Todd Pruitt writes:
Kevin DeYoung has posted a helpful article on how churches ought to evaluate themselves. He draws on a conversation he had with the pastor of a declining church. The pastor attributed his church’s decline on the fact that their music and liturgy were historic rather than contemporary. But DeYoung, knowing that the church was theologically liberal pressed the pastor to consider that the reason for their decline was probably not due simply to the style of music.
DeYoung suggests a series of deeper questions that churches ought to be regularly asking:
Is the gospel faithful preached?
Is the Bible taught with clarity and passion?
Are the sermons manifestly rooted in a text of Scripture?
Do the elders/pastors and deacons meet the qualifications for church office laid out in the New Testament?
Are the sacraments faithfully administered and protected?
Is church discipline practiced?
Do the elders exercise personal care over the flock?
Are there good relationships among the staff and other leaders?
Is the worship service put together thoughtfully and carried out with undistracting excellence (as much as possible)?
Do the people in the congregation sing the songs with gusto or are they going through the motions?
Is a high bar set for church membership?
Are the people of the church engaged in personal ministry?
Is the congregation marked by increasing prayer and evangelism?
Do the pastors believe in the complete trustworthiness of all of Scripture?
Do they take adequate time for study and preparation?
Do they truly believe and eagerly rejoice in their church’s/denomination’sstatement of faith, creeds, and confessions?
Are their lives examples of personal holiness?