Summary: Four transferable principles from the human body to the Body of Christ.
A 20/20 VISION FOR THE YEAR 2020: SIGNS OF HEALTHY CHURCH
What is a healthy church?
• How can you tell one when you see it?
• How does it look different from other churches?
• How does it act differently from other churches?
We used social media and email this week to ask you a similar question: “How can you tell, in less than 60 seconds, that a church is healthy?” And you gave some wonderful answers. I have combined and compiled some responses that were repetitious.
• By the smiles on people's faces and the warmth and enthusiasm with which you are greeted when you enter the door and also in the sanctuary. Not only friends, but guests.
• Relational warmth, and enthusiasm
• A willingness to grow spiritually
• If there is Unity, Love and Excitement.
• Answered prayers
• You can sense the presence of the Holy Spirit
• Having a venue for people to plug in on their first arrival.
• If its members share the responsibility of outreach and teaching the children.
• There is evidence that they love one another
• The focus of the church is not on itself but on others.
• Proclaiming the gospel in both word and deed.
• The needs of our people are being met by others (laymen), before we can even volunteer.
• The staff is a support for the church.
• By how the members speak to and about each other.
• By how the members welcome/accept visitors that are different from the majority demographic of the congregation (i.e., visitors outside their “comfort zone”)
• Paying bills and obligations on time
• The church is growing in attendance
• New people are coming to salvation in Christ
• People are engaged in the ministry.
• People are friendly and speak to me.
• There are signs of mission involvement and evangelism.
• Actual participation in activities and events other than Sunday service.
• There's an air of expectancy.
• The church has children.
• A variety of age groups.
• In the parking lot and at the front door, servants are showing me Jesus in their very actions.
Good answers. Thank you for participating.
I have asked myself this question (What is a healthy church?) a lot over the years. As a pastor it is important for me to be able to answer it accurately. I think there are many indicators of a healthy church but, this morning, I want to place them into four big categories.
For me, the image of a healthy human gives helpful insight.
Signs of a healthy person include:
1. A Good Immune System -- The capacity to ward off (and heal from) disease and germs
2. Emotional Wellbeing -- A positive outlook toward the future; a realistic sense of anticipation and expectation about what lies ahead
3. Relational Stability – the capacity to function within society; the ability to develop and maintain healthy relationships.
4. Proper Physiological Development / Maturity – the ability to perform the tasks that a person of a certain age is expected to perform (i.e. reproduction, normative motor skills, etc.)