Recently, I was asked to lecture at a church planting intensive at Harvest Bible College. It was an opportunity I savored because I enjoy speaking to anyone who is enthusiastic about building the church.
In my first session I talked on the subject, “Leaders that establish strong churches”. I offered a definition of what an established strong church looks like. Here is my list (Remember it’s my definition… taken from biblical study and personal experience… It’s ok to disagree with me)
- Led by biblically qualified leaders
- Fiscally sustainable
- Mission focused
- Sacraments – water baptism and communion
- Unified relationally
- Bible preaching and worship
- Congregational holiness
- Growth in number of new disciples
I love the idea of building a healthy church. More importantly I am committed to building a healthy church. I think a healthy church is defined by the following:
Mission Focused | Biblical Values | Clear Vision
Mission Focused – A church that is mission focused prioritizes the Great Commission in all that it does. It exists for the purpose of saving souls and making disciples.
Biblical Values – A church that builds its foundation on biblical values is going to grow healthy. Values are the things that are most important to you and they define who you are and how you operate.
Clear Vision – A church that is led by spiritual leaders, leading the church towards a clear and compelling, God-given picture of the future is going to experience health along the way. No church can grow into health without a clear vision for the future.
Dr Paul Borden, from his book Direct Hit, adds his thoughts to this discussion:
Healthy Congregations are defined by sacrifice. They exist more for those who are currently not a part of the group than for those who comprise the current congregation. They are missional in their nature and, as a result, outwardly focused in orientation. they organize themselves to accomplish mission and are willing to change any organizational structure that inhibits the accomplishment of that mission.