the periodic "retreats" from the world's abuses and struggles to receive the strengthening and encouragement that only fellow Christians can provide.
What do you think? Got a different key to effective church meetings? Share it in the comments below.