10 Distinctives of a Remarkable Church

Because the Slingshot Group team is able to get a behind-the-scenes look at hundreds of churches each year, we have a broad brush view of what is happening, trending, working or not working in the “big C Church.” And I’m happy to say that despite the statistics about the local church losing ground in America, we are witnessing the bride of Christ in all her glory…thriving and growing and making a difference in the world and within individual people. We see up close and personal the beauty that Christ intended the local church to portray. And it is truly remarkable. As leaders (volunteer or paid staff), are you doing all you can to lead your church to be the beautiful bride Christ intended? To be a remarkable dispenser of hope in a pain-riddled world?

What are the distinctives of a remarkable church? The dictionary defines “remarkable” as:




adjective: remarkable

  • worthy of attention; striking.”a remarkable coincidence”
synonyms: extraordinary, exceptional, amazing, astonishing, astounding, marvelous, wonderful, sensational, stunning, incredible, unbelievable, phenomenal, outstanding, momentous

So how can you be used to fuel this definition in your own church? Here are 10 observations I see common to remarkable churches that we can all reach for as leaders. They provide a look into what sets remarkably thriving churches apart from the rest.

Remarkable churches:

  • Stay true to the COMMON mission. Remarkable churches create a balance between evangelism and discipleship. They embrace the “gray” areas and see them as an opportunity rather than a stumbling block. As a result, these churches are built on the genius of the “and” rather than the more limiting “either/or.”
  • Bleed their UNCOMMON vision. Remarkable churches have certain qualities that differentiate them from other churches, and they make sure that these qualities spill over into everything they do.
  • Thrive in the tension of strategy (plans) and SPIRIT (mystery). Remarkable churches have a strategic plan in place, but remain SPIRIT-LED in everything they do.
  • Demonstrate a “Culture of Honor.” Remarkable churches create a place of freedom, respect, empowerment, and healthy discipline (not punishment). In his book, Culture of Honor, Danny Silk describes the paradigm shift that defines the “culture of honor” principle, which is something that Jesus Himself addressed in Matthew 20: 25-26: “But Jesus called them to Himself and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.” Therefore, demonstrating a culture of honor relies on those in power empowering those around them, rather than becoming stuck in what we term the “pride problem.”
  • Are a basecamp, not just a hospital. Remarkable churches should not only be a “hospital” for healing sick people, but a “basecamp” where people are prepared and discipled to face the adventure that God has set before them.
  • Embrace the art of “BLENDING.” Take a look at the definition of “blend” below. Remarkable churches blend together people from different backgrounds, races, and places in their lives to create an environment of DIVERSITY where everyone has the ability to grow and learn from others.




verb: blend; 3rd person present: blends; past tense: blended; past participle: blended; gerund or present participle: blending

mix (a substance) with another substance so that they combine together as a mass.”blend the cornstarch with a tablespoon of water”
  synonyms: mix, mingle, combine, merge, fuse, meld, coalesce, integrate, intermix
  • Attract, develop and deploy remarkable people. Remarkable churches hire remarkable staff. Having the right staff in place creates a ripple effect that affects and spreads into every other area of the church.
  • Multiply themselves. Remarkable churches create a dynamic of synergy where all the moving parts working together create a much larger effect than any could produce individually. They then duplicate this synergy in order to grow and expand.
  • Have a heightened awareness. Remarkable churches have leaders who are AWARE of the past, FOCUSED on the present, and who ANTICIPATE the future.
  • Have an ever-expanding capacity to LOVE. Remarkable churches don’t only love God—they love people and shepherd them well using the example God has set for them through Jesus.

Monty Kelso | President and Staffing Lead

Monty is a nationally recognized leader and clinician with decades of experience serving the local church. His national network and passion for the church helps keep Slingshot innovative and relational in its solutions and services.

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