10 Marks of a True Church

What Makes a Church?

Church Planting

T4T groups can become churches, or cluster to become churches, and many do.

A church, according to the New Testament, is:

  1. Believers gathered in the Name of Jesus, (Mt 18:20).
  2. Believers who gather regularly to devote themselves to apostles teaching, (the Bible), fellowship, (sharing their lives, aspirations, victories and struggles), breaking of bread, (the Lord’s Supper), and prayer, (Acts 2:42)
  3. In a healthy church the members also give and evangelize, (Acts 2:43 -47).
  4. A healthy church eventually has appointed leaders called overseers/elders/pastors. But new churches often don’t have appointed leaders yet. In Acts 13 Paul started many churches and left them without appointed leaders, until he came back through within a year or two and recognized which men the Holy Spirit had made overseers, and laid hands on them.
  5. The members of a healthy church live in covenant relationship but do not necessarily have a written covenant. Covenant is devotion to one another, Rom 12:10. Church is a covenant community.
  6. Church is not a building. The Greek word in the NT translated “church” is ekklesia. It means a called out gathering of people. Church is people wherever they may gather. A church may meet in a home, which the NT churches did, (Rom 16:5; 1 Cor 16:19; Col 4:15; Philemon 2). Churches meet under trees, in caves, on roof tops, in meadows, and many other places, and Jesus meets with them every time, (Mt 18:20).
  7. There is nothing in Holy Scripture that says a church is not a church unless it has musical instruments, a sound system, or any of the other things traditions have added. House churches are real churches in the eyes of God and are just as legitimate as large, or rich, or fancy churches. Maybe house churches are more legitimate in some cases!
  8. T4T groups often become churches. That is by design. The intentional plan of T4T is to launch networks of house churches that rapidly start more house churches.
  9. Another option some are choosing is to follow the cell church model, considering the T4T groups to be cells, and gathering them into weekly celebration worship services. But the majority of, and fastest growing CPMs encourage T4T groups to become churches.
  10. Research shows that new churches see more people saved than older churches, and small churches see more people saved, per capita, than large churches. These are established facts. T4T captures both of these, the newness and the smallness! That is why T4T CPMs grow faster, because new groups are always being started, no matter what the size. There is never a need to wait for 4 or 6 or 8 people to commit, new churches just start with whomever they can gather.

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