What follows is part 2 of Monday's Post earlier this week: “Five Critical Marks Of A Healthy Church.”
If you haven’t already done so, please read what Monday’s post before reading this, so it makes sense.
4. Being governed by a plurality of elders.
This group of leaders needs to be unified around clarity of purpose, values and vision. There will most certainly be poor health in due time when a church is led by one individual instead of the plurality of elders advocated in the New Testament (1 and 2 Timothy).
This team of leaders needs to be unified around a clear sense of who they are (purpose), what they believe (values) and where they are headed (vision). Within this team there needs to be freedom to speak one’s mind and to challenge each other’s thinking without fear of reprisal. There needs to be both unity around key areas and diversity in personality, gifting and passion. If everyone on a team thought the same way, one/some of them would be unnecessary. Learning to celebrate rather than resent differences is vital.
5. Corporate worship that is energetic and engaging.
In our culture music is huge. People’s lives revolve around music and what that music is communicating. For far too long the church has lagged behind in this. We need corporate worship experiences in which people are having an encounter with the living God and not just going through the motions (or not even doing that, but standing there like fence posts.)
It’s not what’s happening up front with the worship team that is most important (how good/gifted they are, how excellently they perform or how the music compares with other churches in the area.) It’s all about leading people into the presence of God almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. We need God’s anointing on the worship as well as on the preaching.
There has been a shift in thinking from church growth to church health. More and more content creators and writers are addressing the issue of how healthy the church is, not just how big it is.
Still it seems to me that the mega-churches are often held up as the model to emulate. These churches will have their books, their podcasts and vodcasts, seminars and conferences to tell us how they became so successful and so big and how you (the smaller church) can do the same.
How about shooting for church health as the biblical model and let the sovereign Lord decide how big He wants it to be. After all, he is the Lord of the harvest (the end results), not us! Matthew 9:38.
Do I hear an Amen?
“What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” I Corinthians 3:5-7 (ESV) Emphasis mine