What makes a church “healthy”?
I see four major components of a healthy church.
A healthy church is a worshiping church. In a healthy church, every Sunday, Jesus Christ is central in all that is said and done, from singing songs and hymns, and even giving. The proclamation of God’s Word and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is always central in a healthy church. Worship is not limited to Sunday. Worship is every day. In the first act of the church in Acts chapter two, we see a miracle happen by the power of the Holy Spirit. Those early disciples entered Jerusalem and started speaking about the glory of God, and everyone heard in their own native tongue. And so, a worshiping church is proclaiming the goodness and the glory of God every day of the week to every tongue, every tribe and every nation.
A healthy church is also a disciple-making church. In a healthy church, people are learning about the person of Jesus Christ but they’re doing so in a relationally-rich environment, where iron sharpens iron. People are encouraging one another and they are being taught to obey and follow the person of Jesus Christ.
A healthy church is also a missionally-minded church. Jesus gave us clear instructions that we are to follow Him in loving people, in loving our neighbor and in taking the Gospel around the world. A healthy church is engaged not only in their neighborhood, sharing the Gospel evangelistically, but is also engaged around the world as we take the Gospel message of Jesus forward.
And finally, a healthy church is a praying church. In fact, prayer is what fuels everything about a healthy church. As a healthy church, you are connecting with your heavenly Father individually and corporately. When it comes to taking the mission of Jesus Christ forward, a healthy church is praying, seeking God’s face, and asking God for the power of the Holy Spirit that we may fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandment that God has given to us.
How can a church health strategist help my church?
A church health strategist comes alongside a pastor, staff and congregation to help them as they self-assess their health. Perhaps it has been some time since you have assessed the health of your church. A church health strategist puts you in the right direction so that you can know how your church is doing. Maybe it has been a while since you freshened up your assimilation strategy, and you need some direction. A church health strategist can guide you in some assimilation ideas. Or perhaps, you have decided to reach a certain segment of your community, and you are not quite sure where to start. A church health strategist can help you analyze the demographics of your region together, so you will know how to best reach your community with the Gospel of Jesus.
At the newly-formed Center for Church Health here at Texas Baptists, we have pastors and leaders who have been in the field just like you, who are experts in areas of church health and growth, evangelism, worship, discipleship, preschool, children, youth and special needs. We have people who are experts about resources for Bible studies. We even have a team who can help you assess your buildings so that you are sure you are making disciples in every single corner of your facility. I’m honored to be one person on this team serving you and serving the state of Texas.
For more information about church health and how your church can benefit from Texas Baptists’ services, contact Jonathan Smith at jonathan.smith[at]txb.org or (214) 828-5315.