I can across an article yesterday entitled, “Five Signs you are part of an unhealthy church.” Seemed to be to be an unhealthy point of view. We all could be healthier. So I have taken the points from that article and changed them to a more positive approach.
1. A Clear Vision. Proverbs 29:18 states, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” In my history with churches I get a little uncomfortable when “vision” is discussed. Besides, isn’t the mission of the church obvious? Well maybe it isn’t. Some people see church as a spiritual hospital where the walking wounded come to be made whole. That’s certainly a necessary ministry. Others take the great commission literally and think church is there to spread the gospel. Kind of hard to argue with that.
If you go to Amanacf.org in its new form (what a blatant plug. I’m ashamed of myself.) You will find the vision of Amana: Connect up with us as we build relationships with Jesus first and then one another, house to house, city to city, nation to nation.
That’s a great vision. Putting it into practice is a great challenge.
If we start with relationship with Jesus and each other and focus outward we will be a healthy hospital for the wounded that also spreads the word. Sounds good to me.
2. Leadership has two ears and one mouth.
Now in the article I read, point two of the unhealthy church was that leadership can never be questioned or challenged. I’ve turned that around. Good leadership in my view listens twice as much as it talks. We are in a leadership change so we’ll have to see how that goes. From what I’ve seen in the short period of the “new administration” I get a sense that leadership is ready to listen to us, the sheep. That puts a big burden on us to be wise in what we say. Hope we’re up to it.
3. You Are never Comfortable and always Convicted
I turned this one around completely. In an unhealthy church, you are very comfortable, but never convicted. I think about this one in this way. In a good hospital, you are cared for as long as you need it, then you are told to get out of bed.
So it is in church. Some of us need a time to heal. for the rest of us it’s time to get out of the bed (or pew) and get to work.
4. Congregants Are NOT Content With Being Pew Warmers
For this one I just added the word “not.” In a healthy church, the leadership challenges the congregation. But does so in such a way that all present want to get out of the pews (and not just to miss the rest of the sermon.)
When a church’s environment is a healthy one, you should never have to inflict guilt upon people in order to get them involved. They will have a heart to serve, not out of guilt but out of desire. So leadership, I don’t need a guilt trip. I need a positive motivation.
5. Outreach is Always Planned and Preached
A church that never plans or even preaches outreach is unhealthy. When a church feels no need or desire to not only preach helping those outside of the four walls, but never does anything in its surrounding community, it speaks volumes. Outreach was and is the heart of Jesus. Simply having worship on Sundays is not church; it’s simply a meeting. The work that is done in the community to show God’s love is church. It is one thing to talk church, but it’s another thing to actually BE the church. If the church that you attend never preaches or plans outreach in the community, country or world, you are definitely part of an unhealthy church. Real church takes place by rendering service; usually outside the four walls of a building.
I changed the title of that last one but left the words the same. A healthy church specializes in OUTREACH and not INSIGHT.
How healthy are you and your church?