Part 2 of a Series
BY DR. STEVE DUNN
I have been in the ministry for more than 45 years—serving in a variety of staff settings, as a senior pastor and intentional interim pastor for churches ranging from 80 to over 700. My work with Bridgebuilders Ministries has led me to in-depth study and field experience as to what makes a church healthy.
The following are characteristics that I would identify as the marks of a healthy church and statements that explain what is involved in those characteristics.
BIBLICAL PREACHING, TEACHING, AND MODELING
Healthy churches provide preaching and teaching with a strong and unapologetic biblical base, providing practical applications for what is being taught. This preaching and teaching encourages people to live by those biblical standards.
Healthy churches operate in a manner that is guided by biblical principles which guide their decisions, programs, and values that have an obvious connection to the Word of God.
PASSION FOR EVANGELISM/JESUS EXPRESSED THROUGH NEED-MEETING MINISTRIES
Healthy churches understand that they must build bridges of redemptive relationship to the lost people of their community. They teach people the necessity of evangelism that calls people to general discipleship and equip them to do this.
Healthy churches understand that they must build redemptive relationships with their communities bring salt and light to those communities and their issues.
Healthy churches make the community aware of their mission as a church and invite the community to join that mission.
Healthy churches are not attractional—they are incarnational.
HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS WITH GOD AND OTHERS
Healthy churches provide quality care to people with whom they are connected. This involves affirmation, prayer, practical assistance, guidance, and dependable connectedness.
Healthy churches teach and practice healthy relationships according to the Word of God. Healthy churches are attentive to helping their people mature in Christ.
Healthy churches recognize that 90% plus of persons who make commitments to Christ do so before the age of 18. They understand that people effectively disciple while still children and youth are the most likely to stay with the church during their young adult years or return at some point.
Healthy churches recognize that children and youth have ministry and are not merely recipients of ministry.
Healthy churches affirm the importance of families and the need for the church to be the extended family in a society where people are often disconnected or estranged from their families of origin.
THIS ARTICLE TO BE CONTINUED ….
© 2017 by Stephen L. Dunn. Permission is given to repost or quote provided this copyright notice is included and a link provided to this blogsite. The courtesy of an email with a link to its reposting or a copy of the work it is quoted in would be appreciated.