Suggestions for Taking a Church’s Spiritual Temperature
March 18, 2021
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
21 Steps to a Stronger Church
Some pastor friends helped us put together the following suggestions for taking a church’s spiritual temperature.

There is not a church anywhere on earth that doesn’t need a continual temperature check, and more so than ever in this present time. There is not a pastor anywhere that doesn’t need to examine and re-examine the church in order to press onward and upward.

We are to pursue perfection.

“... that ye may prove what
is that good, and acceptable, and PERFECT, will of God” (Ro. 12:2).

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, PERFECTING holiness in the fear of God” (2 Co. 7:1).

“Finally, brethren, farewell. Be
PERFECT...” (2 Co. 13:11).

“For the
PERFECTING of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:12).

“Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man
PERFECT in Christ Jesus” (Col. 1:28).

“That the man of God may be
PERFECT, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Ti. 3:17).

See also Ac. 18:26; Ro. 12:2; 1 Co. 1:10; 2 Co. 13:9; Eph. 4:13; Php. 3:12-15; Col. 4:12; 1 Th. 3:10; Heb. 6:1; 13:21; Jas. 1:4; 1 Pe. 5:10.

We don’t achieve perfection in this present life, but it is the will of God that we pursue it.

Stagnation is the path of backsliding and apostasy.

The book
21 Steps toward a Stronger Church in the 21st Century has a lot of practical suggestions about how to pursue perfection in these evil but opportune times.

  • Does Acts 2:41-42 describe the church?
  • Does 1 Peter 2:5 describe the church?
  • Does Ephesians 4:11-16 describe the church?
  • Does Philippians 2:14-16 describe the church?
  • Does 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 describe the church?
  • Do the members have a clear personal testimony of repentance and faith, with evidence of regeneration, and do they show this evidence and give this testimony before the church as a requirement for baptism and membership? (Ac. 8:36-39; 16:30-33)
  • Is each member familiar with the church constitution, doctrinal statement, and covenant and do they publicly agree to it when joining for membership? (1 Co. 1:10)
  • What percentage of the membership are true disciples of Jesus Christ? (Ac. 2:42)
  • Are the pastors properly trained and biblically qualified? (1 Ti. 3; Tit. 1)
  • Are the pastors serious students of and effectual teachers of God’s Word so that the flock is being built up in the Scriptures and learning to handle the Scriptures for themselves? (Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Ti. 3:2; 1 Ti. 4:13-16; 2 Ti. 2:2, 15; 4:2; Tit. 1:9-11; Heb. 5:12-14)
  • What are the pastors’ first loves? (Re. 2:4)
  • What is the condition of the pastors’ families? (1 Ti. 3:4-5, 11; Tit. 1:6)
  • Is the pastor a humble shepherd or a lording type? (1 Pe. 5:1-4; 3 Jo. 1:9-11)
  • Is the preaching according to the description in 2 Timothy 4:2?
  • Does the preacher speak as the oracles of God and do the members listen as if they are hearing the oracles of God? What percentage of the church members bring notebooks and pen to take notes and listen intently and on purpose to what is being preached or taught? Is there anything worth writing down?! (1 Pe. 4:11)
  • Is the church being effectively warned of worldliness and false teachings? (Ro. 12:2; 16:17-18; 1 Co. 15:33; 2 Co. 11:3-4; Eph. 5:11; Col. 2:8; 1 Th. 5:22; 1 Ti. 4:1-5; 2 Ti. 3:5; 4:3-4; Jas. 4:4; 1 Jo. 2:15-17; 4:1-3; 2 Jo. 1:6-11)
  • What are the members’ first loves? (Re. 2:4)
  • What do the people most like to talk about? (Ps. 37:30-31; 49:3; Pr. 10:20-21; 15:4; 16:21-23; Mt. 12:35; Eph. 4:29; Col. 4:6)
  • What is the reality of the daily prayer lives of the people? (Ro. 12:12; Eph. 6:18; Php. 4:6; Col. 4:2; 1 Th. 5:17; 1 Pe. 4:7; Jude 1:10)
  • What percentage of the members show up for prayer meetings prepared to and eager to pray?
  • What are the contents of the prayer requests (spiritual needs vs. physical and trivial needs)? (Eph. 6:18-19; consider Paul’s prayers - Ro. 1:9-12; Eph. 1:16-19; 3:14-21; Php. 1:4-11; Col. 1:9-13; Phm. 1:4-6; 1 Th. 1:2; 2 Ti. 1:3)
  • What percentage of church members have daily private devotions? (Ps. 55:17; Da. 6:10; Ac. 10:9; 2 Ti. 2:15)
  • What percentage of the church members attend special meetings? (Heb. 10:25)
  • What is the level of skill and zeal in personal Bible study among most of the people? (Heb. 5:12-14)
  • What is the level of spiritual discernment among most of the people? (Pr. 14:15; Ac. 17:11; 2 Co. 10:3-4; 1 Th. 5:21; Heb. 5:14)
  • What is the evangelistic zeal of most of the people? (Mr. 16:15; Ac. 8:4; 2 Co. 5:20)
  • What percentage of the people can be described as not conformed to, not in love with, and not friends of the world? (Ro. 12:2; Jas. 4:4; 1 Jo. 2:15-17)
  • Does the church take biblical modesty seriously? (Pr. 7:10; 1 Ti. 2:9-10)
  • What are the people doing on social media? (Ps. 101:3; Pr. 29:24; Ro. 12:2; 1 Co. 15:33; Eph. 5:11; 1 Th. 5:22; Jas. 4:4; 1 Jo. 2:15-17)
  • Is the church well grounded in the music issue so that the people understand and are committed to sacred music as opposed to contemporary? (Eph. 5:18-19; Col. 3:16)
  • What type of music do the people listen to in their daily lives?
  • What is the spiritual condition of the homes? What percentage of the homes are strong in the Lord?
  • How many of the fathers are spiritual heads of the homes? (2 Co. 13:11; Eph. 6:4)
  • How many of the mothers are the keepers of the homes? (1 Ti. 5:14; Tit. 2:3-5)
  • What percentage of church families have family devotions? (De. 6:4-9)
  • Is the church unified in spiritual love? (Eph. 4:1-3, 16)
  • Or does backbiting, criticism. and gossip flourish? (1 Co. 3:3-4; 2 Co. 12:20)
  • What is the spiritual condition of the youth? What are their first loves? What percentage fit the description of Romans 12?
  • Does the church take sin seriously enough to practice discipline when needed? (Mt. 18:15-20; 1 Co. 5)
  • Is the church starting new churches or purposefully planning to start new churches and working toward that objective? (Ac. 13:1-4)
  • Is the church seeing God call preachers and “full time” workers and is the church training them properly to prepare them for God’s great work? (Mt. 9:37-38; 2 Ti. 2:2)
  • Does the church have an effectual part in supporting and praying for biblical missionary works (other than a cut and dry missionary budget and photos on the wall)? Are the prayer letters read to the congregation and prayed over? (1 Co. 9:14; 2 Co. 11:8; Php. 4:15; Tit. 3:13-14; 3 Jo. 1:5-8)
  • What percentage of the church is actively looking for the blessed hope and living in light of the imminent Rapture? (Ro. 13:12; Php. 3:20; 4:5; 1 Th. 1:9-10; 4:13-18; Tit. 2:13; Heb. 9:28; 1 Pe. 4:7; 2 Pe. 3:12; Re. 1:3; 22:10)

The book
21 Steps toward a Stronger Church in the 21st Century has a lot of practical suggestions about how to pursue perfection in these evil but opportune times.

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