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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: April 6, 2013.

Is your church healthy?

If it disappeared tomorrow would your community notice? More importantly, if the doors and windows were boarded up, would God care?

Harsh questions. But they’re ones we should be asking often of our churches and ourselves. After all, the world is dying out there. There’s no time for us to be bashful about self-evaluation.

So how do we go about measuring the performance of our church?

  • The coolest logo?
  • The hippest t-shirts?
  • The best cappuccinos served?
  • The rockingest praise band?
  • The most relevant preacher?

No. All of those elements may contribute to a larger goal but the metrics are much simpler:

  1. Are we growing spiritually and numerically inside of the church?
  2. Are we reaching out with effectiveness in sharing the Gospel to our community and beyond?

Growing in. Reaching out.

Before we pass this evaluation off to our pastors and leaders of our church we must begin by scrutinizing ourselves. After all the Church is not a building or an institution, it’s the family of God.

As we explore the health of our church the most important questions may be those we ask of ourselves.

Are we a healthy part of our family? Are we a healthy part of our church?

Attitudes Within the Church Walls – Growing In

Sitting in.
Unfortunately, many of our churches are filled with people who “sit in” each Sunday morning. After superficial greetings as they come into the santuary, they plop into their chairs, fold their arms, and say, “Entertain me I dare you.” Do we find ourselves among the legions of church hoppers, church shoppers and longtime chair barnacles?

Love in.
Then there are the growing bands of churches waving the banners of relevancy and which are sacrificing everything to make everyone feel comfortable. I’m Okay. You’re Okay. We’re All Okay. As long as you show up each week, we’re all going to make it. The problem is that we aren’t All Okay. We’re messed up and are in dire need of discipling. As Paul teaches, love is at the core of ministry. It’s essential. But love must be accompanied by Truth for us to grow as Believers.

Growing in.
A healthy attitude for a church is one with an emphasis on growth, both spiritually and numerically. It starts with spiritual growth where congregants are learning about God and experiencing clearly visible transformation in their lives. By His design, this spiritual transformation draws the attention and curiosity of others, which results in a vibrant environment which is both exciting and welcoming.

Attitudes Outside the Church Walls – Reaching Out

Hanging out.
Sadly, most of us never take our faith outside of the church walls. We love cuddling together within the safe womb of the building and hanging out with like-minded individuals. Fellowship and encouragement is critical to our spiritual well being and our churches can play a central role in providing this. But if our love for Jesus isn’t spilling outside the building and flooding into our communities, we’ve missed much of the purpose of a church, which is to equip us to minister to others. Especially those outside of the church walls.

Hiding out.
Then there are churches which properly promote ministry outside of the building’s walls, into the mission field of our daily lives. But without this being a central push and without layers of accountability, these goals are never realized. Right as we leave the church parking lot, we surrender to the fears of cultural backlash, and begin hiding in our cocoons. If we aren’t as bold in our 8-5′s as we are on our Sunday mornings, we’re missing out on our true calling.

Reaching out.
A healthy church is one with a body equipped and committed to reaching out. It’s one where each and every person is challenged to take their faith into all aspects of their communities and lives. It begins with a transformed life, but then collaboratively throughout the church it moves toward a transformed neighborhood and a transformed city. We can win our cities for Christ. A fired up congregation with a heart and will to reach out can make it happen.

What it comes down to is an understanding it’s not about “going to church” it’s about “being the Church” wherever we go.

Growing in. Reaching out. How does your church fare in these two critical areas?

If it’s doing fantastic, then give your pastor a hug and your leaders some high-fives. If it’s falling short of what God intended then be the one who helps to turn things around.

Not by leaving. Not by gossip and grumbling. But through prayer, edification and encouragement.

Want to be part of a thriving, healthy church? Then remember, it all starts with you.




Loving Michael K. Reynold’s articles? You might enjoy Strengthening Your Prayer Life

Learn more about the talented author Michael K. Reynolds

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