What is a Healthy Church? (A Working List)

The following is a working list of what I feel the Bible constitutes as “healthy” church.  However, in my opinion, a truly “healthy” church does not exist (In the popular perception of an normal human being, not in the eyes of God.).  If the saints are carrying out the commands from Jesus in Matthew 28, then it will be apparent that more sin issues from the unsaved as well as problems arising from spiritual men and women going through “growing pains” in the maturing process of the faith will arise in the assembly (think of all the letters that were passed from Apostle to planted church).  However, there are principles that may help to make sure the church/congregation is “on track”.

  • Saints and Leadership Devoted to the Preaching and Teaching of the Bible (Psalm 119:9-12; Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 14:6) (This is through a proper exegesis/study of Scripture, the intended meaning, and current cultural application for the saints to live out the faith.)
  • Saints and Leadership Meeting and Eating Together (large or small gatherings on a daily or weekly basis) (Hebrews 10:25; Acts 2:46; 20:7)  This includes the Lord’s Supper)
  • Saints and Leadership Engaging in Corporate Worship of the Lord
    • At the appointed time of established congregation for celebration and exaltation (Colossians 3:16)
    • Through Giving Financially (Hebrews 7:1-10; 2 Corinthians 8:3; 1 Corinthians 16:2; 1 Timothy 5:18; Acts 11:29)
    • Done “Cheerfully” (2 Corinthians 9:7)
    • Done With Passion (Philippians 3:7-11)
  • Saints and Leadership Participating in Corporate Prayer (John 15:4-5)
  • Saints and Leadership Making Disciples (Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 12; I Corinthians 12; Galatians 6:1-10; Mark 1:35–2:12)
  • Saints and Leadership Demonstrating Love and Care to the Assembly and Community (Mark 12:28-31; 1 Corinthians 12:26; Galatians 15:13)
  • Leadership Committed to Deepening Saints Spiritual Maturity (Ephesians 4:11-13)
  • Saints and Leadership Committed to Evangelism and Mission (local and global) (Psalm 90:1-2; 1 Peter 3:15)
  • United Vision and Strategy (commitment to organization and programming that matches vision) (Proverbs 29:18; Hebrews 11:1-2)
  • Saints and Leadership Caring for Widows and Orphans (James 1:27; Isaiah 1:17)
  • Reproduction of the Church in Various Locations and Settings (Acts 1:8)
What would you add/take away?
I would love your thoughts.
-jordan
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5 Responses to “What is a Healthy Church? (A Working List)”


  1. 1 Roger D Laidig September 28, 2011 at 2:38 am

    Very solid list Jordan. From the practical perspective, how about churches that promote…

    LOVE- 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
    4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
    Also- John 13:35
    By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

    HUMILITY- 1 Peter 5:5
    In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Also James 4:6, I Cor 13:4. etc.

    UNITY-Ephesians 4:2-3
    2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

    FORGIVENESS-Matthew 6:14-15
    14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

    THE ATTITUDE OF CHRIST-Galatians 5:22-23
    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

  2. 2 theendisforever September 28, 2011 at 2:58 am

    Roger,

    I agree with your thoughts but would say the traits you list are more on the side of the responsibilities of those who call themselves “christian” and to those who have committed to the assembly accepting individual responsibilities within the congregation to make the church “work”. (another list the I compiled which I’ll post later).

    Most of the passages you state use the context of “you” speaking to the individual believer and would seem to not be directly connected with cooperate assemblies responsibilities (aside from unity). Love, humility, forgiveness, and the attitude of Christ come from the Saints as a product of what is happening from the church. In my opinion it is important to distinguish between the responsibilities of an individual and the responsibilities of the assembly.

    Thanks for your comment! Keep it coming. Iron sharpens iron!!!

    -jordan

  3. 3 Roger D Laidig September 28, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    I believe that I understand what you’re saying. That said, it seems to me that the traits mentioned above would be a vital part of the culture of a healthy assembly. And the responsibility of developing the culture of the assembly is the responsibility of first the leadership and then also the individuals. In my opinion, since the assembly is comprised of the individuals, I’m not sure how it is possible to separate the responsibilities of the assembly from the responsibility of the individual. Isn’t it true that “We are the body”?

    I appreciate the dialog!

  4. 5 Benjer McVeigh October 11, 2011 at 3:49 am

    Great list…too often when we describe a healthy church, we go right to numbers or other such indicators. I love that each of these are rooted firmly in Scripture.


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