Five Marks of a Maturing Church

Sermon from CCM:City Centre


This sermon was preached by Tom O’Toole at the CCM:City Centre site of Christ Church Manchester on Sunday 25th August 2019.



This message was part of the ‘SERIES NAME’ series, preached at Christ Church Manchester’s church in Fallowfield in EARLY/MID/LATE YEAR. The full series included the following sermons:


This sermon was based on 1 Corinthians 16

The Collection For the Saints

1Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. 2On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come. 3And when I arrive, I will send those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem. 4If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me.

Plans For Travel

5I will visit you after passing through Macedonia, for I intend to pass through Macedonia, 6and perhaps I will stay with you or even spend the winter, so that you may help me on my journey, wherever I go. 7For I do not want to see you now just in passing. I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. 8But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, 9for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

10When Timothy comes, see that you put him at ease among you, for he is doing the work of the Lord, as I am. 11So let no one despise him. Help him on his way in peace, that he may return to me, for I am expecting him with the brothers.

Final Instructions

12Now concerning our brother Apollos, I strongly urged him to visit you with the other brothers, but it was not at all his will to come now. He will come when he has opportunity.

13Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14Let all that you do be done in love.

15Now I urge you, brothers—you know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints— 16be subject to such as these, and to every fellow worker and laborer. 17I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have made up for your absence, 18for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. Give recognition to such people.


19The churches of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord. 20All the brothers send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.

21I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. 22If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come! 23The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. 24My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.


(1) Regular Giving

  • The Corinthians had been on a journey to maturity in this area.
  • Paul encourages them to give regularly – setting aside money on the first day of each week.
  • He encourages them to give proportionally – ‘as they prosper’.
  • He encourages them to give collectively and all use their giving for the same purpose – in this case famine relief for the Jerusalem Christians.

(2) Global Connection

  • The Corinthian Christians are part of God’s story – and it is way bigger than them.
  • They should be ready to receive input from outside leaders.
  • They should be sending global workers out.
  • They should be willing to make sacrifices for the sake of global mission.
  • They should recognise they are part of a big global church family.

(3) Courageously Live Out Faith

  • Our faith is to be lived out in the world.
  • We should be watchful – often people fall away when they stop paying attention to what is going on in their soul.
  • We should stand firm in the faith – there will be pressure put on us and we need to stand firm.
  • We should act like men – Paul frequently contrasts childish faith with mature faith.
  • We should be strong in the faith.
  • We should do all things in love – true mature discipleship is seen in the crucible of community. 

(4) Recognise Godly Leaders

  • It is important for their to be local leaders sharing lives with the people.

(5) Love and Long For the Lord

  • The most important key to maturity is love and longing for the Lord Jesus.



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