What Our New Churches Need

You can have you vision, distinctives, core values, name, logo, website, sell all you have and set out to plant a church, but if you do not plant with the seed of the gospel there will be no fruit. If you preach short of the life-giving truths in Scripture there will only be death. If you leave off doctrine you may build an assembly, but you will have no church.

The Church is gathered in any given locality only where Christ crucified is preached. This held true in the founding of the Church at first, and holds true in the planting of it in any heathen land. And the same doctrine which formed it is necessary to sustain it from age to age; for, as Luther happily expressed it, the article of Justification is the article of a standing or falling Church. The only security of the Church is to give no uncertain sound on the great doctrines of Christianity; the deep-seated ruin of mankind and their vast guilt; the Deity, the mission, and atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ; the necessity of regeneration by the Holy Ghost; the need of forgiving grace; the assurance of salvation; the tenor of the covenant of grace.

- George Smeaton, The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit