Mark Driscoll, standing in a line since the Reformation of “marks” of the church (where preaching got some prominence — prior to that it was “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic”) — and joining some more recent voices (like Mark Dever), proposes eight marks of the church. I’m not interested in whether or not you like Driscoll, so visceral reactions are not needed, but instead I wonder what you think are the essential marks of the church?
The Bible provides us with a framework to examine any self-identified church and test its legitimacy. The following are eight marks of a true church given in Scripture that I believe are helpful for many churches and church leaders.
1. THE CHURCH IS MADE UP OF REGENERATED BELIEVERS IN JESUS
2. THE CHURCH IS ORGANIZED UNDER QUALIFIED LEADERSHIP
3. THE CHURCH GATHERS TO HEAR PREACHING AND TO RESPOND IN WORSHIP
4. THE CHURCH RIGHTLY ADMINISTERS THE SACRAMENTS
5. THE CHURCH IS SPIRITUALLY UNIFIED
6. THE CHURCH IS HOLY
7. THE CHURCH IS DEVOTED TO FELLOWSHIP
8. THE CHURCH IS COMMITTED TO JESUS’ MISSION