A Model Church:

Did you know the Bible gives us the description of a model church. In fact the Apostle Paul calls the church a model. That church was one he planted in Thessalonica. Chapter 1 verse 7 Paul writes the following: And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.”

Now what made Thessalonica a model church? I think there are a couple of things we can look at in this first chapter that would lead us to that conclusion.

  1. In verse six we see that they were focused on following Christ no matter how difficult it would be. The story of how this church was planted is found in Acts 17. A number of Jews and Greeks believed in Christ and that made the leading Jews jealous. A mob incited a riot that drove Paul out of the city. Yet these new believers in Christ prevailed and moved forward.
  2. Not only did these believers move forward, but their testimony sounded forth through the entire region. That term, “sounded forth” is a word picture of how thunder rolls across the sky during a thunder-storm. What a great way of picturing the outreach and reputation a church has that is focused on sharing Christ with others. It’s like the rolling thunder that starts in the distance and grows and moves over your head and on to the other end of the sky! The church’s reputation and outreach was like that.
  3. They left their former pursuits and idols to eagerly follow Christ. They were marked not only by what they received, but what they gave up.
Do these things mark your church or even small group? What would need to change for your fellowship to be a model like Thessalonica was?
So can you add something to this list as you look at the first chapter of 1 Thessalonians, or do you have another characteristic of a model church you’ve found elsewhere in Scripture? I look forward to hearing about what you find.
Well that’s this leader’s view.

4 responses to “A Model Church:

  1. Great thoughts, David! Thank you. Some other characteristics that have blessed me over the years are found in verse 2 : their work of faith, their labor of love, and their steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. I believe it is Howard Hendricks who has written a book emphasizing how Paul refers to these characteristics when writing to churches throughout the New Testament. If we’re characterized by these qualities, we will be a model for others and bring glory to our awesome God. I love you, David! Len

    • Hey Len,
      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments. I agree 100 percent with what you have written. I resonate with your observations from verse two.
      I love you too Bro!


  2. You left out the most important aspect of modeling–the leaders. Verse 4: “…our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.” Paul and the boys spoke and did, thought clearly and acted deliberately. They were moved by “deep convictions” that were birthed in the fires of the Holy Spirit. You will argue for what you believe (I know I do!). You will die for what you have deep convictions about. The church in turn ‘mimic-ed’ the leadership of Paul, making them a model church. So modeling start with deeply convicted leaders who speak out and show up. Keep your ‘feet happy’ Dave.

    • Hey Mike,
      Thank you so much for your great insight. I totally agree. Thank you for the time to augment the post! Have a GREAT day.

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