Can You Answer This Question?

Are all healthy churches growing?

Here are a few thoughts from my Face Book friends:

If they are healthy they should be growing..a healthy church is one that feasts on the Word on a regular basis..when you are feasting you are growing…

Growth does not ALWAYS equal health. I would look at the growth over a certain amount of time. A church can grown very quickly when it expands or adds something unique to what it offers. The proof is in the pudding though. If it sustains that growth over time then i would say it’s a healthy church. If if stagnates or starts to move in the other direction that is a clear indication that something is not quite right.

growth doesn’t equal health but health equates growth..there are some mega churchs that have grown quickly but died just as quick..

Churches also need time to grow spiritually, not just numerically. A church can give people what they want and it will grow for a time, but once novelty wears off–then what. Bigger churches are not always healthy churches.

A good question to ask is “Are churches that follow God’s word going to be mega churches?”

Roy, I think some healthy churches are contracting rather than growing. For example, what if the membership rolls are bloated with members who never show up – as is the case in most Baptist churches? Isn’t it better that such a church contract so that only those with visible evidence of salvation are left as members? Don’t misunderstand. A healthy church is faithfully preaching the Word. And it is evangelizing. But that doesn’t mean, automatically, that it is growing. Just a thought.

There are two problems (at least). Some churches get artificial “decisions” but fail to make converts. Others, or maybe the same ones, fail to make disciples out of converts. We need revival and reformation on all fronts.

“Is my church healthy?” perhaps should be the question we should be asking. Examine the fruit of the members, is it consistent?

Your thoughts?

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3 responses to this post.

  1. The keys to the question are found in “healthy” and “growing”.

    What defines a healthy church? By doing so, I think you will see that a healthy church IS a growing church. They go hand in hand. But the question regarding the definition of healthy is paramount to the topic.

    Do we measure health based on finances or attendance? Is it based on how well it engages with culture? Could we say it is healthy if it has a strong missions program?

    To define a healthy church, you need to focus on the collective sum of the individual member’s spiritual condition. Are they growing? Are they exercising their spiritual gifts to serve the body? Are they making disciples?

    This is what Paul spoke about in Ephesians 4:16, “He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.”

    God’s design for the church is that we all work together perfectly. When we do, growth is a natural outcome.

  2. The health of a church is not measured in numbers but in aspects such as these:

    High Sense of Purpose—A church must know its reason for existence and have a clear process for biblically leading people from spiritual lostness to spiritual maturity.

    Effective Evangelism—A church must see its community as a mission field and develop ways to contextually communicate the gospel to the people living in the community.

    Acceptance of Change—A church must be creative, understanding the changing needs of people and meeting people at their point of need.

    Leadership that Empowers—Church leaders must be servant leaders helping others identify spiritual gifts and empowering them to use these gifts in ministry.

    Transforming Worship—True worship brings glory to God and leads to change. Each time the church gathers for worship the primary goal is to encounter God and His truth which leads to transformed lives.

    Help with Life—A healthy sense of community is built through healthy, caring relationships. Church leaders must be consumed with leading people to live out Jesus’ Great Commandment: to love one another.

    Yes to God—Healthy churches diligently seek God’s answers and direction through faithful prayer and study of His Word always bending our will and our beliefs to God’s.

    These 7 items were taken from the blog of Dr. Lash Banks, DoM.

    Churches meeting the 7 criteria above MAY grow in numbers, but, more importantly, the congregation will be growing spiritually.

  3. Posted by Ken on February 23, 2009 at 3:50 PM

    After reading this post one thought came to mind, revolving door Christianity. After 20 years as a regular church attendee, I have seen many people come and go. People leave for a variety of reasons. However long their stay though, the hope remains that they at least have gained salvation. What mission field the Lord leads them to next is anybodies guess. Weather it be a large or small church, it is “a church”, the home of our Lord and Savior, undoubtably built with His purpose in mind.

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