Summary: There has been an incredible emphasis in recent years on church health. Many believe that if a local church is healthy and functioning the way it should, natural growth will be the result. The removal of growth-restricting diseases that often plague the
Opening Statement: There has been an incredible emphasis in recent years on church health. Many believe that if a local church is healthy and functioning the way it should, natural growth will be the result. The removal of growth-restricting diseases that often plague the body of Christ enable natural growth to occur.
Observation: One growth-restricting disease of the church is the lack of a process that involves moving people from an unchurched, unbelieving lifestyle to positions of leadership in the local church. When this kind of thing happens in a local church, whether it’s 5 or 5,000, that local church is doing its job.
Explanation: The process that we’ve been working on now for over a year has five basic phases to it: winning them (through friendship), bringing them in (casual invitations and special events), equipping them (putting them in a growth environment), sending them out (to do life biblically), and repeating the process (see them begin the process all over again in someone else). Through the enablement of the Spirit, I believe we can engage in this process to the glory of God.
Title: Healthy and Thriving
Transition: There is a New Testament book that is uniquely suited for our theme today. There is a prayer that the Apostle John prayed for one of his church leaders. I pray this prayer today for you. There is also a warning about those who prove to be more of a growth-restricting disease in the body than a contributor to it’s health.
Text: 3 John 1:2 Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. 9 I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. 10 For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church. 11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God.
Key Word: If God answers this prayer, I believe it will issue forth in TEN GREAT MOVEMENTS of God within our congregation.
What A Healthy Church Looks Like
Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.
1. God-Centered Worship
Church should be energized by faith and provide worship experiences that are biblically based, Christ-centered, exalt and glorify God. Be corporate, genuine, inspiring, dynamic, participatory and transforming, relevant.
Seek to find out God’s priorities and let them shape where you put your energy and attention.
3. Needs-Based Ministries
Work at transforming your community by meeting physical, emotional and spiritual needs of both members and the local community. Cultural connectedness is essential. Find a need in the community that you have been positioned to meet and meet it. See people as your greatest assets and encourage participation through a personal invitation rather than a ’general notice’ to some task. Welcome everyone’s contribution and get them involved.
4. Joyous Generosity
Face the cost of change and growth. Create and maintain a reasonable budget. Utilize holistic stewardship practices. Make people aware of financial needs. People will always put their money where their passion is. Encourage “ownership” of the various church ministries and programs.
5. Empowering Leadership
The proof of a good leader is creating another leader, not more followers. Develop servant-leadership by strategically mentoring, teaching and serving the believers. A true leader’s measure of success is when they have succeeded in helping others to be successful. Leadership should be about identifying, articulating the vision and giving proper co-ordination and direction celebrating, giving expression to, co-coordinating and resourcing the ministry of the whole church.