This article is part of the Questions and Answers series.
Q: What are the necessary elements of a church?
A: To qualify as a church, three “marks” must be present: the preaching of the word of God, the administration of the ordinances, and the ministerial care and oversight of the church, or church discipline. These three marks—Scripture, ordinances, and authority—are universally accepted and practiced in God-centered, gospel centered churches. They must exist for a gathering of Christians to function biblically as a church, serving as the foundation of the institutional nature of the church…