Friday, March 6, 2009

Thoughts on a Healthy Church

In preparation for a vision casting elder's meeting we're having tomorrow, I put together four marks of a healthy church.

What does it look like?

· It’s a church operated by prayer.

“Prayer is the visible engine that drives our church.” –John Piper, author and head pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church.

· It’s a church that has a passion for the lost, and has organized, publicized, unified efforts to bring the gospel to their community.

“Take what is in your hand, and offer it to who is in your reach.” – Robert Bishop, head pastor of Whittier Hills Baptist Church.

· It’s a church in which young and old are entwined through the biblical means of mentoring and discipleship.

“Jesus trained His disciples superbly for their future roles. He taught by example and by precept; His teaching was done ‘on the way.’ Jesus did not ask the twelve to sit down and take notes in a formal classroom. Jesus’ classrooms were the highways of life; His principles and values came across in the midst of daily experience.” –J. Oswald Sanders, author of Spiritual Leadership.

· It’s a church that has God’s heart for the nations, and is willing to take faith-filled steps to go. “Many Christians are oblivious of the most glorious story in world history, the spread of Christianity through the blood and tears and joy of world missions.” John Piper, in Brothers We Are Not Professionals.

1 comment:

Chris McKinny said...

Nice collection of thoughts. As a sub-point under discipleship I would add - "a healthy church holds marriages and families accountable by instilling in them a fear of the Lord." At the church me and Mindy are attending in Jerusalem - literally every Sunday the pastor says, "Married people, is everything all right between you - don't come here to the Lord's house with sin between you, remember what happened to Nadab and Abihu, to Ananias and Saphirra - fear the Lord and love your spouse." I have rarely seen this type of preaching and shepherding from the pulpit and I wander if it says something about the permeation of individualism within the church. It seems to me that most churches/pastors are more concerned with what you believe individually and defending yourself apologetically than how their flock is actually living in fear before the Lord.