I am convinced more than ever before that there is no greater force on the face of the earth that can create radical, lasting life-change than a biblically functioning community of believers. I also believe that the Church, when it is truly functioning as Jesus intended it to, is the hope of our city, of our state, of our country, and of our world. There is no other network or organization in existence that has the potential to change the world, as does a healthy church!
That is exactly what I believe God has called me to do–to lead a healthy, growing, biblically functioning community of believers. The church that I pastor is striving to be a community of passionate Christ-followers who are intentionally living out the principles of Scripture in everyday life.
Every church, and all Christ-followers should ask and try to answer the following question, “What exactly makes up a healthy church?” I’ve got a few ideas listed below:
1) Healthy Pastors – Doug Clay (General Treasurer for the A/G) once wrote in an Ohio AG periodical, “Healthy pastors possess a vision for the church and its community. They are not afraid to try new ideas. They reject status quo and understand the value of interdependence and the commitment to seeing others around them succeed.” In order for a church to be healthy, it must first of all be led by a healthy pastor!
2) Healthy People – Since the church is people, it only makes sense that a truly healthy church is made up of healthy Christ-followers. A healthy believer will spend adequate time with Jesus in prayer and in the study of His Word.
3) Healthy Priorities – A healthy church will prioritize the things that God prioritizes such as reaching the lost; demonstrating love toward one another; encouraging a lifestyle of worship before God; creating opportunities for corporate prayer; meeting the felt needs within the community; and providing opportunities for spiritual growth.
4) Healthy Problems – That’s right, I said healthy probmlems! You know, I’ve come to understand and even appreciate challenges in the church. In fact, I believe that it’s OK for a church to run into problems every once in a while-so long as they don’t become divisive nor damaging to the cause of Christ. My personal philosophy is this; healthy problems create win-win situations and result in greater unity within the church. Unhealthy problems create win-lose situations, where one group of people gets their way while another group of people suffer loss. This kind of problem will only cause division in the church.
Remember, the church wasn’t man’s idea… it was Jesus’ idea! It was He who said, “I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it” (Matthew 16:18, NLT).
Let me leave you with one last thought… Whatever the Lord builds will be healthy and produce good fruit! Whatever man builds, for the most part, will be irrelevant. So, let’s get on with the Lord’s business and build a “Healthy Church” for His glory!