9 Markers of Churches Who Strongly Influence Their Community with the Gospel

Not every church makes much difference in its community. Some churches do, though, and I want to learn from them. Here are some of the characteristics I’ve seen in these churches:

  1. They believe and teach the gospel. At the end of the day, they’re driven to do what they do because they want others to know Jesus.
  2. They’re not typically megachurches. They’re smaller churches, but ones with a great big vision to reach their community.
  3. They genuinely ask, “If our church weren’t here, would our community miss us?” If/when their perceived answer is “no,” they make necessary adjustments to get back into the community.
  4. They ask community leaders what their community’s real needs are. They don’t assume that their church leaders know the answer; instead, they ask people who actually do know. Just asking helps them gain credibility with the community.
  5. Their members (beginning with the pastor) have chosen to live in the community. In some cases, they’ve moved from “better” places to invest in the community that needs the gospel. These churches really love the people who live near where their congregation worships.
  6. They welcome all races and nationalities. They want their church to reflect their community and foreshadow heaven, and they don’t tolerate prejudice.
  7. They often have one staff member or leader responsible for local outreach and ministry. They are so committed to this task that they staff accordingly—in many cases, with laypersons.
  8. They almost naturally prayerwalk their community. That is, they live in the community and they pray for it daily. A daily walk or drive then becomes an opportunity for intercession.
  9. They serve, serve again, and then serve some more. I know that’s redundant, but that’s the point. These churches don’t wait for the community to come to them; rather, they’re continually finding ways to meet needs. Their community knows them as servants.

How does your church compare to these characteristics? 


  • Robin G Jordan says:

    A timely article as we begin a new year and a new decade. Except for being small, my church sadly has none of these characteristics. If the church closed, the only folks who would miss it would be the local pregnancy clinic, the utility companies, and the guy who mows the grass. The church has been without a pastor for more than six years. Most of the congregation does not live in the community in which the church is located. Its sole purpose appears to be to provide a Sunday worship service for its handful of members who are resigned to its eventual closure. I have concluded that the best way that it might impact the community is to turn its building over to a church that is more engaged with the community.

  • Patrick says:

    Asking the community on what they want in a church I find disturbing. Asking unsaved people how the church of Christ should minister unto them. Preach the gospel God is in charge. Trust in him with all you heart and lean not to your own understanding. When we begin to ask man what kind of worship they want we are going down the wrong path. Worship God in truth and Spirit can only do this being saved. Yes reach the lost go in the love of Christ bringing the gospel to the people.

  • Doug Jones says:

    I know that church. It is Mountain Springs Baptist Church in Piedmont SC

  • Billy Tingle says:

    I have really focused on Point 3 this past year.

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