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Is your church healthy?

November 28, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

“Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:46-47)

One of the first questions that pastors tend to ask each other when they get together is, “How big is your church?” As pastors, it can be hard not to evaluate the job we are doing by the numbers – average attendance, finances, baptisms, etc. That’s why I found it refreshing – and challenging – to read an article by Karl Vaters on the Christianity Today website today entitled 28 non-numerical signs of a healthy church. I have reprinted the list below as one man’s perspective, which I believe lends itself well to reflection and discussion:

28 Non-Numerical Signs Of A Healthy Church

1. People care more about doing ministry than having a title

2. There are more ministry teams than committees

3. Departments cooperate with each other

4. The church cooperates with other churches

5. The church looks like the neighborhood (demographically)

6. The church goes into the neighborhood

7. The front rows are as full as the back rows

8. The bulletin isn’t just about internal events

9. Guests feel welcomed

  1. Volunteerism is high
  2. Ministry ideas bubble up
  3. New ideas are embraced
  4. New leadership is embraced
  5. Long-time leadership is respected
  6. The energy and passion of the youth is celebrated
  7. The wisdom and patience of the older saints is honored
  8. The eternal truths of the Bible are taught and lived
  9. Worship is more than just singing
  10. People like bringing their friends
  11. Congregation members love each other
  12. Congregation members like each other
  13. People are being saved
  14. People are being discipled – then discipling others
  15. People are being sent out into ministry
  16. It’s a good place to ask hard questions
  17. People pray – a lot
  18. Failure isn’t fatal
  19. People are more excited about the future than the past

What do you think? Where do you see signs of health in our church (or, if you don’t attend NewLife, in your church)? Where do you see signs of a lack of health? I would welcome any feedback you might have to give. And above all, let this list serve as a reminder that true health is not about the numbers, but about hearts that are devoted to Jesus and lives that are being transformed by the gospel.

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